By MANDEE PAUCH
Bicknell Racing Products does it again! Just last year Bicknell broke their record for the most cars built which was set back in 2004 with 237 cars. They surpassed that by building 244 cars just last year in 2017. Now, a year later, they broke the record once again by building 245 cars.
Grateful for their customers and continued support, Bicknell partner Randy Williamson, is pleased with their continuing growth.
“It’s important that we put the best products out the door to the customer,” Williamson said. “But it’s just as important to ensure that the customer is happy.”
With 245 of the 2018 cars already built and 2019 cars quickly approaching, what exactly goes into the process of building a chassis?
“The fortunate thing we have is that all of our tubing for the cars and bodies are all CNC lasered,” he said. “That way every part is identical. It’s like a puzzle. You have to fit each part together properly. What’s nice is that no parts are getting forced into place since they’re all identical. We don’t create any stress in the car while building it, so nothing is pressure forced.
We’ve looked into it and found there’s no advantage or disadvantage with how we’re building our cars.
We weld them in a certain sequence car to car. The reason why is that it’s a good balance on how we weld the cars. The nice thing is that every piece of the puzzle has to fit. If you start with the first part of the puzzle, the outside frame, then you put your middle pieces in, you have to start at the corners and work your way in.
Everything is numbered and by having the numbers it gives our employees a sequence to follow in order by number.
The way it gets built is that we start in the main I beam jig – all parts are on the shelf in kit form with numbers on each part. The employee will start with 1) the engine first then 2) the torsion rack then 3) the main rails 4) our cross bracing 5) our main roll cage structure 6) the tail section and (7) our front clip. Once the car is done in the jig the employees weld it about 90% in the main jig. The only thing not welded in the main jig is the underside of the floor.”
Did you know that Bicknell’s main body panels have all been universal since 1999?
“The nice thing is that if you have a 2003 or a 2010 car, your body panels all fit on the race car,” Williamson said. “The only thing we’ve done differently is for the tall cage, driver back cars. Only a few panels are different on those ones, but the main panels should all line up.”
Bicknell is a company that takes pride in their old-fashioned values. It’s no wonder how they’ve built such a reputation for unprecedented customer service. They make sure to treat their customers like family.
“I’ve told customers this year not to buy a new car,” Williamson added. “If a customer has a car he likes and has won with it, the first thing I ask is why do they want to get a new one. It’s nice to have a fresh car but sometimes unbolting and bolting parts onto a new car, you may not hit the nail on the head and you may oversee something. Rather than getting a new car I suggest we look at the stress areas of the used car and just replace some pieces. I try not to oversell our customers. If they’re happy with their 2018 car and buy a 2019 car and it ends up not being any good, it ends up being someone’s fault and we don’t want that.”
Another thing Bicknell does is that they also make sure to have a few cars at the touch of their fingertips when in times of trouble.
“We currently have seven cars still in stock,” noted Williamson. “We always carry six or seven cars in stock just in case for that ‘if’ moment. If someone wrecks on a Sunday, they can come in and pick up a car Monday morning. It’s good to have in times like that.”
Always thinking of their customers first, they like to be prepared for any scenarios that may be thrown their way.
Looking ahead, Bicknell will be starting their build for their 2019 cars within the next three weeks.
“The orders are already starting to come in for the 2019 cars,” he said. “We have about 12 cars already on order.”
Bicknell Racing Products is always trying to stay ahead of the competition, to keep evolving, and bring their customers to victory lane. The 2017 season assured everyone Bicknell is at the top of their game, 2018 is about to top that once again.