Behind the scenes at Classic Performance Products!

ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING things about the last 20 years in this industry is watching all the growth that has taken place with builders and manufacturers alike. Many of the top parts manufacturers started as simple backyard fabricators who found an open market and jumped in the deep end with both feet. They have perfected their product lines and assembled a group of professionals to create a winning combination. After years of learning, trying, failing and persevering, the best of the best rose to the top and now enjoy a career in the field they love.

CPP’s Placentia showroom displays thousands of the company’s own products as well as numerous items from other manufacturers that it sells and supports.

In this story, we focus on Jim Ries and his impressive company known as Classic Performance Products, a.k.a. CPP. Jim opened his business in December 1991 and has not looked back since. He grew up watching his dad, Jack “JR” Ries, run a successful classic truck parts business in the ’60s and ’70s, but he wasn’t quite ready to open shop until he had a few real-world experiences. Ries got in on the action when the monster truck craze hit Southern California, and he found himself building and racing several of these massive vehicles for Horsepower Promotions. This experience gave him valuable knowledge on the inner workings of steering, brakes and suspension truck parts.

We were lucky enough to get a one-on-one tour with Jim Reis himself. You can get lost for days in the history and knowledge that he brings to the conversation. We loved it!

The transition from monster trucks to classic trucks happened with the help of Seth Doulton at Golden State Pickup Parts. After working for Seth for many years and feeling unsatisfied simply selling parts, Ries set out to redefine the classic truck steering, brakes and suspension industry with better quality parts at a much more budget friendly cost. Engine and transmission crossmembers kicked off Jim’s early success as his first manufactured products before CPP went on to design a brake booster kits, full blown suspension kits and bolt-on disc brake kits for classic C10 trucks. Are you ready to go behind the scenes of this impressive American-built company? Let’s go!

Did you know you can order a full chassis from CPP? This 1953-56 Ford base chassis is a standard frame with a few added components. The engine mounts fit a small block Chevy engine and trans mount for Turbo 350, 400, 700R4 or C4. It comes with a complete Mustang II front suspension including standard 11-inch brakes, framemounted brake booster bracket, pedal and rear leaf spring suspension including shocks, rear axle housing with axles and a front sway bar.

Jim loves stopping and chatting with the loyal team members, some of whom have been with the company for more than 20 years.

Lots of brake calipers and boosters were lined up waiting for assembly. The level of quality and attention to detail is fascinating to see in person.

One at a time, a team member carefully assembles the brake booster in a clean working environment. You can just tell he loves his job, and he’s extremely good at it!

Jim is an engineer at heart, and seeing his face light up while explaining the purpose of these machines is fun to watch.

Tolerances and measurements are never skipped no matter how many times it has to be done. The quality control is on point at CPP.

New sindle pins are being pumped out of this machine and organized to prepare for the next step.

Assembly is the next stage of production before prepping for coating or shipping.

These control arms just came off the line and await powdercoating. Jim pointed out the amazing welds and clean work that his company requires.

CPP also has its very own in-house tech center, which allows them to test new products on vehicles to ensure quality and fit.

CPP’s Pro-Touring Chevy C10 was lurking out back just begging to be driven hard. Watch this truck race in August at the Pro Touring Shootout!

Once the parts are returned from powdercoating, they are either sent to final assembly or the shipping department depending on their order of production.

Packing and shipping is last on the list after inspection. Each item is protected from the next, so you are guaranteed to get your parts free of scratches or chips.

Before we ended our tour, Jim took us through the offices where we were able to see how they engineer these products starting with a 3D printed prototype. Really neat stuff!

We watched as they put these lower control arms together with masterful precision. Love watching a technician do what they do best.

CPP’s showroom and office entrance is extremely clean and we wouldn’t expect anything else from this one-of-a-kind company. If you’re in the Placentia, California, area, we think you should stop by and check it out, whether you’re buying something or not!