People Places & Racing News

Wes Wise Joins AACF Board of Trustees; Legendary Companies Acquires Zip Products

Wes WiseWes Wise Joins AACF Board of Trustees

The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has announced the election of Wes Wise to its board of trustees. Wise is vice president, professional sales, for O’Reilly Auto Parts. He joined O’Reilly in 1991 as a merchandising specialist at store 4039-Springfield, Missouri. He held many different management positions within the organization and after completing his master’s degree, he relocated to corporate headquarters and was promoted to his present position in January 2022.

Legendary Companies Acquires Zip Products

Legendary Companies has announced the acquisition of Zip Products. The Virginia-based Corvette parts manufacturer and supplier significantly expands Legendary Companies’ Corvette-focused product offering and is consistent with the company’s growth strategy of
expanding its portfolio of authentic components to comprehensively serve classic vehicle enthusiasts. Together with Coker Tire, Paragon Corvette and Corvette Central, the acquisition of Zip represents the fourth family-owned business to be added to Legendary Companies’ portfolio of brands since partnering with Irving Place Capital in 2018.

Founded in 1977, Zip maintains a broad product offering for C1 through C8 Chevrolet Corvettes. The company, which has been owned by David Walker and his family since its inception, offers more than 45,000 unique parts. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

All-New Mustang Dark Horse Delivers 500 HP

Ford is adding more horses across every engine offering for the all-new, seventh-generation ’24 Mustang, including 500 hp with the Mustang Dark Horse. For the pinnacle of 5.0L V8 performance and track capability, the Mustang Dark Horse features an engineered fourth-generation Coyote V8 engine with 500 hp and 418 lb.-ft. of torque to set a new benchmark for Mustang street and track performance, and the most powerful non-Shelby edition ever.


The Mustang Dark Horse features an engineered fourth-generation Coyote V8 engine with 500 hp and 418 lb.-ft. of torque to set a new benchmark for Mustang street and track performance, and the most powerful non-Shelby edition ever.

The Coyote engine was upgraded even further to produce 500 hp, delivering its most powerful naturally aspirated V8 yet. These upgrades include a uniquely balanced crankshaft and forged piston connecting rods—the latter first introduced in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500—to handle higher cylinder pressures and piston speeds. Mustang Dark Horse also sports strengthened camshafts for track-durability needs, including extended operation closer to its 7,500-rpm redline.

Those opting for the standard Mustang GT still enjoy 480 hp. In addition, the engine delivers 415 lb.-ft. of torque for the most standard torque ever. The fourth-generation Coyote V8 features a segment-first, dual intake and dual throttle body induction system that’s matched with structural improvements and upgraded oil pan. This helps minimize induction loss by enabling higher air flow rates. For Mustang GT and Mustang Dark Horse, horsepower and torque ratings are the same for automatic and manual transmissions.

The all-new ’24 Mustang EcoBoost features an all-new 2.3L EcoBoost engine that produces 315 hp—the most standard power in a four- or six-cylinder Mustang ever. In addition, the engine delivers 350 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Mustang EcoBoost coupe and convertible feature a new engine from the ground up that incorporates Ford’s new Modular Power Cylinder (MPC) engine architecture, driving prowess in design and function, and is targeted to have improved EPA-estimated fuel economy over the outgoing model year.

The all-new 2024 Mustang coupe and convertible models go on sale in the United States starting in the summer of 2023.

Superformance LLC and SAFIR GT40 Select HYPERFUELS as U.S. GT40 Motor Oil and Coolant Supplier


HYPERFUELS has announced that it is the preferred supplier of Gulf-branded lubricants and fluids for the Superformance GT40 rollers. All five models of the Superformance GT40 line will have the GulfTec motor oil and Gulf Gold antifreeze available. Superformance and Hyperfuels will continue the legacy of Gulf and GT40 being hand in hand.

GM Introduces First-Ever ’24 Sierra EV

GMC’s introduction of the first-ever Sierra EV marks a turning point for the truck brand, as it expands its portfolio of all-electric trucks. Led by the ’24 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, it offers pickup capability, a GM-estimated 400 miles of range on a full charge and features made possible by its dedicated EV truck platform.


Led by the ’24 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, it offers pickup capability, a GM-estimated 400 miles of range on a full charge.

“This is the Denali of EVs—and a truck that is every bit a GMC,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC. “That means it leaves nothing on the table when it comes to hauling, towing and overall power while unlocking even more possibilities around what a GMC pickup can offer.”

GMC will be the only brand to offer three all-electric trucks, with the Sierra EV joining the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup and SUV2. Underpinning these three trucks is GM’s Ultium Platform, which enables versatility and performance in an all-electric truck.

The ’24 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 will be available at launch in early 2024. GMC will introduce the Sierra EV AT4 and Elevation trims in the ’25 model year.

“The ’24 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 is just the beginning,” said Aldred. “It will offer customers our very latest in technology, capability and luxury delivered in a way only GMC can do—with much more to come. From the HUMMER EV supertruck to the first-ever Sierra EV, GMC continues to write the next chapter in its future as a premium truck and SUV brand.”

Micky Hale Joins SPA Performance

SPA Performance has appointed Micky Hale as its new national sales manager. SPA Performance has a U.S.-based facility in Mooresville, North Carolina. Hale’s prior experience includes time with Cometic Gasket in Painesville, Ohio, where he most recently served as the technical sales department manager. Prior to Cometic Gasket, Hale held a position in the sales/tech capacity with Flaming River Industries in Berea, Ohio.

’23 Wagoneer Wins Four Wheeler 2023 SUV of the Year

The ’23 Wagoneer, equipped with the all-new Hurricane Twin Turbo I-6 and Advanced All Terrain Group, is the Four Wheeler 2023 SUV of the Year. During the competition’s 50-year tenure, the Jeep brand’s award-winning SUV lineup has secured the most awards overall, including last year’s award recipient, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392.


The ’23 Wagoneer, equipped with the all-new Hurricane Twin Turbo I-6 and Advanced All Terrain Group, is the Four Wheeler 2023 SUV of the Year.

Four Wheeler’s SUV of the Year competition, open to all-new or significantly revised SUVs for the upcoming model year, culminates in the annual award judged by the editors of the 4x4 enthusiast publication. Four Wheeler’s weeklong testing regimen includes track testing, including 0–60 and quarter-mile acceleration times, and 60–0 braking distance; and on- and off-road evaluation in the mountains and deserts of Southern California. Vehicles are subjected to a variety of off-road conditions, including sand, rocky trails, loose-surface trails, rutted backroads, loose dirt hill climbs, mud, snow and ice. Night driving was also integrated into the competition to gauge the performance of each vehicle’s lighting equipment. According to Four Wheeler editors, the 2023 Wagoneer earned its place as this year’s SUV of the year.

”You might not look at the luxurious and plus-sized Wagoneer and realize all the capability that is lurking beneath its contemporary sheet metal, but it's there,” said Sean P. Holman, Four Wheeler content director. “The big Wagoneer is going to get the family down the road in comfort and style and right past the trailhead. The traction control is exceptional, the suspension supple, and that new I-6 engine is a powerhouse of torque and refinement. We didn't go into the test thinking the Wagoneer would win, but it earned every vote thanks to how well it did everything we asked of it.”  

Judges included the full MotorTrend Truck & Off-Road Group staff, who have decades of experience working on various truck and 4x4 brands, including Four Wheeler, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, Diesel Power and Truck Trend

ITDG’s Chris Barry Elected New California Tire Dealers Association President

Chris Barry

Chris Barry (center) was elected president of the California Tire Dealers Association.

During a recent meeting at Turbo Wholesale Tires in Irwindale, California, the California Tire Dealers Association (CTDA) introduced newly elected President Chris Barry of Independent Tire Dealer Group (ITDG). Barry replaces Billy Eordekian, president of 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels. The Area Meeting was hosted by Turbo, Federated Insurance and 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels, featuring presentations by Falken Tire, Federated, RoboTire and TireTutor. The California Tire Dealers Association (CTDA) represents more than 150 independent tire dealers, wholesale tire distributors and vendors statewide.

NGK Spark Plugs Adds Jeffrey Schlenker as GM of Purchasing

NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.)—the Wixom, Michigan-based manufacturer of ignition parts and sensors—has announced Jeffrey Schlenker has joined the company as general manager of Purchasing. Schlenker will serve as a leadership team member and be responsible for the efficacy of all sourcing activities across the organization. He has more than 20 years of experience in purchasing, holding positions of increasing responsibility. 

MahleMAHLE Aftermarket Opens Automated Warehouse in Olive Branch

MAHLE Aftermarket has opened a highly automated warehouse in Olive Branch, Mississippi. The facility is designed to speed up deliveries to workshops and distributors, reduce the frequency of returns and enable an order to be commissioned within 30 minutes. The system MAHLE chose uses only about one-quarter of the area of a conventional warehouse, the company said. This reduces costs and decreases the amount of land needed for logistics locations. In addition, automated warehouses are extremely efficient: 10 of the robotic shuttles use only as much electricity as a vacuum cleaner. MAHLE has invested approximately $6.4 million in the fully automated facility and has plans to outfit its additional warehouse locations in Europe with similar technology in 2023, starting with Décines in France.

Holley Announces Jesse Weaver as Chief Financial Officer

Holley has announced the appointment of Jesse Weaver as CFO. Weaver will succeed Stephen Trussell, who has served as the company’s interim CFO since September 30. Trussell will continue as the company’s vice president of finance, a role he has held since 2009. Weaver, who has nearly 20 years of experience in finance, strategy and data analytics, will serve as a member of the executive leadership team and report directly to President and CEO Tom Tomlinson.

Most recently, Weaver served as senior vice president of Finance at SmileDirectClub, a teledentistry company and direct-to-consumer provider of dental and orthodontics products. Prior, he was vice president of financial planning and analysis at Dollar General and before then, he held multiple leadership positions in finance at Yum! Brands U.S. Pizza Hut division.

Have some company news you would like to share? Let us know and the news may appear in an upcoming issue of SEMA News. Send your items for consideration to