Thank you, dear customer, for your continued support. As I write this I am particularly gratified. We have just had our biggest month in our companys thirty-three year history and we are on track for our third consecutive year of record sales. Your purchases, referrals and testimonials have made Vick Autosports the sales success story of the Italian car parts business.
How times have changed. When my wife Donna and I purchased Vick Autosports on January 1, 2009 the parts industry for vintage Alfas and Fiats was terminal. The interest in these great cars was decreasing and the creation of new products for them had come to an end. The value of Alfas and Fiats was dropping. Not only was the industry declining, the economy was quickly descending into the most difficult period in 80 years. To naysayers and there were plenty- a turnaround did not seem likely.
February 2009 our new team developed a plan to get things moving
again. Our plan was based on the premise that companies do not become
successful by copying others. Instead, we contemplated what our
customers needed in order to get them reinvigorated about their
vintage Alfas and Fiats. Our plan had two key objectives: 1) come
up with new, exciting products and 2) focus on making parts more
affordable. We adopted the principle that we would run our own
race. We had faith in our plan. If well executed, our efforts
would not only be a boon to our company and customers, but to the
We had one great advantage. My history is that of a successful small businessman. I was also an Italian car hobbyist just like you. I was no longtime Alfa or Fiat parts hack or hangers-on or has-been or wanna-bee. I thought like an enthusiast. I thought like you, a customer. So it was easier to visualize what might be important to customers and perspective customers. And my hard working staff viewed the hobby through the same prism.
We have had great success at creating new, exciting products. And by create, I mean exactly that. For example, cross-flow aluminum radiators for X1/9 and Fiat Spider, are products we developed in-house. Until we developed them they were simply unavailable. Others have tried to copy them. But like Oreo cookies, we got our recipe right and our product still continues to be the leader year after year.
We also created Dry Coils for Fiats, 2 1/4 Exhaust Kits and the only Big Brake Kits utilizing superior Vented Rotors. Our Big Brake Kits are available in two packages: Our VAS Improvement Brake Kit for racers and our Prima Brake Kit for the enthusiast who wants better than stock but at a low, low price.
Four years since first introduced, we are still the only source in the world for Programmable Fuel Injection Kits for Fiat Spiders, X1/9s and Alfa Spider. If you want Individual Throttle Bodies (ITBs), a product that self appointed gurus groused could not adapted for Fiat, we at Vick Autosports successfully designed ITBs for Fiat DOHC. How successful were we? I mean we accomplished the designs necessary, fabricated the parts required and installed ITBs that not only deliver the best performance possible, but also function perfectly for everyday driving, including a smooth, easy idle. As with PFI Kits, we are the only purveyors of ITBs for vintage Fiat DOHC in the world.
Two years ago we introduced Tubular A-Arms and Adjustable Panhard Rods for Fiat Spider. We at Vick Autosports take pride that we were able to offer to you these performance items as well as our longtime favorites like Oil Pan Baffles and Performance Springs.
Among other new products for 2014 our hard working staff gave you a great selection of poly bushings for Fiat Spider and X1/9 and we did so at prices you can afford.
For 2015, we havent let up. Handling has been one of the key attributes of the Fiat Spider. Years ago, the hydraulic shocks Fiat Spiders were engineered to use became unobtainable. Positively charged gas shocks were found that would fit Fiat Spiders, but they were not designed for the car. These gas charged replacement units had two negative characteristics: 1) Because the car was not designed for gas charged shocks the ride is not the same. It is slightly harsher than original. 2) The positive charge actually lifts the car slightly.
Last year, the VAS staff went to work finding a better shock for your car. They gave me the bad news: There was no better shock available for Fiat Spiders. Now I am happy to report to you the good news: After nearly a year of planning, hydraulic shocks are back. My staff untold hours working with a manufacturer to produce new, high-quality hydraulic shocks for Fiat Spiders. These are not shocks made for another car that happen to closely fit and have marginally similar characteristics. No. Our new hydraulic shocks are made specifically for Fiat & Pininfarina Spiders. We anticipated from the engineering that these would be the best shock available. When we tried a sample set from the manufacturer on my own Spider we were elated. Everyone on the staff here, plus a few friendly customers we have allowed to test them, agree: They deliver a much superior ride.
And there is a more good news about our hydraulic shocks. If you autocross or race your Spider, we had the shocks designed so that you can swap out the oil in them to create a high performance shock. And the cost of our shocks vs big-name performance shocks makes ours the clear winner.
Alfa Spider owners will soon have affordable hydraulic shocks made available again because my staff is working to have these shocks manufactured for Alfa Spider in the very near future. Click on the New Products tab at our homepage to see them.
Also for 2015 we have redesigned our X1/9 header to mate to an all new muffler. We have had our Fiat 124, 2000 headers redesigned for ever better flow and easier mating to either stock exhaust pipes or our exclusive 2 1/4 exhaust pipes. The X1/9 & Fiat Spider exhaust systems plus our Alfa Spider header are now produced in superior, long lasting, corrosion resistant stainless steel. Our exhaust systems are the best on the market, hands down.
X1/9 owners also get even more attention as we will soon offer Coil-Over Suspension Sets. There are three great advantages to our Coil-Overs: 1) You will be able to run wider wheels on your X1/9. 2) You will have countless settings that will enable you to dial-in the handling characteristics you desire. 3) As we are often celebrated for doing, we will deliver a superior product at an unbeatable, low price. Click on the New Products tab at our homepage to see them.
Our Adjustable Cam Gears for Fiat DOHC & SOHC were a crowning achievement for us. Complete with etched degree markers, optional belt guards and available in 4 colors, our Adjustable Cam Gears rule. And they are half the price of our previous gears. Which leads me to the second component to leading our company and our hobby to good health: Affordability.
When it comes to affordability, we have had tremendous success at getting you vital parts for less money. For example, today you can order brake boosters, gas tanks, heater cores, radiators for one-half to two-thirds cheaper than they were priced only 5 years ago.
In 2014, the staff worked with a manufacturer to have carpet produced for Fiat Spider that is high-quality with superior stitched edges while bring down the price to you by over $100 per set. As 2015 approached, went to work on seat upholstery for Fiat Spider and Alfa Spider. Again, the quality was improved. Again, we brought down the price to you. This time by over $200 per set! For 2015 Alfa Spider and Fiat Spider door panels are available at less than half price to you.
This incredible increase in affordability has been a boon to our hobby. For example, you can buy a radiator from us and use the $100-150 you saved for other purposes. We hope youll be compelled to spend more on your special Italian car. But its up to you. The point is this: We know increased affordability makes our hobby more fun for you.
All this activity has been great for you the enthusiast. Since we started creating new parts and making parts more affordable, the value of your special car has been increasing, not decreasing.
During this period when we at Vick Autosports took the reins to reinvigorate our company and our industry, our competition has largely remained quiet. There, of course, have been exceptions. Some companies choose spreading trash talk instead of the employing the hard work to come up with products or prices competitive to ours. In fact, it appears for some companies trash talk is their only response to us. The great news is that despite their trash talk, you, the customer, have not been fooled. You have purchased our products with enthusiasm and at an ever increasing rate as evidenced by our sales.
And our sales increases have come honestly. At Vick Autosports we dont stoop to misleading you, the customer, to make a sale. For example, we occasionally see a competitor list a product as OEM when its not. Or we see it inferred that a product is made in Italy when it isnt. When you see a product described by us you can count on our statements to be true.
Further, we never allow puff talk to encroach into fantasy. When we claim we have the largest inventory, we can back it up. We have over 9500 part numbers in our computer with parts on the shelves for the vast majority. When a competitor with fewer part numbers advertises they have three times as many parts as us we invite you to do the math. We dont believe photoshopping pictures of inventory to make it appear as though there is more inventory is in the warehouse than is actually on hand in order to impress you the customer is a good business practice. In fact, we think it is deceptive. The point is this: we wont mislead you to make a sale.
Before In close, let me say it is a great pleasure to have the best staff in the business. As you have probably surmised, not only are they the hardest working, but as illustrated by the many new products they have designed and built, they are also the smartest and most creative as well.
Again, thank you for your eager acceptance of our products. Vick Autosports is family operated and solely owned by Donna & myself.