Monthly Archives: June 2012
The first thing you notice at Hooks Headers is the mailbox. Really, the mailbox. It is the neatest mailbox on the block!
The next thing you notice is that every car in the front lot is shiny, spotless, waxed and buffed.
Kooks has been in Statesville for three years, relocating from New York. The shop is 50,000 square feet, and houses 50 employees, who are on mandatory overtime. Business is good.
The header and exhaust business – what Chris Clark calls “bending pipe” – is going so well that Kooks wants to branch out into other industries that use bendable pipe. Could be warehouse ladders, could be military.
The inventory is all computerized, and each project is updated electronically as it progresses through the shop. In the custom area, folks who love their cars can bring them for special exhaust systems. There was a Camaro on a lift getting a new exhaust system (all customer’s cars are covered while being fitted) that had a $100,000 price tag. At least.
Oh, and those cars in the front lot? Keeping them clean is mandatory too.
Stan Rabineau of Garage Pass Shop Tours invited me to tag along on one of the VIP tours and it was a hoot.
Let me tell you Stan knows his stuff. He’s been around, and around again.
Our first stop was the Roush Fenway museum and store in Concord, complete with trophys galore, photos, awards, cutaway cars and more. Stan offered his group a lesson on bootlegging and how it evolved into present day NASCAR racing. In addition, lots of little details you may not get elsewhere are offered. For example, the “hockey puck” on the top of the cars (which every Cup car has) is a camera housing. But how can you tell if that particular car has a camera? Look for the “shark fin” antenna on top. All cars carry the housing for aerodynamic reasons.
The 48 and 88 shop of Hendrick Motorsports was next. The really interesting part of that was the replica of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, complete with wall, fencing and Musco lighting, used for filming commercials. The backdrop of the speedway is added during editing. Down the sidewalk was the 5 and 24 of Hendrick, from which you could see the chopper pad (which we did not use). Each car built goes through a 165-point checklist before it leaves the shop.
Stewart-Haas Racing was next, and after that the “Dale Trail,” a look at Dale Earnhardt’s hometown of Kannapolis.
Curb Music and Motorsports Museum opened its doors for a private tour for our group and what a place. It’s open to the public for a few weeks each May and October and if you have time it is worth a stop. It’s on Dale Earnhardt Blvd. in Kannapolis. Curb has quite a record (no pun intended) in the music business as well as in motorsports. This museum showcases both.