Awards Season

Texas auto business pros named to Alignable's Local Business Person of the Year list

Two members of the auto industry in Texas have earned honors.

Photo courtesy of PA Thompson/Getty Images

Alignable.com, an online referral network for small businesses announced the results of its month-long North American search for local business leaders who have gone above and beyond to help peers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 61,000 votes were cast and 25,000 recommendations were submitted during the process.

"To see so many business owners celebrate their peers was awesome -- 60 votes landed every minute at the height of the contest," said Eric Groves, Alignable's Co-Founder and CEO. "This frenetic level of participation is a testament to the strength of the business relationships forged and reinforced over the past year."

After sorting through the results, the company recognized 2,962 business owners in the U.S. The owners of those businesses have been named their local 2021 Local Business Person Of The Year. Thousands of communities were engaged as part of the process but 10 had the most votes: Houston, Texas; Calgary, Alberta; Tucson, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Toronto, Ontario; Brooklyn, New York; Edmonton, Alberta; and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Winners have received badges on their Alignable profiles. According to the company, in past years, the awareness generated during and after this contest has helped drive additional connections, prospects, and new business for many winners.

We hope the popularity of this year's contest will lead to even greater awareness and business success for 2021's winners," said Alignable's Co-Founder and President Venkat Krishnamurthy. "We've already heard from some members that the surge in networking, referrals, and recommendations that occurred during 2021's contest got them off to a stronger start this year."

Two Texas companies with automotive industry affiliations are among those earning accolades. Renae Lorentz from Lorentz Automotive in Lewisville and Alex Sagcal from Sam Pack's Five Star Ford and Chevrolet in Carrollton were among the state's recognized winners. Lorentz has been in the auto repair business for over 40 years. She leads a team of automotive technicians and customer service representatives. In addition to traditional repairs, Lorentz also has muffler and transmission shops.

Alex Sagcal works in public relations at Sam Pack's Five Star Ford and Chevrolet. The company's Facebook page has over 3,300 followers and is growing the company's Instagram following.

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Chevy confirmed the new Z06 with 670 horsepower.

Chevrolet

After years of speculation, Chevy announced the mid-engine eighth-generation Corvette for the 2020 model year. Almost immediately, a new round of rumors took off around the potential for an even higher performance Z06 model. Chevy finally confirmed the car yesterday with a design and specs that improve on the standard Corvette in almost every way.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The new LT6 V8 features a flat-plane crank and an 8,600 rpm redline.Chevrolet

The star of the show is the new 5.5-liter flat-plane crank LT6 V8. The mill churns out an unbelievable 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, and can rev all the way out to 8,600 rpm. Power numbers aside, the sky-high redline lets the engine wail and scream in a way that we've not heard outside of Corvette racing cars. The hand-assembled engines are paired with a single technician through the build process and each unit carries a plaque with the builder's name.

To differentiate the Z06 from "normal" Corvettes, Chevy gave the car unique front and rear fascias, 20-inch front/21-inch rear wheels, and a configurable rear spoiler designed to improve high-speed stability. The Z06 is available with lightweight carbon wheels designed to reduce unsprung weight. The car itself is 9.4 centimeters wider than the Corvette Stingray to accommodate larger wheel sizes and incorporate larger cooling air vents on the side.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The Z06's interior features many upgrades over the standard car.Chevrolet

As a more track-focused Corvette, the Z06 comes with tech to improve performance and record drives. When in track mode, the Z06's Performance Traction Management system is activated, which offers five levels of torque reduction and brake intervention, and an electronic limited slip differential helps keep the rear planted.

Inside, the Z06 improves on the Stingray's cabin with seven interior color choices, three seat options, six seatbelt designs, and two interior carbon fiber trim packages. Chevy says that the car's interior has a bespoke and upscale feel that sets it apart from the standard Corvette, which itself already had a gorgeous cabin.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 The Z06 is wider than the Stingray to accommodate larger wheels and bodywork.Chevrolet

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will be built at the automaker's Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. Chevy will build the cars in both left- and right-hand drive configurations when production kicks off in summer 2022.

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Custom SUVs

Ford Bronco to rule SEMA this year

The Bronco RTR features a fun livery and several off-road upgrades.

Ford

The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show is an opportunity for the aftermarket and manufacturers to come together on wildly customized vehicles and to show off the latest parts and tech in the space. Now that the Ford Bronco has finally made its way to the public, it's not surprising to see several wild SEMA takes on the hottest SUV to hit the market in some time.

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods The tracks are said to improve the Bronco's abilities in deep snow and ice.Ford

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods

The new Bronco is capable and rugged on its own, but Tucci Hot Rods felt it needed more. The shop gave it that boost with a set of tracks in place of wheels, which are said to be great for deep snow and ice. This Bronco features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed manual transmission to go with its Mattracks 88-Series quad tracks.

2021 Bronco RTR Fun-Runner by RTR Vehicles

Vaghn Gittin Jr's RTR Vehicles imagined a Bronco package that could be installed at the dealer. The result is the Fun-Runner, which features several Ford Performance and Ford Licensed Accessories parts. It's based on a 2021 two-door Bronco Badlands, and comes with an eye-catching wrap, an Ultimate Dana 44 front axle, Ultimate Dana 60 semi-float rear axle, RCV Performance CV axles, and a performance intake for its four-cylinder engine.

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions SEMA presents an excellent opportunity for shops to show off their skill and imagination.Ford

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions

BDS is a subsidiary of Fox Shocks and has worked with Ford for quite some time. The results of that long-running relationship are on display with the BDS Bronco, which features Fox 2.5 PES coilovers, BDS rear adjustable control arms and track bar, swaybar disconnect, and 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires. The Bronco's bumpers have been replaced with CrawlTek Revolution units that feature a recessed winch mount, recovery hooks and more.

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