The Chrome Horn - News

   5/2/2009

PRECISION AUTOMOTIVE
by Richie Grodski

    Precision Automotive of Simsbury, CT. has been a major sponsor, major supporter, major friend and just about everything else you could imagine to The Chrome Horn for just over 2 years. On my planned trips to racing events this year, I figured a good time to finally meet Linda and Norm Case would be Stafford's Spring Sizzler weekend. I set my trip to the Precision Automotive shop on the Friday just before the Sizzler's weekend.
   Now over the past 2 years, I have had many emails and chats with Linda but had never seemed to get the chance to actually meet her or Norm. Although through our many talks I feel I have known her my whole life, it was time I met her and Norm and finally visited the Precision shop that has helped us keep The Chrome Horn up and going in so many ways, including our Top 5 contest, which Precision Automotive also sponsors.
   Friday was a beautiful day, beginning what was to be an outrageous weekend weather wise. I had gotten up about 5am Friday morning, headed over to get Gail and her dog Horatio, who made the weekend trip with me, we hit the road from Riverhead, LI about 6am. On the way up to Simsbury, I had to hit Cracker Barrel on 95, which is a must in my book as I totally love the place. After breakfast, I headed up to Simsbury and arrived about 11am. After getting sort of stuck and not knowing where to go because a bridge being worked on rerouted traffic and the GPS kept sending me around to the same bridge, a call to Howie was in order as he was meeting me up at the shop. He happened to be about 10 minutes behind me it all worked out fine.
   As soon as I parked and got out, a smiling Linda popped out the door and greeted me with open arms. It was a great feeling finally meeting Linda after the 2 years of never meeting in person. After some chat outside, we walked into the shop where I got to meet Norm. We all sat in the front of the shop talking a bit then I presented Norm and Linda with a Chrome Horn Appreciation Plaque that JA had made especially for me and Fran for The Chrome Horn. I also gave them a few TCH hats and a TCH shirt that I have had made for when we do racing coverage at tracks. Also, after talking with Fran, I wanted to give our Speedy Award which we had received this year from SpeedwayEXPO for best Racing News Coverage to Linda and Norm for their support of the website. They were quite surprised and I truly felt they deserved to have this award then myself or Fran did.
   After the presentations, Norm gave Howie and myself a tour of the Precision Automotive shop, while Linda and Gail chatted. First off I got to meet Precision's 2 main employees Michael Fields and Christopher Leaver. These 2 guys have a total of 33 years combined working for Precision Automotive. Talk about consistency and dedication! Also involved with Precision are Chuck Balboni, computer expert and Norm's 30 year partner, now retired, Dale Hall. More info on Dale and the Precision Automotive business can be found by clicking the Precision banner anywhere on the website or forum areas. While Mike and Chris went about their work, we continued through the shop. WOW! Amazing the motors in this place. The shop handles 99% of work in-house and out-sources very, very little. I did forget to mention here, they also sell parts besides machining and engine building.
   Back to touring the shop, Norm showed me every area of the shop and every machine and what it does. The shop has every machining tool imaginable and everything is done "old school". There are no lasers and computer controlled BS here. The whole shop and operations are all done "hands on" with care and precision. Kinda goes along with the business name. I was very impressed with everything, including Norm's knowledge and explanations of anything I had asked. For a quick tour of the shop, please click the picture to be taken to the Precision Automotive tour gallery of Howie and my pictures.
   At the end of the shop tour, we came to Precision's dyno room. Norm just happened to have hooked up a PASS type motor to the dyno and was going to do a "pull" for Howie and I. As the motor was warming up for the pull, Norm, Howie and I chatted about the shop, motors and the dyno and what to expect and look for on the computer screen. Even though I had been a mechanic for awhile and familiar with terms and meanings of things, Norm has a wonderful way of explaining things that even if you had no knowledge of anything mechanical, you could easily understand everything. I also felt a connection to Norm as we had similar childhoods having and working on vehicles at very young ages although Norm pursued his mechanical talents and even though I always did my own mechanical stuff I went into my father's business of carpentry.
   Well, the motor was now warmed up enough to do the "pull". Norm pushed the buttons and threw the throttle up as the computer read all the details of what was happening. This took a matter of about 5 seconds and the motor returned to idle. Norm then enter some info like temperature, humidity and the motor specs and then the 'pull' results showed up. Norm sat and started to explain to Howie and I what all the results meant. The motor was finally shut down and Howie walked back to talk with Linda and Gail at the front desk as Norm and myself entered the dyno room. He started to remove the carburetor at which time I asked what he was doing. He explained he put together another carburetor and we were going to do another "pull" and see if it gave us some more horsepower with a bigger carb. AWESOME!!! Norm is such a personable guy and all we did was chat as he changed the carb.
   With the change done, we hit the computer/control room once again and get the motor set for another run. Again Norm pushed a few buttons, made sure the computer was ready, then threw up the throttle. The info was added as above and read out came out and the motor did gain about 17 horsepower more with the bigger carburetor. I had a few questions about horsepower versus torque and what they meant to each other and of course Norm just whipped out very understandable answers to anything I asked. He printed me out the last "pulls" readout and we shut down the motor and closed up the dyno room, heading back to the front parts area where Linda, Howie and Gail were.
   We sat and chat for quite awhile there and 2 customers had come in during that time and the conversations with the customers were quite impressive. It didn't seem at all like they were business costumers but like they were family. Linda and Norm make you feel comfortable when talking with anyone and to me, it meant a lot. It is very rare nowadays that you can have business relations and feel comfortable with the people you deal with. Well, it seems to happen daily here.
   Due to some previous appointments Linda and Norm had for the day, our visit was finally drawing to an end. We had said our good byes but still continued to talk outside. I really couldn't draw myself to leave them! And as I was driving away, even Gail mentioned how wonderful Linda and Norm were. Now, Gail has no knowledge at all about TCH or what Precision has done for us except that it's Fran and my website and that Precision Automotive is our sponsor, but the visit was wonderful for her too!

   I would just like to note, I had no intentions of writing a story for this visit. I only wanted to finally meet our sponsors, present them the items I mentioned above and get some pictures and information to add to their page I made here but after meeting Linda & Norm and touring the Precision shop, I felt compelled to write about the visit. Norm and Linda are down to earth people. Very honest and personable folks. And after touring the shop and how work is done, I truly recommend Precision Automotive to anyone needing parts, a new motor, a motor rebuild or even info for your own motor build. I honestly feel that once you talk with either Norm or Linda, you will be back to the shop with your business and be quite satisfied with anything involving them and the shop. I also need to point out that Precision does not only do race engines. They sell parts, build and rebuild drag motors, stock rebuilds, custom builds and also do restoration motor work. They can do anything machining wise that you may need and all done in-house.

   Thank you Linda and Norm, for everything you have done with The Chrome Horn. Your support in sponsorship and the website itself, your friendship, your extra input like the Top 5 contest and every other little thing between us. It is so much appreciated and even more heartfelt now that I have actually had the chance to meet both of you. You are both very special folks.

   Peace, love and thanks to both of you,
   Richie Grodski, TCH
 

Source: Richie Grodski / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: May 2, 2009

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