Tony Stewart Business Portfolio
Custom Works R/C Cars
In 1984, after 24 years in the specialty automotive industry, Jerry Landgraff started a serious interest in R/C racing. His son Brian (16 years old at the time) had been racing 1/10 scale off-road cars for several months when he decided oval racing might be fun. Jerry and Brian saw their first dirt oval race on a Wednesday night at the Ranch Pit Shop in Pomona, California, and the rest is history. After limited success with modified off-road cars, they decided to build a car designed specifically for dirt oval.
The first Custom Works "Oval" car was definitely in a class by itself. This dream car had front and rear gear reduction, A-arm suspension, left side batteries, all graphite chassis components, drag link steering, chain drive, Delta shocks with 4-way adjustable ride height, an 11" wheelbase and many other new and innovative ideas. Many industry icons doubted the potential of Jerry's radical new ideas. Little did anyone know that this first prototype car would change the course of dirt oval racing over the next three years. Even with Brian's limited experience as a driver, the car was unbeatable!
Custom Works was fast becoming the most prominent name in dirt oval racing. From December 1985 to March 1986, the Landgraffs' consistent success with their still unnamed prototype chassis left their competitors begging them to build more cars. The second and third versions of the "Landgraff car," as it would become known, incorporated several new ideas such as nerf bars, full width front bumpers, and a front and rear chain drive with a centrally located reduction shaft.
Jerry and Brian built 26 cars between August and December of 1986. Every manufacturer had to have a Landgraff car in order to showcase their products. Owners included Bob Novak, Mike Reedy, Kent Clausen and Gary McAllister. During this period, each car was slightly refined until it evolved into the DOMINATOR IV kit, known world wide as the original 4 wheel drive dirt oval car. The DOMINATOR kit was introduced as a production kit in 1987.
In 1990 Jerry and Brian decided to try their hand in the 2 wheel drive class, taking 12 prototype cars to the Roar Nationals in Dallas, Texas. The drivers included Joel Johnson, Chris Smith, Chris Doseck, Bob Light, Rob Cutman, Kevin Stevens and Brian Landgraff. They proceeded to win both the Stock and Modified titles in their first attempt, putting seven of their prototype INTIMIDATORS in the Modified A-main! After eight months of continued refinement and the addition of direct drive, the Intimidator kit was made available to the public in March of 1991. This kit has set the pace of 2 wheel drive dirt oval racing ever since.
Also in 1990, Jerry and Brian became interested in the fledgling class of Sprint Cars. At the time, all of the available cars had aluminum cages and cumbersome suspension components. Bob Light drove their single prototype car (to be named the ENFORCER) to victory in the 1990 NORRCA Dirt Oval Nationals at Cooper's R/C race Center in Chatham, Virgnia in August of that year.
In December of 1991, Custom Works introduced the ENFORCER as the one and only race-ready sprint car kit available in the world. Its molded nylon cage provided both durability and scale realism, and the idea of a 52-ounce sprint car was unheard of at that time-it was eight ounces lighter than anything else on the market!
In July of 2003 Brian and Jerry's long time friend Tony Stewart purchased the company and moved it to its current location in Denver, NC. Since then we have introduced several new products that have continued in our winning tradition. Our first On-road car the Aggressor won the presitions Snowbird Nationals in its debut outing and his since won many championship races including the ROAR Nationals. 2005 saw the release of our first nitro powered cars, the GSX Enforcer and Intimidator have been virtually unbeatable since.
Custom Works cars have won over 90% of the National Championships since the first ROAR Nationals in Longwood Florida in 1988. We believe in selling top-quality products made in the USA. We race what we sell and sell what we race. With a constant commitment to quality and customer service, Custom Works remains the "DOMINANT FORCE" in dirt oval racing.
For more information visit www.customworksrc.com