A week ago last Saturday (July 24, 2010) was a landmark opportunity for the tuner motorsport enthusiast community in Austin, Texas & the surrounding region. COBB Tuning had its Open House to officially open their shop (it’s much more than that, it’s their corporate headquarters, at 2311 W. Rundleberg, Suite 500, Austin, TX 78758). Subaru & Mazdaspeed, Mitsubishi & Nissan fans around the world rejoiced.
COBB Tuning has been at it since the late 1990’s, starting with the modification of enhanced breathing of Subarus for better performance. Today, years later, they offer an extensive line of improved performance, go fast parts that they have designed & engineered in house. These parts are in the following general categories:
- enhanced intake products, including ECU tuning devices – to obtain better engine breathing for greater horsepower
- performance turbocharger flow pipe products – to better allow a turbocharger to more efficiently do its duty
- no compromise suspension packages – to allow for better, more controlled handling
- downpipe/test pipe exhaust tubing – to gain more horsepower for a smoother, quicker exhaust
- double adjustable short throw shifter – to speed the task of getting through the gears
- …and more…
Starting in the Dallas area, they later moved to Salt Lake City. I queried CEO & Founder, Trey Cobb, about this. He said they found that being located in that part of Utah was advantageous to COBB Tuning for a number of reasons. Initially it was the availability of companies who could develop & manufacture a small runs of specifically designed parts. He said that this was not an option in the Dallas area. Also, Trey said, being only a 10 hour drive from the car enthusiast press in California was very helpful & great timing for having articles & reviews be written up in the performance enthusiasts magazines. This also assisted them as they continued to come up with more performance-related parts & solutions. They were out in SLC for about 7 years. In addition, they have a shop in Portland, OR & still maintain a presence for customer cars racing in California. This is to keep up these racing cars that use a significant number of COBB Tuning parts & technology. Here’s more & an 8+ minute video to review:
When I asked Trey why they moved back to Texas in Austin, he explained that more of their work is in the technology arena. He said it now made better sense to be within the tech business community. He said it’s good to be back in Texas. He joked that some of the employees that came back with him from Utah are having a hard time adjusting to the hot Texas summer…oh well.
There was some pretty cool technology on display, as well. Below is a prototype manufacturing workstation. What they do is create a part in 3-D in a CAD/CAM computer program. Then they “print” this part in 3-D & then coat it with a special plastic for durability. In this way they can make up a one-off part & test it on the street in the same day. They don’t have to source this to an outside facility. How cool & efficient is that!
The COBB Tuning facility is in NW Austin, in a business park section of town, where there are located many small business & warehouse/manufacturing companies (). The facilities are state of the art, occupying 16,000 square feet. There are a number of different areas & most all were available to see & hear described about during their Open House. They have a sales office up front, a research & development office space (their skunk-works was off limits due to the proprietary nature of some project they are working on).
In addition, there are a couple of huge warehouses with a few garage bays & a cool 2-axle dynamometer. They have this to be able to test & measure the power output of both 2 wheel & all-wheel drive customers’ cars.
In addition to the new facilities, they conducted an informal car show in their parking lot. There was an interesting assortment of modified Subarus, Mazdaspeeds, a couple of Miatas & an assortment of other modified daily drivers along with their proud car owners. This emphasized the core client base of COBB Tuning, the street enthusiast driver. Here are some Austinites show off their COBB Tuned rides.
One specific car, in particular was significant: a 1983 Nissan Skyline & it was for sale! This was a Japanese market only sports car that has always has a great reputation. This was the first time I had seen one in person. Being from the Japanese market, it was right hand drive. Here are some pix to make you drool:
And yes… it’s for sale…! (More drooling…)
In summary, I think Paul, Sr. of Orange County Choppers says it best: Cobb kicks ass!
Racing Ready felt it was important to travel the 90+ miles from home base to learn about COBB Tuning. It was a good visit & there was a lot to learn. Go COBB Tuning! We wish you continued success & influence in your specialized field.