People, Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: Coker Group Expands Opportunities Under New Name

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Wade Kawasaki
Wade Kawasaki

Coker Group Expands Opportunities Under New Name: Legendary Companies

Coker Group, which includes Coker Tire, Wheel Vintiques, Universal Vintage Tire, Phoenix Race Tires, Specialty Wheel and Roadster Wire Wheel, has announced a rebranding of the group name to reflect its forward-looking focus on the entirety of the automotive aftermarket including, but not limited to, the performance and restoration markets. The new name—Legendary Companies—is meant to represent the breadth and scope of its current market segments while providing Legendary Companies with greater opportunities for future expansion into new sectors.

“We’re proud to announce our rebranding of Coker Group as Legendary Companies,” said President and CEO Wade Kawasaki, “and excited for this chance to expand Legendary Companies into diverse markets while remaining true to our core consumers. The naming was very intentional; we chose the word ‘Legendary’ because we see our diverse, vibrant enthusiast customer base as the real legends in our industry. Now with this change, we will be positioned to bring our direct to consumer expertise and global distribution model to enhance the efforts of the performance brands we personally use and admire,” he added.

This rebrand represents a major expansion in potential scope for Legendary Companies, particularly in the fast-growing performance-vehicle and late-model aftermarket sectors. These sectors are expected to be major targets for Legendary Companies and its private equity firm partner Irving Place Capital in future acquisitions. This announcement comes after several months of expansion for Legendary Companies, including subsidiary Coker Tire’s acquisition and integration of German-based classic and vintage car tire distributor, MOR, which has already expanded global sales and distribution. In addition, subsidiary company Wheel Vintiques recently expanded its product line to include modern wheel fitments and high-performance alloy wheels following the purchase of two performance aluminum wheel companies. To learn more about Legendary Companies, visit www.legendarycompanies.com

UPMC
Aaron Shelby (right), co-president of the Carroll Shelby Foundation, presented a $15,000 check to Brian Feingold, M.D. (left), medical director of the Heart Failure and Transplantation Programs at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. 

Carroll Shelby Foundation Donates $15,000 To UPMC Children’s Hospital Of Pittsburgh

Aaron Shelby, co-president of the Carroll Shelby Foundation, presented a $15,000 check to Brian Feingold, M.D., medical director of the Heart Failure and Transplantation Programs at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, July 11. The donation was made on behalf of the charity’s board during the Team Shelby East Coast Nationals banquet in Pittsburgh. UPMC Children’s Hospital is a leader in the treatment of childhood conditions and diseases, a pioneer in the development of new and improved therapies and a top educator of the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists. Over the past several years, the Carroll Shelby Foundation has donated money to pediatric hospitals and organ transplant wards. In 2018, it donated $5,000 to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in Loma Linda, California, and handed out gifts to kids in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit. During the Mustang Club of America’s 2017 Grand National event in Kansas City, the Carroll Shelby Foundation surprised Children’s Mercy Hospital with a $10,000 check.

Al Liebmann
Al Liebmann
Yvonne Bowe
Yvonne Bowe

Internet Brands Auto Classifieds Welcomes Two Industry Experts to Sales Team

The Internet Brands Auto Classifieds group has welcomed race and performance industry veterans Yvonne Bowe and Al “Big Al” Liebmann to its sales team. IB Classifieds, led by flagship site RacingJunk.com, specializes in racing, performance, hot rods, classics and antique vehicle and parts classifieds. Bowe and Liebmann bring decades of experience in the race, performance and hot-rod spaces as both account representatives and hands-on enthusiasts. Known for championing the grassroots racing community in every aspect of the sport, RacingJunk seeks to connect its members to the people, parts and services they need with its online classifieds, business partnerships, social media channels and sales and customer service teams.

Bowe is a veteran of the aftermarket industry, having worked for both Steele Rubber Products and Kook’s Headers and Exhaust. She’s passionate about drag racing and classic cars, with knowledge, sales experience and connections in the aftermarket industry that IB Classifieds says will benefit both the classifieds verticals and new and continuing advertisers equally. Drag racer, crew member, promoter and enthusiast, Liebmann has 30-plus years of hands-on experience in the auto industry. As the promoter of Frantic Ford and Super Camaro Funny Cars, Liebmann has worked with HotRodHotLine since 2002. The new additions to the sales team will help the Auto Classifieds vertical continue to grow as RacingJunk marks its 20th anniversary. 

Josh McFarlin
Josh McFarlin

Josh McFarlin Joins AirPro Diagnostics

AirPro Diagnostics has announced the appointment of Josh McFarlin as vice president of strategic business operations. In his new position, McFarlin will be responsible for daily service operations, including multiple technician service centers and all field personnel. McFarlin joins AirPro Diagnostics from I-CAR, where he was director of curriculum and product development. He played a key role in the establishment of a five-year strategy that included an overhaul of the entire professional development program and also led the curriculum and product development team for I-CAR. 

Tim Kerr
Tim Kerr

Stertil-Koni Names Tim Kerr New Product Manager

Stertil-Koni has announced that Tim Kerr has joined the company as product manager. Kerr will be responsible for spearheading a range of initiatives, including Stertil-Koni’s new product concepts, advancing customer satisfaction and the training of Stertil-Koni’s North American distributor network. Kerr has a proven track record with complex electro-mechanical systems from concept and design to installation and commissioning of industrial equipment. He has extensive expertise in after-sales support, on-site training and system enhancements.

VP Racing Fuels Consumer Products Now Available at 4 Wheel Parts

VP Racing Fuels Inc., has announced the expanded distribution of its VP Consumer Products line through the 4 Wheel Parts nationwide chain and TransAmerican Wholesale distribution network.

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