S&W Race Cars
Iconic Drag Racing Chassis & Component Manufacturer will be Elevated to the Next Level
Spring City, PA – The S&W Performance Group, a 63 year old world-renowned drag racing and performance street vehicle chassis and components manufacturer, has been acquired by an automotive enthusiast owned private investment firm.
The acquisition was the first of two major announcements made on Tuesday, by S&W’s President, Terri (Weney) Gdowik. “I have decided to step away from ownership and into retirement. It was a difficult decision, as I have devoted my life to our family business and thoroughly enjoyed piloting S&W into its sixth successful decade,” stated Terri. “A sincere thank you is extended to the customers, employees and business partners who have contributed to our success. I’m confident my father’s founding mission will continue to be achieved and his company will thrive well into the future, under the direction of two long-time business associates and personal friends; Ken Wible and Jay Lankford.”
S&W has been headquartered in Spring City, Pennsylvania since 1959 and it will remain rooted there. Your favorite experienced, knowledgeable and talented team members will also remain in place and continue to be at your disposal. In addition, both Mr. Wible and Mr. Lankford bring extensive corporate automotive industry experience to the table, creating a winning combination. Based on customer feedback, manufacturing equipment and process upgrades will become clear, resulting in increased efficiency and improved products. They will also continue to preserve existing and develop new vendor partnerships, which will keep the pipeline full.
Drag Racing Car Builder Retires from Family Business, after 57 Years of Service
Spring City, PA – The S&W Performance Group has officially announced the retirement of Gary Weney. During his 57 years of dedicated service, to his family’s 62 year old performance racing industry business, Mr.Weney has worn many hats including; chassis builder, fabricator, welder and commercial division project manager.
Gary began selling race car components at 12 years old and fabricating race car chassis, by the time he was 16. He’s very proud of the fact that he built numerous championship winning, best engineered and best appearing professional drag race cars. Weney had talent for building first class altereds, funny cars and pro stocks, but he also enjoyed building tractor pullers, monster trucks, jet cars, rocket cars and custom vehicles. Mr. Weney stated, “during the 1970’s funny car low-rider wars, I built the lowest FC of all time. Its moniker was Quickie Two and it measured only 40” tall. We were always pushing the limits to gain a competitive edge.” The complete list of GW built cars would fill 5 pages, but some of Gary’s favorites include the Frantic Ford and Bob Newberry funny cars. Also, the Sparkling Burgundy and Jade Grenade top fuel dragsters. In fact, a couple his cars are currently on display at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing and at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing.
Devoted Wife, Mother, Businesswoman and Adventurer
Vonda was an extraordinary woman. She was born in Pennsylvania on May 16th, 1937 and grew up on her parents East Coventry Township, PA farm. That is where she developed her love of animals, appreciation of nature and taste for adventure. Vonda’s grand adventure began in her late teen’s, when she married her high school sweetheart, Walter. After the birth of her fourth child, the young dynamic homemaker decided to continue her education and become a travel agent. At the same time, she assisted Walt in every imaginable way as they established their first business, S&W Race Cars. As S&W grew, the couple started three additional businesses, which Vonda also managed. During her adult years, Mrs. Weney also worked as a bookkeeper, township auditor and logged many hours as a volunteer at the Avalon Garden Club and Pottstown, PA Hospital.
She always found a way to balance family, business and adventure. Vonda enjoyed the company of her family, beloved cat Smokey, friends and socializing at the drag races. One of her greatest accomplishments was learning how to scuba dive, because she didn’t even know how to swim. She also earned her pilots license so she and her husband could fly their small plane together. Some of her favorite hobbies included; sailing & motor boating, painting, crafts, reading, exercising & walking. Having fun was important to her, but she was very competitive when it came to skiing, golf and other physical sports. In her 60’s, Vonda finished in the top 5 of her age group, during a national rowing competition!
Devoted Husband, Father, Businessman and Drag Racer
Spring City, PA – The Weney family announced devoted husband, father of four children, accomplished businessman and drag racer, Walter Weney Jr., ran out of horsepower and passed away peacefully on May 15th , 2020.
Walt was born in Pennsylvania, during the 1930’s and from an early age he was determined to make his mark on the world. Weney was 22 years old when he teamed up with friend and racing partner, Jim Amole, to launch S&W Speed Shop, in 1959. They quickly became recognized for producing state-of-the-art drag racing chassis and components. The sport continued to grow and so did S&W, by 1964 they were able to move their speed shop out of Walt Sr.’s 15 ft. x 20 ft. basement garage, into the first of three stand alone S&W Race Cars & Components manufacturing facilities. In addition to building his company, Walt won many races, championships and set drag racing records from the 1950’s until the early 1980’s. He was also the recipient of numerous racing industry achievement awards. In 1994, Weney expanded S&W to its current 27,000 sq.ft. size and continued to add new equipment and technologies, until his retirement in 2005. Even though he ‘handed the keys’ to the next generation, Walt continued to lend support from behind the scenes and attended the drag races whenever he could. He credited much of his success to his wife of 66 years, Vonda, their children, talented employees, business partners and loyal customers.
“My father committed himself to everything he decided to do. His true passion was drag racing and that was the driving force behind building our family business brick-by-brick,” stated daughter, Terri (Weney) Gdowik. “He was always on-the-go with running S&W, traveling to the races and managing his other commercial and residential investment properties. Our family is very proud of his accomplishments and grateful for the time we were able to spend with him at home, at work and at the races.”
The Weney Family Passing of the Torch
Spring City, PA – The S&W Performance Group announced today, Terri (Weney) Gdowik will helm the family owned 61 year old performance racing industry powerhouse, as its new President. Terri’s appointment from Executive Vice President to President comes after her brother, Michael Weney, completed his successful 4 year term as S&W’s President. Their new EVP will be named at a later date.
“Terri has been a key part of the business for over 38 years. I’m confident in Terri’s leadership and experience, to lead us through this new decade and beyond,” stated S&W company founder, Walt Weney.
She discovered her passion for motorsports at a very young age. Terri, her Mother Vonda and Brothers Gary, Scott and Michael were Walt’s trusted crew, both at the drag strip and at his rapidly expanding race car business. She officially joined S&W Race Cars in 1982 and quickly set a personal goal of learning every job position in the building, including but not limited to: sales, shipping, accounting, advertising, IT, project management, cutting, bending, machining and fabricating. Terri was also natural behind the wheel of a drag car, competing in North East Division Super Pro and Super Comp classes.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue the hard work that my family and team members have been doing for the last 60 years, and build upon our ongoing success,” said Mrs. Gdowik. “I want to thank my family, employees, customers and business partners for their long-standing support.”
Spring City, PA – S&W’s has promoted veteran Sales Representative, Randy Krause, to the position of Car Sales & Service Manager. Mr. Krause’s current responsibilities have been expanded upon to include; new race car and shop service quotations, sales and scheduling.
“Due to increasing and unwavering demand, it was time to seek an additional qualified person to assist with managing our car sales growth and service scheduling,” said S&W’s President, Michael Weney. “Randy’s 32 years of drag racing experience, combined with his sales expertise and outgoing personality, made him the perfect candidate for the newly formed position. During the past 26 months, I’ve had the pleasure of planning customer car builds again, and look forward to sharing the experience with him. Our group is extremely pleased that Randy answered the call”
The S&W Performance Group is pleased to announce they are an official VP Racing Fuels dealer. The entire VP product line including; Racing Fuels, SEF Small Engine Fuels, Additives ‘Maddatives’ and Performance Products such as Specialty Lubricants, Performance Chemicals, Traction Compounds and Fuel Handling Accessories are now available through S&W. Due to VP’s large distribution network, most products will be delivered within 2 business days within continental USA. “VP Racing Fuels is a powerful addition to S&W’s expanding Made in the USA line card, said S&W President Michael Weney. “They offer a wide range of products that will ‘fit’ our race industry and commercial client needs.”
S&W will arrange for drop shipments either direct to the customer’s location or to S&W’s facility for customer pick-up. They encourage local customers to call ahead, as they will carry a limited supply of the most popular fuels, lubricants and accessories at their Spring City, PA location. The complete VP product line can be viewed at http://www.vpracingfuels.com/ Your order can be placed with a S&W Sales Representative by calling Toll Free 1-800-523-3353. In addition, you will soon be able to purchase VP’s Top 10 best sellers on S&W’s secure website. http://www.swracecars.com/