Where We Started:
Century Performance Center, Inc. (CPC) was founded during the month of November, 1989 in Ventura, California. Ventura County has been the hotbed of many great performance part manufacturers like ARP, JAZ, Borla, Paxton, Wilwood, AR Inc, SI Valves, Aceomatic, and others for many decades. I grew up with many of the founders and employees of these companies. We raced each other, maintained a few healthy grudges, and greatly appreciated the sea level air.
CPC was created for a few reasons. Our early beginnings focused on the ability to keep up with demand for tuning and custom racing engines. Racers, commercial accounts, and our friends wanted our level or reliable, winning performance, and the word of mouth growth was getting a little out of control. We needed the benefits of an actual business name, improved buying power, and benefits of a “real” business name and location. Most of our early customers were corporate accounts with fleet trucks, local drag racing and street racers, and a few circle track racers. They appreciated the performance and reliability we provided, as well as the power and consistency to WIN! The business name developed when trying to develop a logo that looked good as “21st Century Performance.” That idea failed miserably when trying to design a complimentary logo. Having only fair graphic skills at the time, generating a nice-looking logo seemed impossible. So came the shorter version, “Century Performance Center”.
Why We Are Now Located In Reno, Nevada?:
A couple ideas were behind the move to Reno. One was that California bureaucrats sometimes have a way of strangling businesses, especially those in the automotive industry. A business that may use a simple aerosol spray periodically—that releases anything into the atmosphere was under increasing scrutiny. We have always been environmentally conscious. However, after threats of fines and sanction for spray painting an engine block and other components without a paint booth, I felt that surpassed a reasonable level of tolerance. The second reason was related to the continued gang problems and lack of real community involvement to develop youth activities and opportunity in the area. We lived in a great area, but I also had young children at the time and it seemed like the local politicians were trying to turn Ventura County into the retirement capital of the world. It became increasingly obvious that it was time to move.
Reno, Nevada became a logical choice after visiting family who live close to the area and finding that we enjoyed the community. Backed up against the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Lake Tahoe about an hour away, and plenty of kid-related opportunities created a desire to investigate the Reno-Sparks area more thoroughly. Northern Nevada loves businesses, especially those that are NOT casino related. The area reaches out to business that are not gaming properties (casinos), and does not try to extract exorbitant fees and bureaucratic processes that prevent the efficient operation and management of businesses. Additionally, the area is one of the strictest when it comes to EPA issues, but not in such a way that regulations are too extreme or beyond what someone’s own common sense can’t understand. The weather and altitude has its drawbacks – we get snow during the winter months and the city elevation is over 5000 feet above sea level. Our local track is at 4000′ (which usually corrects to over 6,000′), so engine tuning initially presented a unique learning curve. Remember, our prior stomping ground was only a few hundred feet above sea level. We knew however, that good tuners operate in all climates and elevations and we were quite qualified.
Our goals are quite simple – we want to be thought of favorably by automotive enthusiasts, and be the consumer’s first choice when shopping for brand name products, detailed technical support, responsible advice, or just simple automotive education. With complete product information, technical support before and after sale, and the capacity to support those who may purchase their products elsewhere, we are admired by many. It is a great compliment (though it does not help pay our bills) when our competitors refer their customers to our website to find solutions to errors and problems created by their own sales and support staff. At times the wrong product may have been sold to the customer, or incorrect support information was provided. Either can cause complex problems that need solutions. Many of our suppliers refer customers with support issues to our website. Why? Because we care enough not just to sell the product, but to make sure each customer understands what they have purchased (or what they are planning to purchase), how it fits, how to install or use it, and of course, tips on what not to do. Our prices are competitive, and in many cases, lower than our competition, but we excel in product and customer support issues!
You will not see the BS and gimmicks here, just the best products, the best service, and hopefully an enjoyable website experience for all.
We welcome all of you — our current and future customers!
Samuel Solace – President/CEO
Century Performance Center, Inc.