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IHRA Sponsor Spotlight: Manley Performance

Wednesday, 05 July 2017

For more than five decades, International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) major contingency sponsor Manley Performance has been providing industry-leading connecting rods and valve springs among many other products to drag racing enthusiasts everywhere.  Now in its sixth decade, the family-owned business is showing no signs of slowing down. 

Hank Manley founded Manley Speed Equipment Bloomfield, N.J., in 1966 shortly after graduating from Brown University. Six years earlier, he had become a racing enthusiast by rebuilding an engine for a 1956 Ford Thunderbird and racing it in New Jersey.  When the company started, it produced stainless valves, forged pistons, camshafts, lifters, vanadium valve springs, push rods and timing chain kits.  The name change to Manley Performance soon followed. 

Manley Building5 copy

After learning the trade as a summer employee in the valve department at Manley Performance, Hank’s son, Trip, began working on the Top Fuel team fielded and at that time driven by Darrell Gwynn.  After working for a boat racing team in California and later finishing his education, Trip began working full time for his father’s company and is now the Manley Performance vice president.

In 1988, the company had outgrown its original facility and moved into a larger one in Lakewood, N.J. Ten years later, the facility doubled in size to accommodate the company’s growing business.  The company also added a West-Coast facility in Orange, Calif., to accommodate the large number of customers in the western part of the United States.

Today, Manley Performance continues to re-define itself in a high-performance aftermarket industry that is constantly evolving. Manley developed new products for growing markets such as sport compact, Ford modular and Chevy LS while maintaining its leadership role with the traditional V-8 engine business.

Manley 318 0422

“Manley Performance has been a proud IHRA contingency sponsor for more than 25 years, exemplifying our commitment and support of Sportsman racers of all ranks and classes around the country,” Manley Performance Vice President Trip Manley said.  “Specifically, we post for two products: connecting rods and valve springs, both of which are key components to the overall mix of parts we manufacture/supply to our customer base. Having IHRA Sportsman racers in multiple classes enjoying success, winning races and experiencing tremendous engine reliability with Manley connecting rods and NexTek valve springs absolutely helps promote the Manley brand.”

The company specializes in connecting rods and valve springs, but it also offers countless other engine components.  In celebrating Manley Performance’s 50th anniversary last year, the younger Manley reflected on the past but looked forward to the future.

Manley NexTek

“I remember when we purchased our very first CNC machine, a turning center for the valve department back in 1985. Today, I can proudly boast that we have 75 CNC spindles operating in our manufacturing plant. I vividly recall introducing our unique line of "Gen 2" stainless valve blanks almost 20 years ago, truly revolutionizing the custom valve market. I remember proudly admiring Manley “ICD” titanium retainers perched on top of the valve springs of what seemed like all 43 Winston Cup cars when valve covers were popped off while I perused the garage area back in 2000. Some other notable highlights include purchasing Apex Manufacturing; which brought pushrod manufacturing in-house, working with Ford and producing connecting rods for both the SVT Cobra and GT programs, introducing our NexTek line of valve springs, developing the Turbo Tuff Series of connecting rods and undergoing two building expansions.

“But while I'm so proud of our dedicated employees and previous accomplishments, I'd much prefer to look forward and focus on the future. Our mission remains: to manufacture the finest quality internal engine components at competitive prices and offer unparalleled customer service.”

For additional information on Manley Performance, please visit www.manleyperformance.com. 

Last modified on Wednesday, 05 July 2017
     
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