Despite the tough economic times, Summit offers a SpeedCard credit card that provides several benefits for loyal customers. "It's basically our way of helping our customers kick-start their projects. By using the SpeedCard, you can pick up the parts and tools you need to get started on a project right away, plus the incentive of up to 360 days of interest-free payments," Nan explains. "The SpeedCard has three interest-free payment options-360 days interest-free on purchases over $1,000, 180 days interest-free on purchases over $500, and 90 days interest-free on purchase over $150. There's no annual fee and it comes with 12 months of free emergency roadside assistance, which includes tire changes and jump starts."
"Within the past few months, Summit's website has been completely revamped. The most noticeable improvement is a cleaner, crisper look, but we think the most important improvement involves our online store. When people visit SummitRacing.com, they want to browse, research, or buy parts as quickly and easily as possible. To help them accomplish this, the online store features new and upgraded navigation features, including make and model, year, engine family, keyword, and part category. An easier-to-read lefthand navigation bar allows narrowing search results by attributes, such as price range, material, exact engine application, and more. In addition to in-depth product information, each individual part is displayed with suggestions for tools and installation accessories, related products, and in many cases, instruction sheets. In short, we want our customers to have all the information they need to get the job done right.
Additionally, there are many great new features outside of the online store. The Savings Central section includes all of our rebates, manufacturer specials, and Summit Buck offers. The Expert Advice section features tech articles, instruction sheets, helpful charts and guides, and interactive tech advice, which allows customers to browse common tech questions or submit a question to our technical department. The Customer Service section allows shoppers to create a shopping list for their projects, and track their orders right to their doorsteps."
Summit's house brand of parts started out small, but has rapidly expanded to include everything from carburetors to wheels, to connecting rods and cylinder heads. According to Nan, Summit's goal is to provide high-quality parts at unbeatable prices. "The reason we started our in-house brand was to give customers an even more affordable alternative to more mainstream brands without sacrificing quality," says Nan. "It's a big deal to put our name on a product, and we don't take it lightly. We use our years of experience and passion for high performance to evaluate and develop products that enthusiasts want, then sell them factory direct to pass the savings on to our customers. The bottom line is that if we wouldn't use it on our own cars, then we won't sell it or put the Summit Racing name on it."
The Professor Overdrive icon plastered throughout the Summit catalog is as recognizable to hot rodders as Mickey Mouse is to toddlers. For years, Professor Overdrive has been offering helpful tech tips ranging from carb jetting to radiator selection, in addition to answering customer questions in the catalog. Although the Professor's true identity is classified, Summit feels that educating its customers is just as important as providing great products. "The Professor, with help from his band of Summit Racing tech advisors, answers questions from enthusiasts because we feel it's important to engage our customers, and let them know we have the answers to tech questions," says Nan. "The better informed a customer is, the more likely he is to make an informed decision and get the most out of his hard-earned money. Professor Overdrive is a great representative of our extremely knowledgeable tech department, and a symbol of the expert advice we can provide. If a customer has a question, they can ask the Professor or just call our technical department."
Granted, shopping via mail order can save lots of time and money, but some people may still have reservations about whether or not a company will stand behind its products. Fortunately, Summit has a very simple policy to make sure its customers go home happy. "If a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with our products, prices, or service, we'll give them their money back-guaranteed," Nan affirms. "Customers can return any new or unused part to us within 90 days of the date it was shipped, and we'll refund the full purchase price. That's our 'Handshake Guarantee,' and there's a reason why it's printed in every catalog and displayed prominently on SummitRacing.com."
"Summit is always looking for ways to help hot rodders save money, which led to the development of our own automotive paint system designed for the DIYer. Since bodywork can eat up such a large portion of any muscle car restoration, it was very important for us to make it affordable for the average enthusiast. In many cases, materials for an entire paintjob will total around $300. Plus, it's very easy to use. The urethane primer, single-stage topcoat paint, and clearcoat mix in a simple 4:1 ratio with the activators, so the painter doesn't have to worry about multiple mix ratios. The line includes the single-stage urethane topcoat paint, urethane and epoxy primers, medium- and high-solid clearcoats, activators, reducers, surface wash, grease removers, and fish eye eliminators. In other words, everything needed for a great-looking paintjob. It's proven to be a very popular line, so we're continuing to add new colors on top of the 40 different ones already available."
One of the most talked about new products released under Summit's house brand is its new line of carburetors. Like all Summit brand products, the goal was to provide a great quality product at an affordable price. "We literally put years of research, thousands of hours of dyno testing, and thousands of miles of real-world driving into our carbs, but we finally came up with a design we are happy to put our name on. Our street/strip modular carburetors are ready to run out of the box with minimal tuning, have a lot of the top-flight features people demand from higher-end carbs, and start at just $249.95," says Nan. "They come with a lot of smart features like a one-piece design that eliminates gaskets below the fuel line for leak-free performance, clear sight glass bowls for easy tuning, color-coded vacuum ports for simple installation, and a booster cluster design with interchangeable pump discharge and idle circuit restrictions. These are all features that make the Summit carburetors a great value for the money. It's even compatible with standard Holley tuning parts which are available at Summit Racing."