Zekes Automotive Performance Reg’d, Laval, Quebec Terry “Zeke” Maxwell opens for business. Specialties were performance tuning, differentials, transmissions and suspensions for muscle cars, Corvettes, and NHRA Stock and Super Stock race cars.
1975 – 1977
Terry built a 1965 327 c.i. Chevelle Malibu SS convertible for NHRA Super Stock to help research and development of engines, tuning and suspensions. Raced very successfully throughout North America. Four-time NHRA world record holder, class winner at NHRA Winternationals and Sportsnationals.
Moved business to 15th Avenue, Lachine, Quebec. Quadrupled floor space to 3,000 sq.ft. Started performance machine shop, bought equipment and started building engines for other racers. Hired manager to run the business while I devoted my time to racing, engine building and research & development.
Expanding horizons. Zekes became first Canadian warehouse distributor for Competition Cams of Memphis, Tennessee, with the goal of opening up the eastern Canadian market. We had responsibility for trade shows, race track promotion, technical seminars and both wholesale and retail sales. These services were dispensed in both English and French. Zekes received an outstanding sales achievement award from Competition Cams for 1980
Opened new markets for race engines in stock cars, road racing and drags. Zekes 1800 c.c. Datsun race engines won many road races and set many track records with Claude Gou, and Claude Leclerc won his first Nascar North race with a Zekes 311 c.i. engine. Terry drove several customer’s Super Stock cars to numerous wins. Licenced as First Class Mechanic. Purchased more engine building machinery.
1982 – 86
Terry started Quebec Performance Marketing Services, to expand the unique French language market for the many performance parts manufacturers including Edelbrock, Mickey Thompson Tires, TRW, Speed Pro, Competition Cams, Fireball Automatics and others. Conceived, implemented and managed French language print advertising, marketing programs, trade shows, and race contingency award programs. Also wrote technical articles and columns for several French language car magazines.
Moved to current location at 23 St. Joseph, Lachine, Quebec. Quadrupled floor space to 11,400 sq. ft. expanding the engine machining and assembly shop. Opened chassis and welding shop. Total of seven employees. Zekes engine customers have won many races and championships in drags, stock cars, off-road, road racing, karts, bikes, boats, skidoos. Terry won Napierville track championship.
Joined forces with Ed Hamburger of SLP Engineering Inc. Took on contract to build several hundred special edition 1993 Firebirds called the “Firehawk” for General Motors in Detroit. SLP Automotive Canada is in business.
Installed our own first class paint facility and expanded our production capacity. 1994 model year production of 500 cars. Total 23 employees.
September 1994 – 1995
Firehawk And Comp TA production of 770 vehicles. Total 46 employees.
Moved to current 40,0000 sq ft. building in LaSalle with superior layout and space for further expansion. Much higher production runs were required as two new projects came on line for 1996, the Camaro SS and the Trans Am WS6.
Opened a composite manufacturing facility in the St. Henri district of Montreal to produce RTM hoods for the SS, Firehawk and WS6. Started expausion of machine shop to include Superflow dyno, Dynojet, Hines electronic balancer.
Total 1996 model year production run of 5400 vehicles. Built Hugger orange “pumpkin” Camaro SS from scratch (including 500 h.p. 383 c.i. LT4) for the Chevrolet display at the 1996 SEMA show. Total 85 employees.
Body, paint and composite facilities doubled in size. Two NC robots installed for bonding and trimming.
Lasalle assembly plant certified ISO 9002. QS~9OO0 certification in progress. Built second “Orange Pumpkin” 1997 SS for Wilhelmy Chevrolet in Montreal.
Total 1997 model year production of 7900 Camaro SS, Firehawk, and Trans Am WS6. SLP engine facility in Lachine balanced, blueprinted and dynoed 135 LT4 engines for Camaro SS and Firehawks. Total 237 employees.
Produced 3017 1998 Camaro SS. December 1998 – Camaro SS production in full swing with 1000 ’99s shipped.
1999 Firehawk now in production! Started development of LS1 engine packages of ported heads, cams, 383 c.i.