It’s not a technical article, just a clever ploy to seduce the reader into learning more about our latest projects at DSG as we leave winter.
This has been a challenging season. When we started the business almost eight years ago there were 5 or so shops that we would call competitors. For one reason or another those shops are all gone, moved, out of business, insolvent. For whatever reason they slipped off the map and into irrelevance over the first three years or so of our existence. We were lucky but we also always pushed hard to learn the latest and take care of people as best we could.
In 2011 there are some new shops out there to challenge us and we welcome them because they will make us better. The arrival of these new shops has cut a little into our new client base by offering a choice, the same as when we started. For this reason we do fewer tunes and maybe fewer easy jobs like downpipe installs. We miss those jobs a bit and after some consideration we surmised that some people shopping for service might not have reason to appreciate a place like ours. We feel strongly that our experience in motor sport and our passion for racing is meaningful and relevant in this situation. With other dyno shops emerging lately we encourage the first time DSG customer to consider what saving $200 might get you in the ownership cycle of a $35,000 car. Is the potential savings worth having a new guy tune a car over the guy who has done it successfully for 8 years? Next, consider that most of the other shops charge the same as we do. We own our dyno we don’t rent or share. The customer comes to one shop for everything. We are invested in what we do and we charge competitive prices.
We recently asked a group of 20 or so long time customers who have trusted us literally with their lives to write brief accounts of work we’ve completed for them, and what they use their cars for. Their machines hurdle through the woods or around a track with nuts and bolts tightened with our hands. We asked them to write why they chose us in hopes that the new customer who is internet shopping for potentially simpler services might understand why working on racing cars makes us better at working on cars that may never see the track.
For example, a “conservative” tune (a term commonly thrown around on forums) means nothing to a shop that has never tuned a race car. A tuner who has never tested and measured the lifespan of a given engine or pushed one to it’s limit can’t understand how to make a street car last. There is no point for comparison without competition, no experiential data for measurement of the limit or a lifespan. There is also no knowledge of what makes a car durable, fast or better. This is why the words of the people who contributed to the Testimonials page are very meaningful to us and we thank them.
We hope that someone who has never called or emailed or visited might read one of those testimonials and find that the commonality is that customers are satisfied. Customers that are knowledgeable and expert at what they do are satisfied.
On to new business. The next rally is in Washington. Our team, Team Rally-Tire will be leaving for that in a few weeks, running a big team again! We’re all excited at the prospect of constantly improving the cars and the team’s operation. After Washington we’re going to leave the cars and equipment with our friend Derik at Dirtfish Rally school and come back soon after for Oregon Trail Rally. This is a challenge because the cars aren’t going to get too much attention in between events unless there’s an emergency.
In-shop projects including the rally cars, are coming-along nicely. The project Civic K Series swap is looking great. Nick has the car almost all back together. We’re going to be installing a dash-display unit and a new radiator this week as we try to bring it to a finish in time for the track season. Bill has been working overtime on the MGB GT-1JZGTE. It’s really coming together. The wiring harness is done, the cooling package is complete. It should be done in about a month or so. The 2002 BMW-SR20det is really looking great now, wheels arrived after a 4 month wait from Rays Foundry. The car has a nice roll cage now thanks to Chris H. Time frame for the ‘02 completion is about 3 months from now. Photos can be found in the projects gallery on this site.
We’ve been working on a lot of Evos this year, installing clutches, performing tunes and executing other maintenance like timing belts and track day check-overs. Matt has been tuning more Nissans lately using Uprev. The program is really great. We wish it was around 3 years ago when tuning a Nissan meant installing a cumbersome Greddy EManage piggy-back unit and dealing with the fallout of computers battling eachother for authority. Things have advanced so much in the last few years in a way that has helped Matt do his best work.
Bill and Alex were accepted to compete at Mt Washington this summer in the 2011 Climb to the Clouds. They are both excited to make this the top event of the summer for the shop Evo and 240rs Maxi. They will compete in two classes being of different drivetrain configurations. Bill will be competing in H1 and Alex in the Open class. We’ll post more about the event as it approaches but the spectating should be awesome. It’s on June 22 and goes over the weekend. Bill is working on fitting a much heftier Saenz 5 speed dogbox with straight cut gears to the 240. Alex is still fitting bumpers, oil cooler and other small jobs as Bill completes the lion’s share of fabrication duties. The turbo is the final step for the Evo which is still up in the air.
We’re moving a lot of the fluff updates, daily blogging and snapshot photos to Facebook. If you aren’t one of the 720 people who follow our work on there check us out! We’re also on Twitter under dentsportgarage. We use twitter at all of the events including Rally America (now RallyCar) so be sure to follow. We don’t tweet a lot so you won’t have to hear about what we’re eating for lunch.
Photos will follow!