Kids’ Day at the VMP Performance Ranch
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
For over 15 years, VMP Performance has been a leader in the Ford Performance aftermarket industry, providing exciting products and quality service. While VMP is well-known for its powerful superchargers, and EFI tuning, there’s so much more to the VMP story.
Recently, VMP gave back to the community by hosting a fun and educational day for the children and their parents of Homeschool Adventures. Homeschool Adventures is a group that predominantly arranges field trips for homeschooled children of all ages.
Facilitated by VMP’s owners, Justin and Rebecca Starkey, on this trip, two-dozen kids and their parents enjoyed a behind-the-scene look at the entire VMP Performance operation. The trip demonstrated everything from manufacturing and sales to video production and high-performance parts installation.
The tour began with an in-depth look at the rapid prototyping and manufacturing of a VMP supercharger. The kids put their hands on 3D-printed components and saw how a supercharger goes from a computer design, to a prototyped unit, to a completed product that’s ready for sale. Next, they learned about sales and shipping, and video and content production. The kids got to see the VMP video set, where the team shoots its live Facebook and YouTube shows. The tour then moved into the massive mechanical shop where all the high-performance magic takes place.
Everyone got a look at the variety of Mustang builds, including Rebecca’s own 2011 GT race car. The kids saw yet another side of the business, as they watched nuts, bolts, and performance parts going into place on some of the vehicles.
“Working with Homeschool Adventures is something we enjoy,” said Rebecca Starkey, Director of Customer Experience at VMP Performance. “It was great to introduce kids and their families to our industry. As advocates of the automotive aftermarket sector, and being proactive in our efforts to grow motorsports awareness, a day like this helps many of the parents involved with the group learn about and understand the importance of what we do at VMP Performance. Some of these kids are getting older and it’s great to expose them to something new. There’s a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and there’s a tremendous amount of growth potential. Even from a young age, exposing children to the automotive world is a great opportunity for us. It’s foreign to so many people, but these impressions can make a big difference,” she added.
Justin and Rebecca also discussed their recent trip to Washington, D.C. where they served with other SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) members on the RPM Act (Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports). The RPM Act clarifies that it is legal under federal law to modify the emissions system of a motor vehicle that is converted for race-use-only. If passed, the legislation will protect Americans’ right to modify street vehicles into dedicated race cars. It will also protect the industry’s right to sell parts that enable racers to compete.
In D.C. they met Florida senators Bill Nelson’s staff, Marco Rubio, and U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis. “We discussed the RPM Act, which is really important,” said Rebecca. “The legislation says that modifying a street car into a race car is illegal. The only cars that would be eligible to race are purpose-built race cars. That would be devastating, so the law needs to better reflect what is reasonable for the industry.”
The discussion drove home the fact that VMP is heavily involved in the automotive industry and is interested in building great parts, having excellent customer relations, and ensuring the growth and longevity of the sport.
Towards the end of the tour, Justin delved into the role technology plays. He showed the guests how software is integrated into vehicles using computers to enhance performance, improve mpg, and maintain government emission standards.
The crowd then headed outside for the finale, where Justin and Rebecca tied it all together. Rebecca jumped in “Chucky” VMP’s 2011 Ford Mustang GT, and laid down a thunderous smokey burnout that got everyone’s attention. Justin then took command and fired off a bunch of donuts that had the kids laughing and the parents cheering. “The burnouts and donuts were so much fun,” said Rebecca. “They are enjoyable and real. I rode with Justin for the first couple, but I had to give up the seat because some of the moms wanted a turn.”