RDP Motorsport gains an international reputation as a custom builder
Friday, February 05, 2010
For Steven Leerentveld, president of RDP Motorsport in Painesville, the decision to move his business to Ohio was simple.
"Quite simply, Ohio has the second largest car enthusiast population on the planet," said Leerentveld, who founded the company in Australia in 1997. "California is number one, and Germany is number three.
"But on top of all of that, just about all of the performance auto industry started in Ohio. There are five racetracks within about an hour drive from our headquarters in Painesville. And if you go back in drag racing history, even legends like Big Daddy Don Garlits got his racing license at Thompson. All major players in the performance industry came from Ohio or started their businesses here.
We actually opened our doors in November of 2008, but we really didn't get started until March of the next year because of the snow," said Leerentveld.
In that short time, RDP Motorsport has built a solid reputation both in the United States and abroad for "turning ordinary cars into extraordinary cars." Working on all brands and ages, RDP extracts every bit of performance in both the driveline and suspension, and it adds to the appearance. From an in-house chassis dyno for measuring actual rear-wheel horsepower to engine-building services such as fabrication and tuning, RDP does virtually all of its magic in-house. The company can provide a total car, truck or SUV package for owners who are looking for serious performance.
RDP is also known for building motorcycles and it employs the talent of a World Biker Build Off winner. It recently unveiled its Harley Rocker at the International Motorcycle Show at the I-X Center.
Its vehicles have been turning heads.
In making its debut at the most recent Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, RDP's 2010 SRT8 Dodge Challenger was extremely well received by show attendees. The extensively-modified car sports a 426 cubic inch, Hemi stroker engine with RDP's new Tunnel Rampage. It's a twin turbo induction system that helps deliver a whopping 1,300 rear-wheel horsepower. The stealthy black Challenger also enjoys enhanced suspension modifications and candy red, ghost-town graphics.
Texan Frank Miller commissioned RDP for the build.
At SEMA, most of the cars were built for show rather than go. But this Challenger turned a quarter mile quickly, clocking times in the nine second range.
"It was very special for RDP to be so well received at the SEMA show," said Leerentveld. "SEMA is the best show for our industry, and to be recognized for our work at this show among our peers was truly an honor. A show like this gives us and other businesses a great place to showcase our wares and step up our products and services. Our boys at the shop worked hard on Frank's RDP Challenger, and it's great for business to show it to future customers."
Last month, RDP Motorsport took its SEMA-winning twin turbo SRT8 Dodge monster to the Canton Hot Rod and Custom Bike Show. It also displayed its Australian Ford Falcon XR8 drag car and two custom Dodge Challengers.
RDP Motorsport swept the Show, winning Best of Show Street Machine, Best of Class Race Vehicle, and the Kid's Choice Award. The two custom Dodge Challengers took first and second in the same class in the 2000 to 2009 Modified Vehicle category.