QA1 Hosts Nearly 150 Vehicles for Open House & #goDRIVEit Cruise
Held each year as a kickoff to a weekend full of muscle cars, QA1’s open house is a two-hour event that brings people together for a more intimate gathering before they cruise up to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for Street Machine Nationals in St. Paul. This year, on the morning of Friday, July 14, nearly 150 vehicles filled the parking lot as the 250 attendees enjoyed early morning breakfast, checked out the cars and went on tours of QA1’s Lakeville, MN facility.
During the half-hour-long tours, participants gained an inside look at QA1’s daily operations. In addition to seeing the areas where R&D and quality control are performed, they also saw manufacturing in action as QA1 employees hand-built shocks, operated CNC machinery and welded tubular components. Participants also watched driveshafts being wound while QA1 engineers discussed the science behind carbon fiber and the other possibilities it creates for the motorsports industry.
“My good friend and I have come to the QA1 open house now six years in a row. We were there the first year and decided then that it was our favorite part of the nationals weekend and haven't missed it since,” says attendee Dan Langton. “The tour is the part I enjoy the most. Get to see the inside of a well-run, clean shop. I make sure to go on the tour every year just to see what's new.”
QA1 also hands out an award for Ride of the Year that went to Sgt. Joe Hawkins and his 2002 Mustang, which is equipped with a QA1 handling kit, Mach 1 Shaker hood and 3.73 gears. When he was stationed overseas, he used to hand out Hot Wheels cars to the kids he’d see on patrol. “When I came back stateside, I was kind of missing that, so I started doing that during car shows, and for me it just caught on from there,” he says. “Hot Wheels gave me the love of cars when I was a kid, so I’m just bringing it forward.” Now known as Sgt. Hot Wheels, he hands out 1500 to 2300 Hot Wheels cars each year to kids to entertain them at car shows and inspire them to share the hobby.
Three grand prizes were given away at the open house: OPTIMA batteries were won by Mark Kalab and Darrell Storlie, and Brian Jacobsen was the lucky winner of four QA1 double adjustable Stocker Star shocks. Door prizes from Summit Racing Equipment, JEGS, Clive’s Roadhouse, Blackfire Creative and Mothers were also handed out.
When the tours were over and the prizes and awards were handed out, the gathering of nearly 150 cars cruised to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, where participants gained VIP preferred entrance to Street Machine Nationals, a national car show bringing together more than 7,000 muscle cars and 50,000 spectators. There, a range of muscle cars and trucks collectively ran over 1000 passes on the QA1 Autocross course throughout the weekend.
Visit our cruise page to keep up on news for next year's event, or click one of the links below!
2017 Open House and #goDRIVEit Cruise Facebook album
Burnouts from the 2017 Open House & Cruise