How did you get your start in this hobby, was it on your own or were you born into it? While there are those enthusiasts who have found their calling with modifying and racing cars through social experiences, pop culture or organic interests, many more are second-, third- or even fourth-generation hot-rodders and racers.
Take for instance, Granatelli Motor Sports (GMS). Owned, operated and founded by Joe Granatelli Jr., it has grown from a tiny operation with a handful of employees in 1989, to one of the biggest names in the aftermarket today. If that last name rings a bell to you, it should, as Joe is a second-generation racer and hot-rodder; following in the footsteps of his father, Joe Sr., and his two uncles, Andy and Vince, respectively.
Specializing in late-model American musclecars, Granatelli continues to thrive today with the help of a Joe’s son, Joey III. Working as a full-time college student and employee of GMS, Joey is getting his feet wet wrenching on cars and learning the ropes of running the family business.
Recently, GMS had launched a video series they’re hosting highlighting the hijinks of what it’s like growing up in a family with so much racing heritage behind it. In the first episode, Joey picks up the new GMS Silverado shop truck that his Dad is adamant about not modifying in any way, shape or form.
Young Joey has other ides, however, and the first thing he does is convince his Dad to at least dyno it, since it’s equipped with the 5.3L EcoTec3 GEN-V V8. Curious to see what it puts out, Joe complies, but insists on leaving it stock. As it turned out, it was good for 305 rwhp and 318 lb-ft.
Next on Joey’s list is to get it wrapped, to give the truck more presence on the street and to promote the family business. Next, he visits our friend Matt Hately and the guys at Magnuson Superchargers for a blower kit – just to, you know, increase the overall efficiency. He then installs a Borla exhaust (to compliment the supercharger, of course) and heads back to Magnuson for a tune.
Back at the shop, he decides to take it up one more notch and install a set of GMS coil packs and plug wires – that we hear actually provide a smoother idle, increase the spark capacity and give it the engine a few additional horsepower.
While he’s in the middle of tightening down the last coil pack bolt, Joe Jr. comes out and catches him in the act. Naturally, Dad has a cow, but in the end, he gets it and even let’s it slip that he thinks it’s cool.
The Granatelli’s strap the truck down to the dyno one last time, but in typical reality TV show style, leave us with a cliffhanger of the end result. We’re just going to have to tune in next time for an update!
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.