Back in my editorial column in the November 2008 issue, I briefly spoke about following your dreams and about Steve Ali and his new shop in North Ridgeville, Ohio, Xtreme Performance. Steve had invited me up to his grand opening of the new facility which was being held back on July 19 of last year and I was able to make it up for one hell of a party. Steve also happened to be celebrating his 40th birthday that weekend, so to say the place got a little wild is an understatement. But this feature is really not about Steve, it is about Xtreme Performance. While it can be somewhat difficult to separate Steve from Xtreme, I will do the best I can with what I have.
Xtreme Performance has been percolating in Steve's mind for almost thirty years, a dream that he couldn't let go of. He started turning wrenches when he was fifteen and that has lasted the last twenty five, most of that concentrating as a diesel mechanic. Ali attended Ohio Technical College for his mechanical training and now serves on the school board. While he was still working as a diesel mechanic, he bought his first shop, a three-bay Sunoco service station about seven miles from his new digs, and to date he continues to run the very successful service station, at least for now.
When Steve finally decided to build his dream garage, his choice to build in North Ridgeville Ohio was no fluke. Steve relates "Even with this bad economy, this suburb of Cleveland is still growing." Ali looked at tons of shops and dealerships as he refined his vision for his new shop and that investigation paid off in spades. The brand new 14-bay 13,000 sq.ft. facility has been built on 3.5 acres of prime real estate and has plenty of room to grow. Steve continues "I incorporated the very best tools and equipment in a facility that now rivals the best dealerships in the area. There is no other shop like ours anywhere around here. It was a huge investment but I believe it will pay off big time in the future."
Part of that huge investment was in top-of-the-line equipment that includes a new, advanced Hunter Hawkeye high-definition digital imaging alignment rack that just happens to be the only one like it in Ohio. Steve also mentioned installing a new in-ground chassis dyno in the near future. Steve said "While we were still in the building stage, I knew I had the budget to install the alignment rack or a new dyno but not both. I realized that the alignment rack would get more everyday use so the dyno would have to wait, but the final decision was not a fun one. I want the dyno as soon as I can get it in here and hopefully it won't be long before I am on the phone to Dynojet".