PRODUCTS & PRESS
HANK THOMAS PERFORMANCE ’ S PARTS BUSINESS BECOMES SCARLETTE ’ S PERFORMANCE PARTS
S & W PERFORMANCE GROUP ACQUIRED BY PRIVATE INVESTMENT FIRM
■ The S & W Performance Group , a 63 year old world-renowned drag racing and performance street vehicle chassis and components manufacturer , has been acquired by an automotive enthusiast owned private investment firm .
The acquisition was the first of two major announcements made on Tuesday , by S & W ’ s President , Terri ( Weney ) Gdowik . “ I have decided to step away from ownership and into retirement . It was a difficult decision , as I have devoted
my life to our family business and thoroughly enjoyed piloting S & W into its sixth successful decade ,” stated Terri . “ A sincere thank you is extended to the customers , employees and business partners who have contributed to our success . I ’ m confident my father ’ s founding mission will continue to be achieved and his company will thrive well into the future , under the direction of two long-time business associates and personal friends ; Ken Wible and Jay Lankford .”
S & W has been headquartered in Spring City , Pennsylvania since 1959 and it will remain rooted there . Your favorite experienced , knowledgeable and talented team members will also remain in place and continue to be at your disposal . In addition , both Mr . Wible and Mr . Lankford bring extensive corporate automotive industry experience to the table , creating a winning combination . Based on customer feedback , manufacturing equipment and process upgrades will become clear , resulting in increased efficiency and improved products . They will also continue to preserve existing and develop new vendor partnerships , which will keep the pipeline full .
“ S & W is an iconic brand . During the transition , Jay and I will be working closely with Terri and our management team , to ensure we respect its heritage while building value ,” said Ken . “ Ongoing investments will be made , to provide our valued customers with premium quality products , unsurpassed service and industry leading technical support , long into the future .”
For additional information , please call Toll Free 1-800-532- 3353 and / or visit the S & W website at www . swracecars . com
■ Nestled in Winston Salem , North Carolina , the name Hank Thomas has been the source for high-performance parts throughout the U . S . and beyond . After 60 years in business , the time came for Thomas and his son , Clint , to streamline the operation with a concentration on the fuel side of the business . This would leave a gap for local drag racers and circle track racers alike who ’ ve relied on Hank Thomas Performance for the parts and pieces they need to be competitive .
Enter Sandra Scarlette , a businesswoman , also in Winston Salem , who was introduced to competitive drag racing via a trip to the Roy Hill School of Drag Racing .
She became the leading candidate to purchase the parts side of the business , but only if longtime employee Mike Phillips came with the deal . An agreement was reached , and the process started to make Scarlette ’ s the area ’ s new source for high-performance parts .
Phillips is a familiar name in the business , having worked for Thomas part-time while an employee at
RJ Reynolds , then full-time for over 32 years . Phillips is quick to point out that his very first customer was King , North Carolina ’ s very own “ Tricky ” Rickie Smith , the Pro Mod legend . Phillips is also rightly proud of new suppliers added constantly to the company ’ s list of vendors . One of the largest new vendors is ProCharger .
As time progressed , Scarlette has worked diligently to get the word out about her new business , with logos first appearing on the Big Dog car of Bubba Turner , who she met at the Roy Hill school . It was Turner who taught his new student the ins and outs of a rear-engine dragster . The two have since joined forces with Randy Cox on a noprep Pontiac Firebird that has been successful while competing in the no-prep events at Rockingham with upcoming events at Darlington and Roxboro .
Other event sponsorships will feature the Scarlette logo at Farmington Dragway for the upcoming Mad Dawg 4.50 class , and the company will become the title sponsor of Ken Regenthal ’ s very popular Stick Shift Nationals .
In the circle track world , Scarlette ’ s will be a sponsor for cars in two separate classes at nearby Bowman Gray Stadium . These will be driven by Randy Butner and Zach Ore . The “ Madhouse ,” as it is known , never disappoints with non-stop action for the summer and will offer a great venue to promote the company .
Scarlette ’ s Performance is also in the planning stages of events , like an open house , and improvements , like a revamped website that will allow customers to order highperformance parts and body parts .
Learn more at www . Scarlettes- Performance . com .
– GREG BURROW
74 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 176