Meet your maker…

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Just kidding. Meet Jon (Jan), our founder and head designer/builder:

A hot rod designer/builder for over 30 years, Jan was born a raised in a small Connecticut town. While studying in the library at a local Jesuit middle school, he took interest in a hot rod muscle cars magazine and was hooked. Working his way through high school and college at a new car dealership, Jan attained certifications in ASE mechanical and ICAR auto body.

After graduation from Post University with a BS degree in accounting, Jan left the auto industry behind and went on to work for the Wall Street firms of Coopers Lybrand CPAs and Dillion Reed Co. New York City. He also attended University of Pennsylvania Business School and the Yale School of Business Management studying finance and business law. It was one of those late-night NYC train rides home from work that would inspire a completely different career direction. Sitting across from an unhappy worn out senior partner from the very firm he worked at give a frightening glimpse of his future.

140 days later Jan would become a cadet at the United States Flight Academy training to be an Air Force pilot. This would lead to US Air Force and Army Special Forces at Fort Bragg and Fort Belvoir. His training included certifications in special weapons technology, counter-explosives tactics, Combat Air Control, tactical off and on road driving, pararescue, open sea combat diver, combat medicine, and OCONUS Anti-Terrorism.   Jan holds multiple Patents in special forces tactical equipment as well as advanced automotive systems. He holds NHRA, IHRA, SCCA and IMSA competition racing licenses and certifications. Jan has built high-level vehicles and motorcycles for competition and show, including the Special Forces Captain America motorcycle. He is a currently a SEMA Battle of the Builders participant. Jan’s continuing volunteer work includes building homes for disabled special forces veterans with the United States Veterans Corp.

Vic Edelbrock Jr. Passes Away

We love Edelbrock. We’ll actually be talking more about them for some potential projects down the road. In that spirit, we wanted to remember someone who was a charter member of SEMA, Vic Edelbrock Jr.

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photo courtesy of StangTV

According to bodyshopbusiness.com, Edelbrock became president of the company at age 26. At that time the company only had 10 employees!! Now, with six locations, about 700 employees more, and several millions of dollars in revenue later, they’ve arrived. They are undoubtedly an intricate part of the auto industry.

Additionally according to bodyshopbusiness.com:

“[Edelbrock] was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1989, named to the PWA Hall of Fame, and was its Person of the Year in 1982 and 1987. He was also a recipient of the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.”

He was 80 years old and it was reported that he died from complications from a cold in June. We’ll miss you big guy.

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

Happy Fourth to all you patriots out there. At Innovation Performance Technologies, we love America. Seriously. With all the political musings out there, it’s hard to stay focused on what’s important…making sure we do what we can to retain our liberties and freedom (and being the greatest country in the world, too). As we’ve mentioned before, we employ an all-veteran team in our office, which we are very proud of.

We don’t want to talk about ourselves too much on this glorious holiday, though. Instead, we would rather share the story of a long-honored soldier. His heroic acts make for an incredible story, and are talked about both by Special Forces and conventional military, alike. He is Roy Benavidez. The following is his medal of honor citation:

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“Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team’s position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team’s position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy’s fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader’s body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy’s fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez’ gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.”

The Bullitt Craze

Okay, so this is a big year for the Bullitt. Every year, car people make and remake this vintage classic. Why did people get so hooked on this car in 1968? Well if you watch the movie, you’ll see the late Steve McQueen ripping up the streets of San Francisco in a way that could never be forgotten.
(See part of it here ->)      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31JgMAHVeg0
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A little fact about the cars in Bullitt. After filming wrapped up, the beat-up Mustang used in the movie and the Chargers used in the scenes were taken to a junk yard. After that, it was unsure of what happened to the cars. Steve McQueen, himself, searched for the Mustang for years but never found it.
In March, a collector went to Baja California Sur to find an old Mustang to make an “Elenor” Shelby GT500 (from Gone in 60 Seconds). After paint removal revealed the Bullitt’s highland green color, an expert was called in to take a look. Lo and behold, the Bullitt was verified.
The month prior to this, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in a promotional video for Ford’s marketing campaign. At one point in the video, there is a background that looks like sketches of the 2018 Mustang with Bullitt-similar features. There is debate on whether or not it is actually a Shelby version, so we’ll just have to wait and see. If you do a little math, 2018 is the 50th anniversary of Bullitt, so….
All in all, this is a great year to recreate our version of the Bullitt Mustang. As we always do with our vehicles, our version will have the same lines as the 1968 version, but with the modern mechanics of new technology. Stick around for updates…we’re building her now.

The origin of pursuit

1e4e3a_889a18c0225b4e98a4b51bb566a10047~mv2Innovation Performance Technology’s new office is finally open and ready for business. Who are we, you ask? We are a small, specialty car manufacturer based in North Carolina, and we think you’ll really like us. 2017 was our inaugural year, and it started with a bang. We built a tribute car to the 1969 Camaro, and it was one for the books. The 2017 Z/R went to the SEMA show in Las Vegas and wowed everyone. We had a blast,  but then the unexpected happened.

Our beautiful Z/R was stolen from the parking lot at the end of SEMA. According to our head honcho, Jon, it was a moment where we had to question everything. Would we move forward, or would we cash in our chips with this terrible blow to our business?

We took a lesson from a pair of famous brothers in history. They were inventors, and were tirelessly working on the biggest project of their lives. The government told them to stop spinning their wheels. Their family told them to come home. “Give up” everyone said. They kept their heads down and pushed forward. Finally, a breakthrough. The brothers were the Wright brothers, and in 1903, their invention was flight.

After several stressful phone calls and days in limbo, an amazing thing happened. Someone on Facebook had seen our postings about our missing vehicle and contacted us. Low and behold, we found our Z/R. It was a roller coaster ride, but we’re glad we went to SEMA.

Great things take time, persistence, and resilience. IT’s in the spirit of the Wright brothers that we drive on.

Are you excited yet? So are we. We’ll be heading back to SEMA in 2017 with another tribute car. The Mustang Bullitt. Yup. Get ready.