Performance & Hotrod Business - July '15

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42 n Performance & Hotrod Business n July 2015 HOTROD dominate the performance aftermarket for manual transmissions. It sure doesn't hurt that Tremec is the largest supplier of rear-wheel drive manual transmissions in the world, and the single OE supplier of manual transmissions for all of the Big Three's current muscle cars—the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette, the Dodge Challenger, and the Ford Shelby GT500. "That translates into OE-level test- ing and quality in an aftermarket line," Fredrick notes, "and a great reputation in the muscle car world. They also offer the most torque capacity, dollar-for-dollar, in the aftermarket. For example, their Magnum six-speed is rated to 700 foot- pounds and retails for just under $3,000. And with their huge, vertically integrated manufacturing capabilities, they can pro- duce transmissions in volumes that no one else can match." Additionally, American Powertrain's Professional Fit (a.k.a. Profit) installation kits cover everything from pre-war hot rods to the popular classic muscle cars. For the former—say a '34 Ford with a traditional small-block—Fredrick says a custom kit would be made based on the customer's desire for shift position, cross- member design and torque capacity. "Generally speaking, we'd recommend a TKO five-speed if the engine is fairly mild, as it is smaller than the Magnum and still handles up to 600 foot-pounds of con- stant torque load. And because our designs are so flexible, we can help street rod and custom builders meet their goals for their projects, rather than having to change their goals to suit an available gearbox." A newer car, let's say a '70 Camaro packing an LS7, would more likely benefit from one of American Powertrain's turn- key, model-specific Profit kits. "The customer could simply bolt in a Magnum, and it would fit and look like stock, while providing a huge torque rat- ing," Fredrick continues. "Our Camaro kits fit not only the original console, but the original hole in the tunnel. And if your LS7 makes big, big power, then we can upgrade that Magnum transmission to handle up to 1,100 foot-pounds. "We have figured out how to fit every GM, Ford, Mopar and AMC muscle car with OE shift positions, bolt-in crossmem- bers and everything else needed for a clean installation; that's why every kit we sell for these cars is model-specific. Customers want to modify their cars as little as pos- sible—so we modify the transmission to fit the car, rather than the car to fit the transmission." Fredrick also tells us that American Powertrain is "always expanding" its line of turnkey kits. " We r e c e n t l y a d d e d k i t s f o r Studebakers, Chevrolet C10s, Ford F-100s, the Sunbeam Tiger, and the Gen 4 Corvette—because all of those vehicles are now hot, and people are starting to feel good about spending money on them. We're always looking for the next hot car, TCI's Street Fighter features upgraded internal components and runs higher line pressures. (Photo courtesy TCI Automotive) 42 n Performance & Hotrod Business n July 2015 These new transmissions were designed from the ground up to run with the new engines that have become today's hot rodders' most popular choices.

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