• Feb 12, 2008
Most of us on the Autoblog team never restored a classic with our dads in the family garage, thus our connection to aftermarket parts manufacturer Holley is somewhat limited. But we can appreciate the mark that this 100+ year old company and its many brands including Hooker Headers, Earl's, Weiand, NOS and Flowtech have left on the performance aftermarket scene. That's why we're sad to report that the company has recently filed for bankruptcy, citing its rapid expansion in the late '90s as the cause for its downfall.
Not all is lost, as bankruptcy for a company in the U.S. just means you get some time to reorganize and pay off your debts, hopefully reemerging as a stronger company in the end. As such, Holley wlll continue to operate as normal for the time being and none of its 390 employees spread across Kentucky, California and Mississippi will be affected. Paying off its debt will likely require the company to give nearly all its equity away to debtors, though those holding notes will only get half of what they're owed if a bankruptcy judge approves the reorganization plan. Thanks for the tip, Tobias!

[Source: Bloomberg]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      A big problem for a lot of the aftermarket parts companies currently is the rise of low quality cheap parts sourced on eBay and such. Many of the brands that put money into R&D and manufacturing get undercut by copycat competitors who take the same design, but manufacture it with lower grade material and less strict tolerances. All many consumers see is the significantly lower price and that is what they go for. It drives real innovation away from the market and hurts core aftermarket companies. The cost to engineer a part that is friendly with all of today's automotive technology is rather expensive. Currently consumers are showing that they are not willing to pay the price for the necessary innovation to keep up with expanding technologies.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Come on people...do you remember Chrysler? Or how about K-Mart? Chrysler came out of bankruptcy much stronger, and so did K-Mart. K-Mart even bought Sears after the bankruptcy! I have every confidence that Holley will be fine, and I plan to purchase their products without fail. If it wasn't for the Barry Grants of the world stealing Holleys designs and calibrations there wouldn't even be other manufacturers out there. The Holley carb is still the premier racing and street carb...when was the last time you saw an Edelbrock on a Pro-stock car?!?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can someone show me how to do this? I'd love to convert the majority of my debt into equity. Man that sounds sweet.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They are also feeling the effects of more and better competition, such as Barry Grant, Edelbrock, Comp Cams, etc. Holley needs to be more innovative. They have been chasing most others for quite some time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope they come out all right. I'll never forget putting my hooker heads and Holley four barrel on my first car. 1969 Mustang Fastback........ah the memories.
      • 6 Years Ago
      maybe they should have jumped on the import bandwagon and sold turbokits, fart cannons and intake pipes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Creditors, you mean that it's likely all the equity will go to creditors. Holly is the debtor. Debtor-in-possession.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There was a time when budget hot rodding meant $200 double pumpers and $99 headers. No more. With all the tech in cars these days there's not much room for hot rodding unless you can afford $1200 headers, $8000 blowers and money for a custom tune so you don't trigger the check engine light. So long Holley, it was fun while it lasted.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm with you Polly P. Pants. The ol' 750 double pumper was a heck of a carb. Just makes sure you ran a couple of filters in the line 'cause she would clog easy. Maybe it was just my old rusty fuel lines?

      A lot of this is probably due to increased competition. Back in the day it was Holley and Rochester quadrajets. Now there are probably 4-5 different carb makers for the hot rod scene. Also, the proliferation of injection systems have lowered their cost and put a big dent in the carb business.

      As someone else mentioned, I'm pretty sure Weiand is (was) not owned by Holley. I could be wrong.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ R (the reply button isn't working)

      Import performance is touchy for a lot of the aftermarket companies. Some companies are still hurting from the sport compact trend.

      Everyone in the aftermarket chased that dream way too late. The trend dried up almost overnight.

      I know you mean the actual performance side of things (under the hood) and not neon and clear tail lamps...but still.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well ... Mr. Tichenor ... are you there? Perhaps this new window opened by FuzzmanMatt views the inner workings of a bankruptcy format?

      Please say something to restore my confidence before I place my next order ... okay?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope the reorganization of this company give them a little breathing room to come out stronger. It is sad to see so many iconic American brands fall.

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