Throughout its more than 30 years in business, Mr. Gasket Inc. has catered to a specific market: the automotive enthusiast looking for a part or accessory that will boost his car's performance or give it a unique appearance. In 1993, after being founded and run for the better part of three decades by Joseph F. "Joe" Hrudka, the company emerged from a two-year bankruptcy reorganization in two parts. The independent Performance Industries Inc. was headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, and operated by Hrudka until 1995. Mr. Gasket continued on as a Brooklyn, Ohio-based subsidiary of Connecticut's Echlin Inc. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Gasket's product line included UltraSeal high-performance gaskets, Hurst shifters and linkage, Daytona accessories, Lakewood traction bars and bell housings; Hayes clutches, Black Magic II louvers, Rodware chrome accessories, and Bandit lug nuts and wheel accessories.
Mr. Gasket manufactures a variety of performance parts and accessories, including carburetor and fuel accessories, cooling system accessories, engine components, fasteners, gaskets, and suspension and drive line components. The Mr. Gasket brand provides a variety of performance and racing products for all parts of your vehicle including: carburetor and fuel accessories, chrome-plated accessories, cooling system accessories, engine components, ignition and electrical accessories, shifter accessories, specialty tools and suspension and driveline components. Mr. Gasket also includes Ultra-Seal gaskets and fasteners.
Under the management of its new parent, Mr. Gasket's sales increased from about $40 million in 1993 to about $73 million by 1995. John "Jack" McGrath assumed Mr. Gasket's presidency in October 1995. McGrath brought two decades of experience in the automotive aftermarket, having been hired away from Allied Signal's Automotive Aftermarket division. McGrath revealed his two-part plan for Mr. Gasket in a February 1996 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) News interview. He said he hoped to increase the company's penetration of the high-tech end of the market through the creation of a Custom Racing Products Group, while building on the firm's core accessory market. Improvements in marketing and distribution were keys to the program's success. McGrath boosted retail and mail-order distribution, and increased Mr. Gasket's dozen or so brands' television exposure via sponsorships of segments and spot tv ads on "Motor Trend", ""Shadetree Mechanic," "Road Test Magazine," and "Inside Drag Racing." The company even started cruising the "information superhighway" with a presence on the "Motorville Online" Web site.
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