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In this episode of the show our guests were Brian Downard of Lokar Performance Products and Adam from Classic Instruments. Two interviews for the price of one!
Brian Downard is the Lokar Performance Products VP Of Sales and Marketing. He grew up in Knoxville, Ohio, working in a small performance shop started by his dad.
Unfortunately it was only twenty miles south of Summit Racing (which made for some tough competition) so he decided that if you cannot beat them, join them!
He went to work for Summit in the tech department and went on to work at several other well known aftermarket and racing companies as well. He’s now been with Lokar for several years. His personal fleet of rides inclues a ’66 Chevelle, a ’39 Ford, and a ’29 Model A roadster!
Lokar itself was started by Skip and Debbie Walls in 1988 making seat belts, and it then moved on to quality shifter cables and that is what put the company on the map. Skip was a sprint car racer that was on the fast track to being one of the next greatest guys that was headed for Indianapolis. Believe it or not, but the building of car parts came out his experience in his fathers manufacturing facility for sewing machine parts!
Skip is “crafty” in designing parts, and a lot of Lokars products come from items he’s designed for his own cars. He has a passion for the industry and the business has grown from that passion. Lokar products to this day is 100% USA made with an intense focus on quality.
During our interview Brian covered some of the Lokar products such as an LED shift indicator switch and electronic throttle control assemblies that actually fit old muscle cars. They are also releasing a billet electronic door handle developed in conjunction with Goolsby customs as seen on the Lokar 69 Camaro. It will be released as a Goolsby edition piece in the Lokar catalog in the future. You can check out Lokar on their webpage www.LOKAR.com or on Facebook.
You can also see the Goolsby build of the Lokar 69 Camaro at the Goolsby Customs website.
I met up with Adam from Classic instruments just briefly at the Hot Rod and Restoration Trade Show where we discussed their replacement and custom lines of instruments.
They have a full line of instrument clusters that will drop directly into a Mustang, Camaro, or Chevelle dash (for various model years of each car) that work VERY well in conjunction with modern computer controlled setups (think LS swaps where gauges and an ECM need to communicate. They also won an innovation award at the show with their new “Esquire” line of custom square gauges. Maybe square will be the new round!
Thanks for the interviews Brian and Adam!
– Rob Kibbe