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In March, 1966, Manley Speed Equipment, Inc. was founded by Hank Manley shortly after his graduation from Brown University. His interest in performance and racing traced back to 1960 when at age seventeen he rebuilt a 312 CID Ford V-8 engine, installed a camshaft and three two-barrel carburetors, and raced a 1956 Thunderbird on the streets of New Jersey.

Initially the line included stainless valves, forged pistons, camshafts, lifters, vanadium valve springs, push rods and timing chain kits. The first catalog was mimeographed paper. The address of the company, prophetically, was 13 Race Street in Bloomfield, New Jersey. A name change to Manley Performance Products, Inc soon followed.

Don Garlits, Bo Laws and Joe Mondello were early customers and their race cars appeared on the cover of the 1969 catalog. In 1971 a decade-long relationship began with legendary Bill Jenkins and Grumpy's Toy made its initial appearance on the cover of a Manley catalog. The flamboyant Funny Car showman "Jungle Jim" Liberman was also a prized customer and friend.

Hank's son, Trip Manley, spent the summertime during his youth learning the trade while working in the valve department at Manley Performance. In 1987, Trip had the opportunity to work for the Gywnn family on Darrell's Top Fuel team. This was the experience of a lifetime, not only being employed by the Gywnns and learning about the Fuel car, but traveling the country and getting a first-hand education from guys like Chris Cunningham and Mike Green (Mike has been a top crew chief for many years since his early days maintaining the cylinder heads for Darrell). Before entering his final year of college in 1988, Trip worked for American Eagle Marine, an offshore boat racing team in Torrance, CA, in the engine department; primarily focused on cylinder head development.

After completing his academic education, Trip was off to New England; to run the northeast sales territory for Manley Performance. Two years later he took over the Sales Manager position and today he and his management team, consisting of Michael Tokarchik (G.M.), Gil Morejon (CFO) and Peter Coleman (Manufacturing Manager), run the company's day to day operations.

By 1988 the company had outgrown the Bloomfield facility and several acres were purchased in Lakewood, New Jersey for the construction of a new factory. Ten years later the manufacturing space was doubled. Connecting rods were now manufactured in the plant along with a line of Platinum Series forged pistons.

Led by our GM Michael Tokarchik, in 2002 Manley entered the high performance passenger car market as an OEM supplier of connecting rods for the 2003/2004 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra. Production reached 2500 rods per week without missing a single delivery date. Ford awarded Manley it's highest ever supplier rating. Manley's presence in the OEM market continued as a supplier for the Ford GT.

Today, Manley Performance continues to re-define itself in a high performance aftermarket industry that is constantly evolving. We've developed new products for growing markets such as sport compact, Ford modular and Chevy LS; as well as maintained our leadership role with the traditional V-8 engine business.

Thank you for visiting our website..... Enjoy.

Excerpts written by Trip and Hank Manley from the Special Edition 50th Anniversary Master Catalog

As we prepare to embark on our Golden Anniversary, I find myself becoming a touch nostalgic, reflecting back on some very memorable times and significant milestones experienced at Manley Performance. From our humble beginnings, prophetically on 13 Race Street in Bloomfield, to our current world class facility in Lakewood, I've been fortunate enough to have a front row seat for a large portion of this amazing ride. I can recall packing valves in plastic bags and placing them into those iconic red Manley Valve boxes as a boy. I worked in the valve manufacturing department during summers while in high school. I had the privilege of working for two excellent Manley customers, American Eagle Marine and Darrell Gwynn Racing, where I received invaluable experience and forged some life-long relationships. I cherished my time doing outside sales throughout New England early in my career, and I remember attending my very first SEMA show, PRI show, Daytona 500 and Eldora World 100. I've traveled to just about every state in our great country, visiting customers and attending races all along the way.

I remember when we purchased our very first CNC machine, a turning center for the valve department back in 1985. Today, I can proudly boast that we have 75 CNC spindles operating in our manufacturing plant. I vividly recall introducing our unique line of "Gen 2" stainless valve blanks almost 20 years ago, truly revolutionizing the custom valve market. I remember proudly admiring Manley "ICD" titanium retainers perched on top of the valve springs of what seemed like all 43 Winston Cup cars when valve covers were popped off while I perused the garage area back in 2000. Some other notable highlights include purchasing Apex Manufacturing; which brought pushrod manufacturing in-house, working with Ford and producing connecting rods for both the SVT Cobra and GT programs, introducing our NexTek line of valve springs, developing the Turbo Tuff Series of connecting rods and undergoing two building expansions.

But while I'm so proud of our dedicated employees and previous accomplishments, I'd much prefer to look forward and focus on the future. Our mission remains: to manufacture the finest quality internal engine components at competitive prices and offer unparalleled customer service. This 50 th anniversary catalog is obviously a special one, and I'm delighted to say our largest to date. New offerings include Chevy LT1 rotating assemblies, Ford 2.0L, 2.3L and 3.5L EcoBoost rods and pistons, and Chrysler 6.4L rods and pistons.

I'm pleased to announce we've completed the expansion of Manley West; doubling the size of our west coast distribution facility in Orange, CA which will allow us to stock more product and better serve our customers on that side of the country.

Finally, but most importantly, I want to thank our loyal customers around the globe for your past business and support. Your confidence and appreciation of our products are paramount to our success and what drive us every day.

Reflections from Hank

Reflecting back on the fifty years of Manley Performance's life span, I am struck by the galactic changes in the way we conduct business today compared to when I started. It's hard to imagine, especially if you were born after 1980, a world without computers, without cell phones, without texting, without emails, without 800 phone numbers. But that was the reality. Orders were mailed. Invoices and checks were hand written. Monthly statements were photo copied. How did we do it?

The first Manley valves were manufactured on a Monarch lathe that was twenty-five years old when I purchased it second hand in 1967. It was wired for 440v power. It had been built and sent to England as part of the United States' Lend-Lease effort to help our ally fight Germany before Pearl Harbor forced us to enter the Second World War. A single Bridgeport mill completed the manufacturing arsenal.

After twenty years on Race Street in Bloomfield, New Jersey, I looked at several acres of scruffy pine barren in the nascent Lakewood Industrial Park. I was told I could purchase the property for $3000 an acre, but I had to begin construction of a factory within six months and complete the project within a year. It was understood I would hire a large workforce in the town. I agreed.

Bloomfield employees were bussed the sixty miles to Lakewood to view the area, see the new facility going up, and hopefully decide to move with the company. All reported their excitement to leave the congestion of northern New Jersey for the healthy, relaxed atmosphere of the Jersey shore.

Ultimately, none but the executive staff made the move. On the day Manley Performance opened for business in Lakewood in 1988, I looked out into the parking lot to witness sixty strangers who had responded to my advertisement in the local paper.

"You're all hired," I said. And in straggled the new Manley Performance work force.

The original building in Lakewood has now been expanded twice, the latest addition to the manufacturing space completed in 2014. In place of the lonely Monarch and Bridgeport are 75 CNC spindles producing stainless steel and titanium valves, aluminum pistons, steel connecting rods, chrome moly push rods, steel and titanium retainers and valve locks. Scrolling back from today's impressive physical plant to the early days on Race Street brings fond recollections, but the most poignant memories involve people I met along the way.

In 1968, I flew to California and drove up Sepulveda Boulevard until I found Joe Mondello's modest shop. Joe was the premier cylinder head porter in the country. He took me to his home, introduced me to his wife, and we had dinner where, over several bottles of Italian wine, we became fast friends. He told me that we'd stand on each other's shoulders and take the valve business from Ed Donovan. His death in 2011 was a terrible personal loss for me.

Around 1970 I attended a trade show at Chicago's Navy Pier. It was a drafty, cold place, but as I stood behind my card table the day brightened considerably with the arrival of Jungle Jim Liberman's zaftig wife Bobbi. Within seconds she convinced me to sponsor Jim's funny car.

Without doubt, Jim was the most flamboyant, charismatic racer in the country. His 1000 foot burnouts were legendary, and he typically backed to the staging lane at 100 miles-per-hour with Bobbi directing him from behind. He refused to lift when a run was out of control to the delight of his legions of devoted fans. He became a great friend and was a vitally important entrée to the fuel market. I mourned his tragic death in 1977 which was a monumental loss for drag racing.

In addition to being a terrific driver, Grumpy Bill Jenkins was the most intelligent engine person I ever met. He seized on my idea to develop thin stem valves for his Pro Stock car. The concept of 5/16" stem valves soon cascaded into all other gasoline classes. When NHRA mandated that Super Modified use "stock stem" valves, I developed the "Pro Flo" valve and called Bill to ask if I should first take the idea to the governing body or just quietly flood the market. His sound advice, which I followed, was sell to all I could before they reacted. I considered Bill a wonderful friend and was proud to picture his car on the cover of ten Manley catalogs. Along with the rest of the drag racing fraternity I still miss The Grump.

There were thousands of other racers and engine builders I met visiting the tracks and customers' shops across the country. Many I considered friends. Many helped me with ideas for products. Wally Booth called me one day and explained the concept of the reverse twist piston ring. I immediately added them to the line as another Manley first in the industry.

I guess half a century is more than enough. The engines I designed and manufactured for are fossils. The old Small Block and Big Block Chevy engines have been largely replaced by the LS series. The Ford Cleveland is ancient history, supplanted by the Modular series of power. The iconic 426 Hemi has been shelved for the 5.7 and 6.1 liter iterations. I can't tell a Mitsubishi block from a Subaru.

It's Trip's turn now. He has proven himself more than capable. For the last decade he has been in charge, and I've had the extraordinary privilege to watch as a proud parent while he has taken the company to record heights of achievement.

I thank all the customers who have supported the company's efforts to produce quality, innovative products over this long, fifty year, period. I assure you Manley Performance will continue to meet and hopefully exceed your highest expectations in the future.

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