Personalization. It is one of the main ideologies the permeates throughout this hobby. Let’s face it, nobody wants their car to look identical to the one parked next to them when at a cruise night or car show. That’s the very reason wheels, paint colors, and dress-up items are so important to enthusiasts.
When you can combine personal aesthetics and improved performance, well, the combination can create a winning hot rod. The folks at Tuff Stuff Performance feel the same way. That’s why you can find many of the company’s performance upgrades in various finishes like Chrome, polished aluminum, Black Chrome, Stealth Black, Wrinkle Black, powdercoatings in a variety of colors, and its proprietary Factory Cast PLUS+. Having options is good.
“Manufacturing custom-finished components for hot rods and custom cars is our only business,” said Frank Hurst, president and CEO of Tuff Stuff Performance. “Available powdercoating, plating, and polishing options create a variety of textures and contrasts to set your engine – and your car – apart from all the others. We are experts in the processes necessary to create each of those special decorative finishes.”
An age-old standby in the dress-up world is to add chrome accessories. let’s face it, chrome has been around since the early days of hot-rodding, and many enthusiasts can’t seem to have enough of it on their car. In fact, we have even heard guys say it’s their favorite color.
“Not all chrome is created equal,” says Frank Hurst. “Our ‘Cleveland Chrome’ as they call it, means a piece is drooled on with three times the nickel plating – the old-fashioned way.” Why do they do this? Because they can!
Black Chrome is a relatively new plating process that is applied over either a bright or dull nickel, much in the same manner as traditional chrome. This finish creates a hard surface, which possesses corrosion, scuff, and wear-resistant characteristics.
The appearance of the Black Chrome finish depends on the nature of the plated object and the surface treatment prior to electroplating. The final appearance can be a lustrous, semi-lustrous, or even matte. To keep it looking god for a very long time, the finish may be waxed or oiled to improve the final appearance.
What began as a factory finish on many Mopar accessories, Black Wrinkle coatings have been recognized by many enthusiasts outside the Dodge and Chrysler camps. Although not an overly rough-surface finish, the black-wrinkle affect does have a texture, and will help to minimize the accessory’s appearance within the engine area. It also adds a clean and stealthy look to any engine bay.
Powdercoating is a staple in the hot rod world. Until this powdery substance was being utilized in the automotive market, a constant repainting of parts was needed. Now, however, powdercoating parts has eliminated that repetitive chore. Powdercoating is more durable than paint, retains a like-new finish for years, and can be applied to almost any surface in almost any color imaginable.
Polished To Perfection
When an aluminum part is cleaned and polished, it has the potential to shine, very-much like chrome. In fact, many prefer a polished piece over something that has been chromed. Aluminum is a relatively soft metal, which means it responds well to polishing. However, a polished part will not have the ability to keep an as-new appearance like chrome without continuous care and maintenance.
If you want your alternator or other accessory to blend-in with your engine bay, but the Black Wrinkle finish doesn’t trip your trigger, then Stealth Black powdercoating is just what the doctor ordered. This matte-black finish does not have the textured surface of the wrinkle finish, but still helps subdue the appearance of the part.
Factory Cast PLUS+
Many enthusiasts prefer the OE look of cast parts. Unfortunately, an as-new appearance of a stock piece is hard to keep without a lot of work. If you’re looking for an OE appearance that will not corrode or oxidize, Factory Cast Plus+ is the perfect choice for your accessory coating. This proprietary coating gives the appearance of an as-cast part, but with a twist. Maintaining the part’s new appearance is easy, as it doesn’t require any maintenance to retain the “cast” finish. In fact, it prevents the part from ever oxidizing — unlike unprotected castings or bare aluminum. Simply wipe it clean with a damp cloth and it looks as good as new.
“We want every one of our customers to become a customer for life,” said Hurst. “We realize this doesn’t just happen, and that we have to earn that kind of loyalty. To that end, our quality standards are very high. Tuff Stuff Performance is a family-owned business that’s been producing top-shelf products for more than 30 years, and we continue to modernize and improve our processes and products. We are committed to being the number one accessories producer, and that commitment intensifies with every new product we produce.”
The next time you are looking to install a new water pump, alternator, starter, A/C compressor, power-steering pump, brake booster, or master cylinder, take a look at the offerings from Tuff Stuff Performance. Not only will you get a product that exceeds factory specs, you can also get it in almost any finish or color you choose. Like we said, blending good looks and functionality is a great thing.