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Movers & Shakers: Aaron Clark Joins AirPro Diagnostics; Distinctive Industries Celebrates 50 Years

Compiled by SEMA Editors


Corteco Partners With Stunt Driver Mike Ryan to Present Record-Setting Semi Truck at SEMA Ignited

Corteco—a supplier of components for the independent automotive aftermarket and aftermarket division of the global Freudenberg Group—has partnered with world-renowned professional stunt driver Mike Ryan, and will present his record-setting semi truck at SEMA Ignited, November 8, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The “Hillclimb Beast” features a triple-compound turbocharging system that puts out about 2,400 hp and 4,000 lb.-ft. of torque while taking in 4,000 cu. ft. of air per second. Ryan is a professional racing and stunt driver with more than 30 years of experience and also one of the first people in the United States to drift a semi truck. His background in racing includes desert and vintage dirt-track motorcycles, offshore race boats, local short-track stock cars, SCCA events and racing hill climbs. He has set speed records at Pikes Peak; Mt. Washington; Queenstown, New Zealand; and at the Bonneville Salt Flats, running 225.675 mph in a 23,000-lb. Freightliner semi truck.

Andy Cohen
Andy Cohen passed away at his home October 19.

Andy Cohen, Co-Founder of Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories, Passes Away

Andy Cohen, noted car collector and co-founder of luxury and sports car accessories catalog company and retail store Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories (BHMA), passed away October 19 at his home in Malibu, California, due to heart attack complications. Cohen, 73, was well known in collector car circles for more than 50 years. In 1975, he and friend Jim DeFrank founded BHMA, converting an old auto parts store on Robertson Blvd. in Beverly Hills, which led to the launch of what would become a celebrated worldwide mail-order automotive catalog. The business ultimately grew to print one million catalogues annually, earning acclaim as the automotive equivalent to luxury fashion retailer Neiman Marcus. From its core product offerings of premium-quality custom car covers, BHMA’s product line expanded to include an extensive selection of accessories, wearables and car care products for owners of the world’s most exclusive automobiles.

Cohen ran the retail and mail-order business until 1998, when he sold it to a Canadian investment firm. In addition to his flourishing retail and mail-order business, Cohen, along with fellow Southern California collectors, established the Beverly Hills Car Show, a charity event held annually at Beverly Hills High School. Cohen also owned a Beverly Hills-based auto business that sold and brokered the world’s most sought-after exotics and hyper cars. When a client wanted to purchase a luxury sedan or sports car, Cohen knew where to find it. It wasn’t uncommon to see several of these rarities with prices above $10 million in his showroom inventory at the same time. Each August, Cohen would also lease one of the most prominent estates in Pebble Beach, California, directly across from the entrance to the Pebble Beach Concours D ’Elegance. In 2017, Cohen resurrected the Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories brand with his son Kevin as president. At the time of his passing, Andy Cohen was preparing to unveil a new offering that would be another BHMA exclusive: carbon-fiber car mats. The business will continue to be operated by son Kevin.

Michael Ray
Michael Ray

Country Star Michael Ray to Appear in Bestop Booth at SEMA Show

Country singer Michael Ray will take a brief break from headlining CMT on Tour to attend the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The “One That Got Away” singer will appear in the Bestop display (booth #30017 in Upper South Hall) at the Las Vegas Convention Center alongside his fully customized daily-driver Bestop Jeep Wrangler, Wednesday, November 6. During the top-swap, Brian Creten and his crew at Music City 4x4 in suburban Nashville updated Ray’s Wrangler with additional off-road accessories. For starters, Tuffy Security Products boxes add secure storage for open-air driving: underseat drawers, a deck enclosure and a center console lock box. A Tuffy hood lock further improves security. Safety through better visibility is provided by Baja Designs LED auxiliary lights. On the A-pillars, compact Baja Designs S1 cubes serve as spotlights. Ray’s JK rides on 37-in. Nitto Ridge Grapplers, mounted on 22x12 V-Rock Off-Road brushed-aluminum Anvil wheels. A Rock Krawler Flex suspension system adds 3.5 extra in. of clearance for the larger tires and wheels. Music City 4x4 installed a Superchips backup camera and TrailDash2 to recalibrate the signals to the Jeep’s powertrain computer for the taller tires. It also modifies fueling, offering three power levels: 14, 20 and 30 additional hp.

Distinctive IndustriesDistinctive Industries is celebrating 50 years of manufacturing automotive upholstery.

Distinctive Industries Celebrates 50 Years

Distinctive Industries is celebrating 50 years of manufacturing automotive upholstery. Founded in 1969 by John Forrister and his son, Dwight, Distinctive Industries began producing and selling custom-crafted restoration interiors for Volkswagens and Ford Mustangs of the era. Having begun his automotive career providing drivetrain services and restoration interiors for local customers, John Forrister drew on his lifetime of experience to jump-start the world’s first mass-manufactured restoration interiors. In 1986, Dwight Forrister founded Classic Soft Trim, establishing a nationwide network of company-owned restyling centers. Following in his family’s footsteps, third-generation Aaron Forrister founded Roadwire LLC to supply precision-crafted leather interiors and accessories to Classic Soft Trim and other restyling professionals, establishing a nationwide network of authorized installers. In 2008 Aaron Forrister acquired Signature Sunroofs (formerly Inalfa Sunroofs). And in 2013, Distinctive Industries, Roadwire Leather, Classic Soft Trim and Signature Sunroofs were consolidated under Roadwire Inc., now headed by Aaron Forrister who serves as president and CEO. Dwight Forrister now serves as chairman of the board for Roadwire Inc.

Aaron Clark Joins AirPro Diagnostics

Aaron ClarkAaron Clark

AirPro Diagnostics LLC announced that Aaron Clark has accepted the company's vice president strategic initiatives position. 

“Everyone here at AirPro is excited to have Aaron join our team. Aaron is well known and highly respected in the industry. We know that his expertise and knowledge of collision repair and vehicle technologies will be a great asset to AirPro and deepen our bench of talented industry professionals,” stated Michael Quinn, AirPro’s senior vice president of business development.

Randy Pugh
Randy Pugh

Thermo-Tec Welcomes New Marketing Coordinator

Thermo-Tec has named Randy Pugh new marketing coordinator. He will handle all of Thermo-Tec’s marketing, graphics and photography. He most recently served as the creative director at JEGS and has 25 years of graphics experience and 35 years of photography experience, including national automotive magazines and several JEGS catalog covers and product photos. Pugh started in the automotive industry in 2005 as a graphic designer.

Rutledge Wood and Continental Tire to Unveil RWB Porsche 911 at 2019 SEMA Show

Rutledge Wood and Continental Tire will present a custom-built ’86 Rauh Welt Begriff Porsche 911, Monday, November 4, at the 2019 SEMA Show. The RWB is one of just a dozen select vehicles featured in the SEMA Vehicle Reveal, which is now in its third year. Each featured build is showcased on stage in front of thousands of media outlets from around the world. The RWB build, which is supported by Continental Tire, began early this year when Wood teamed with Randy Allgood, the Kenwood Rod Shop and Japanese artist Nakai-San to bring his childhood dream to life. Nakai transformed an ’86 Carrera into a backdated widebody, rendered by Jon Sibal. Allgood and the team at Kenwood Rod Shop in Peachtree City, Georgia, transformed the aircooled 911 into a hot rod, complete with a GM Performance LS-3 from Summit Racing with 525hp, backed by a G50 transaxle built by Rader Motorsports. The RWB is fitted with Continental Tire’s ExtremeContact Sport and packed with performance from Odyssey Battery, KW Suspension, Brembo Brakes, 9 Eleven LED headlights, a custom MagnaFlow exhaust and custom-built Forgeline Wheels.

Fans both in person and on social media will have the opportunity to ask questions of Continental Tire ambassadors Rutledge Wood, Ryan Eversley, Emily Reeves and Ryan Friedlinghaus.

Continental Tire to Host Live Q&A at 2019 SEMA Show

Continental Tire will host a Live Q&A, Wednesday, November 6, at 11:00 a.m., at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Located on the south side of South Hall in the Bronze Lot at the Continental Tire Experience, fans both in person and on social media will have the opportunity to ask questions of Continental Tire ambassadors Rutledge Wood, Ryan Eversley, Emily Reeves and Ryan Friedlinghaus. The event will be hosted by Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys, the popular radio personalities of the SpeedFreaks. Visit the Continental Tire booth at SEMA or tune in via Facebook Live to have your questions answered by this roster of automotive enthusiasts.

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