QA1 Hosts Over 200 People for 5th Annual Open House & Cruise Event
For the fifth year in a row, QA1 opened its doors to the public for its annual Open House and Cruise. On the morning of Friday, July 15, crowds of car enthusiasts filled the parking lot, enjoyed some early morning refreshments, listened to some classic rock and checked out the cars before touring QA1’s Lakeville, MN facility.
Held each year as a kickoff to a weekend full of muscle cars at Street Machine Nationals – St. Paul, 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. This year, over 100 cars participated, including everything from Mustangs to Triumphs.
During the half-hour-long tours, participants gained an inside look at daily operations in the company. In addition to seeing the areas where R&D and quality control are performed, they also were able to see 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.
QA1 handed out door prizes from Summit Racing Equipment, JEGS, and Intercomp. Three grand prizes were given away: OPTIMA batteries were won by Wes Mousel and Steve Mueller, and Ryan Place was the lucky winner of four QA1 double adjustable Stocker Star shocks.
This year, QA1 handed out its first-ever Ride of the Year award. The winner, a twin turbo 1963 Bel Air owned by Eric Hokenson, was chosen by QA1 staff for its versatility, overall quality and unique look. Many attendees were overheard commenting on the car, and small crowds gathered around it. It features a 600 HP 5.3L twin-turbo motor, upgraded brakes with 14” rotors, rack and pinion steering, and QA1 Quad Adjust Shocks on the front and double adjustable Stocker Star shocks on the rear. While Eric puts around 8,000 miles a year on it as his daily driver and a family car for camping, he also uses it in drag racing, road racing and autocrossing. It was also chosen for its distinctive look—Eric initially let people write on the car because he didn’t like the bright paint job on it, and now, covered in signatures, it’s recognized everywhere he goes.
When the tours were over and the prizes and awards were handed out, the gathering of 100+ 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 ran a thousand passes on the QA1 Autocross course over the weekend.
Visit QA1’s Facebook page to see photos and videos from the event at www.facebook.com/QA1.