Recipe for Racing
By Annie Sam 


Being a fast road racer requires five main ingredients; 2 cups drivers skill, 1 cup killer suspension, ½ cup of grip, a dash of reliability, and of course, 2 tablespoons of horsepower. Now that you’ve learned the basics of racing, and driving through following the progress of Project Racer, let’s turn our attention to the next ingredient - horsepower. Though a detailed buildup of a Performance Touring race car could be found detailed in various other project vehicles on this site, what automotive project – project racer included - is complete without the mention of upgrading a racecar? After all, as project racer, I couldn’t race without building a racecar, now could I?


Hotshot Stainless SR20  header


The first items on the list were the basic bolt-on’s; Header, exhaust, and a cold air intake. We opted for Hotshot to supply us with these bolt on parts because they had not only been tried and proven, they had time and time again performed beyond our expectations.



Do Not Support Knock-Off Companies!

no Made in China knock offs!


On that note, I would like to detour from the race car upgrade for a moment to talk about Hotshot Performance and the disease known as cheap, mass produced knock offs of performance parts that forced Hotshot to close its doors.  If you didn't know, Hotshot was a company that made high quality headers for compact cars that were pretty good but not exactly mainstream, cars like Saturn, the Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, Sentra SE-R, Toyota Corolla, you know the type that didn't get all the love from the aftermarket.

Some people might say that it is tough competition, and that Hotshot closing its doors is a fact of life in the game of capitalism. But people don’t realize that some of these cheaper products that undercut the seemingly more expensive ones are only able to do so by stealing. How is it considered stealing, and what are they stealing? Designs are stolen by copying original products. Along with initial capital, hours upon hours were spent on research and development in products that were designed and seen to fruition. So, before companies like Hotshot were able to recoup their costs in development of the product, knock off companies like OBX swooped in and took all the profits by steaing the design and then selling their cheaper, lower quality products for a fraction of their competitors’ price.

Sure it seems enticing that you would be able to get the knock off’s for a fraction of the cost of their competitors, but you know what they say; you get what you pay for. Besides the fact that they’re low quality products made with cheap metal and bad welding, you can be sure that they were produced with lowering overhead costs in mind – not raising performance standards for your vehicle. And that’s the difference that set Hotshot apart from the mass producers from overseas – quality versus quantity. Cheap made-in-China parts undermine companies that are the heart of the ingenuity of performance development. If knock-off companies run out legitimate companies like AEM, and Hotshot , who would be left to develop new products?

Want a header or cold air intake for your B16 Sentra nowadays?   Well tough shit because none of the knock off companies are able to design one and Hotshot is gone.  None of the bigger companies are gonna bother making much for the car either.

With that being said; the lack of understanding of how these shady companies hurt the aftermarket performance industry and what poor quality parts these cheapie companies produce, real contributors to the industry such as Hotshot, are too often forced to close their doors. I hope that more people can see these fraudulent companies for what they are, and not support them.


Page 1 of 3 Next Page
Bookmark and Share
Friday, January 29, 2010 12:07 AM
Is that an E bay STB I spy on page 5?
Friday, January 29, 2010 1:48 AM
that would be a huge contradiction...did you read her article? Guessing at first glance STB=Whiteline
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, January 29, 2010 4:41 AM
The STB was a hand me down from one of my projects and I can't remember what it was, maybe Eibach or Motivational? When the car was done it had a custom Technosquare fabricated triangulated part.
Friday, January 29, 2010 8:07 AM
Ok just making sure. (don't think it is Whiteline though)

I whole heartedly agree with the topic. Our economy is suffering because of knock offs and every cheaper copy made in China. This is a very important message. Well said Annie Sam
Friday, January 29, 2010 3:06 PM
Saturday, January 30, 2010 5:55 AM
Thanks for posting that up urbanjacup! Also a very good article Mike Kojima!

I bought one of those counterfeit Freddy BOVs from Ebay once. Luckily I realized that it was fake before the guy even shipped it. What got me was it had "Greddy" cast into it. It wasn't just a BS sticker...That is what I thought copyright laws were for
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Saturday, January 30, 2010 5:58 AM
Look, I did not write this article! They are no laws in China and Customs can't keep up with the torrent of crap coming in.
Sunday, January 31, 2010 3:46 AM
urbanjacup posted a link to the Boycott fakes article from back in September. My last comment was directed towards that article. Sorry next time I will post under the proper article
Annie Sam
Annie Samlink
Sunday, January 31, 2010 2:12 PM
Thanks for the comments. No worries about the other article comment either. It was a helpless feeling to see Hotshot close its doors for all the wrong reasons. It's an important message... speaking up is my way of trying to do something about it and I'm glad the detour caught people's attention.
Monday, February 01, 2010 3:22 PM
The same thing happened back when I was into airsoft, all the knock-offs made money, and a bunch of the really good brands either disappeared or relegated themselves to making super exclusive limited editions. I think the problem is 2-fold. first the products have a reputation that exceeds their availability, so the people who think image is more important than engineering tend to go for the knock offs because the looks the same, right? Second, the marketing teams that sell the engineering regardless of origin or facts, does the $69 "supercharger" sound familiar? Or the CAI/header combo good for +200 hp? The fact they're not CARB approved or even DOT legal doesn't bother the sellers. I unfortunately know people that got tricked into junk bolt-ons based on the lies of advertisers.

I think the problem could be partially solved if parts had a federal grading system like they do for eggs. No one buys grade "B" eggs, who's gonna by grade "B" intake manifolds, especially if it's grade is in plain view.

That's my $0.02
Thursday, February 04, 2010 3:59 AM
my ingredients would be something like this 3 cups drivers skill, 1 cup killer suspension, 1 cup of grip, a dash of reliability, 1 tablespoons of horsepower, and 1 tablespoon of weight reduction.
Friday, February 05, 2010 2:10 AM
Nice article Annie!!!!!
Street Surgeon
Street Surgeonlink
Sunday, February 07, 2010 7:46 AM
It's nice to see a bit of "honest talk" in these articles. The copying of innovative and usually pricier parts is truly killing the very market and platforms that they themselves cater to. Although I can't deny that I myself have used some very generic parts before (sometimes making me wish that I hadn't after some breakage, and sometimes not); overall I feel very strongly about protecting those companies and people that pioneer the development of better performance parts. I'm not truly sure what the answer to this problem is other than legit companies constant innovation and continuing to release newer and better products. A large feat for a small operation :(
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 6:15 AM
Only CAI close to that Hotshot I've been able to get new short of making one custom came through Overkill Engineering, WAI or CAI in 3" Aluminum (not SS, oh well) - but rather than just copy something they did some actual research and produced a good product made in USA, rare nowadays for SR20's -


I helped them with the highport fitment for the B13, so I can attest to both it fits, and it works. Non-stock tubing bends are mandrel bent, welds are good quality. Whp is up about +6-9 over the intake Dave had on the car several years back, which is probably significant enough to say it's not just dyno variability. I also used Mike's approach with the JWT PopC Ring out on the end in the fender. After a year of beating on the car I can attest to the

Photo here of installed on my B13:

They also make an excellent low-cost MAF adapter in 3" that beats the crap out of the cheap sh*t you see on eBay, very handy if you just need a really good MAF adapter for not a lot of money. Unlike crappy generic knock-offs the adapter doesn't intrude into the opening for the MAF.

More pics here:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 6:18 AM
Btw love that magna setup, have the perf core on two cars and HFC's, love their performance line. Late 90's style Borla SS on my second B13 just isn't quite the same, more a restrictive setup with smaller tubing, more under the radar type street exhaust. I don't track that car or I'd strip the borla and sell it.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 9:23 PM
I've heard contradicting stories about Hotshot and OBX. Hotshot was always on the high-end priceline of the market while OBX (even if they did copy the design) does seem to make a quality product. I've heard nothing bad about the quality of OBX components especially since they primarily cater to the niche market. I'm not defending either one just telling it like I've seen it. There are great parts out there but then sometimes there are equal parts for less because there is no mark-up for the "name." I"m sorry to see companies like Hotshot and garages like XAT (in my backyard) die as well.
Louis LaPrad
Louis LaPradlink
Monday, December 06, 2010 8:12 AM
Updating this for the internet crawlers...

Steve mentioned Overkill Engineering Motorsports. BEWARE, they now have a reputation of making very low-quality, low R&D parts. They also make knock-off parts themselves.


I love the guys at MotoIQ, though!
Monday, December 06, 2010 6:57 PM
Good callout Louis, and while I have no issues with the intakes, based on all the other things that have gone on with their work, I wouldn't deal with them either. Too bad, sounds like they got into making stuff they had no business messing around with.
Sunday, January 09, 2011 8:50 PM

What a dick.
Monday, January 10, 2011 6:20 AM
Sorry we didn't catch that one earlier. Comments have been deleted and user is banned along with our other measures.
Post Comment Login or register to post a comment.

MotoIQ Proudly Presents Our Partners:

© 2018 MotoIQ.com