Volume I, Issue 2, Page 10

The Real Deal: Old Suspensions Don't Cut It

What topic do announcers, drivers, and crew chiefs mention, above all, during a NASCAR race?  (Hint) It's the same thing that provides great enjoyment while aggressively cruising your favorite twisty road.  The name of the game, on the track or on the street, is handling!

Prior to starting Hotchkis Performance, I raced cars in major road racing series throughout the United States and Europe and was extremely fortunate to be able to drive incredible machines at places like Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen, Le Mans, Silverstone, Spa and many more.

If I have learned anything from my 20-plus years of racing and test-driving, it is the absolute benefit of balanced handling.  Simply stated: "A high-horsepower, ill-handling racecar will finish behind a well-handling, lower-horsepower car every time."

The same is true on the street.  Excellent handling and ride quality are vital to the success of any street driven project car.   At Hotchkis, we put great effort into developing Hotchkis Sport Suspension components. Our team spends countless hours conducting slalom, skid

Few performance parts manufacturers have the on-track experience to validate their philosophy that John Hotchkis does.  With more than two decades of lap time highlighting his resume, Hotchkis knows what he is talking about when it comes to helping make cars go around curves.  Hotchkis Performance shot onto the scene in the early ’90s with products that not only did the job, but raised the level on how a performance part looked.  Powdercoating and high-end fabrication are the trademarks of Hotchkis components.  One of John’s biggest contributions to the industry is his soft-spoken way of helping you learn for yourself.  With his expertise behind you, handling your performance machine will be made easier.

pad, autocross, 1/4 mile, road course, and street test driving to ensure our customers receive great handling and excellent ride quality from our thoroughly designed and tested TVS (Total Vehicle System) suspension packages.

One of the things I insist upon is that our suspension products also look good.  We use the finest construction methods; everything from CNC bending, machining and TIG welding to powdercoating, plating, and anodizing to ensure our customers receive suspension products that they are proud to install.  I always enjoy hearing from customers that say they displayed their Hotchkis products in their living rooms before installation.  This "living room" test is crucial, especially for suspension, because once it's installed, it's hidden. 


Five hundred horsepower is yesterday's 350 horsepower.  Whether it's a new high-performance street car or the performance numbers of a new crate engine, 500 horsepower barely gets you into the game.  Just check out the covers of the latest car magazines.  Big power is in! What a wonderful time to buy or build a car!  We are truly benefiting from the horsepower war.  Just don't tell the insurance companies.

In addition to plentiful power, new performance tires provide fantastic traction.  In fact, these grip levels are higher than race tires of not long ago.  Incredibly, once exotic five and six-speed transmission conversions are now commonplace.  I am sure the latest GM seven-speed automatic will be installed in a Camaro soon.

But again, hold on! Even with all this great new stuff, the car won't be enjoyable to drive without a new, well engineered, performance suspension system.  Unless your goal is building a muscle car just to admire, the engine, transmission, rear end, suspension, brakes, and tires must work together.

Here's What's New!