A BRAND IN TRANSITION
In the paragraphs to come you will read about pasts and futures. You will learn some things that few people know that will hopefully bring some interesting understanding to the forward progression of myself and my company.
While you may read of change or transitions, I would like to start by being sure to address the elephant that is not in the room. So let me please take this opportunity to assure our clients, friends, family, and fans that what you are about to learn has zero hidden agendas or negative motivation. The company “TopSpeed Black LLC”, which is the official LLC, is more stable than ever and is not being changed. The company itself from staff to leadership to financials is stronger than it has ever been. I know a lot of times the aura around tuner shops is not that of a very stable one, therefore when someone sees something like this happen there is a sense of… “what are they trying to cover up?”. Let me assure you…that is the complete opposite of the truth here. In fact, the name and business are so strong that this is a huge leap for me and the team. It not only has all kinds of complications but quite frankly also the tendency to be very scary. So please take a couple minutes and listen to my heart, passions, and reasoning for turning a brand page after over a decade of blood, sweat, and tears with TopSpeed.
History of TopSpeed
Some of you know the history of TopSpeed Motorsports and some don’t. I’ll give you a 30k feet overview as it is an essential part of this brand transition. TopSpeed was formed in I believe the mid-2000s but not by me. It ran managed by the original owners for several years. In 2008 the company was facing some very serious troubles which is where I came in. From late 2008 until the end of 2011 I managed TopSpeed as an unpaid consultant in order to try and breathe life back into the company. Frankly, those years were a whirlwind. I felt like I was in the middle of a snowball rolling down a mountain simply trying to steer the place in the right direction with little authority or resources. I was not an owner, part-owner, or even a salaried employee …I simply had such a passion to be in the performance/racing industry that I saw it as a way to get my foot in the door. By the end of 2011, I had simply done all I could with the authority I had and decided it was time for me to move on. With that decision came the realization to the current owner that he would rather focus on family and personal life than dive back into trying to keep the company running without me.
I saw this as my opportunity to fulfill my dream as an owner of an automotive performance company. A possible start of my path toward my childhood dream that started when I was 11 years old sitting in a 308 GTS Ferrari at a car show. At that point, I desperately wanted to change the feel of the brand. I had never liked or agreed with the generic name TopSpeed as a company name and felt it would be harder for it to stand timeless than if the brand was recreated. I also wanted to start with something that was mine, something that would become that 11 year old’s legacy and something that would inspire the drive inside of me to push harder than anyone else around me. Unfortunately, I caved to my peers who thought I was crazy to delete an established image and essentially start over in building awareness.
While they were likely right, looking from the outside. I allowed myself to ignore or overlook what I felt our future was to be. I was also very caught up in this snowball of reacting to my surroundings with much less targeted goals as I have now, over 8 years later.
Now that you have a picture of myself and the company’s beginnings as well as a small glimpse of my aspirations, it will lead us into what has finally driven me to turn a page and start a new chapter. I did some very serious soul searching this year in order to understand and envision the end of my career. I really focused on not only what my personal life goals were, but also what I wanted the landscape of mine and my team’s company legacy to look like. Since I was very young I have always dreamed of adding to the automotive or racing industry in a substantial way. Over the last year, there has been a force rising up inside of me that, regardless of me trying to ignore it, continues to grow. These aspirations have been the projecting force behind my desire to not just work on and build fast cars, but rather to build an automotive legacy. I began to ask myself… “When I retire or pass what is it that I want to have left this great industry, and what do I want my team’s efforts to have created or stood for?”
These questions needed answers so I set out on this final year of my 30s, the closing year of the decade, to really take control of what our future would hold. Instead of reacting, it was time to act. It was time to steer the ship to a preset destination rather than exhausting energy dodging things that were thrown at us.
The answer to these questions came in sections, but in the end, some very simple conclusions were made. I decided that I indeed wanted to continue in the automotive performance sector for the rest of my career. I also decided that if I was going to spend the next 20-30 years of my life dedicated to investment in this industry and its clientele, the dream of legacy embraced at a young age was what I wanted to erect.
It is with pride founded in humility that I announce to the world our new brand from this point forward…
This complete revamp of the brand starting with the name will be the first of several amazing changes that I believe will propel us toward bigger things than ever before. Myself and my entire team are cautiously optimistic and excited for what the future of the brand holds as we move into this new chapter of growth.
I am not foolish enough to think that this transition will be without its struggles or that it won’t be met with any opposition from people that identify with the TopSpeed brand. However, rest assured that the same people, attitudes, morals, and drive will go into making sure all that are involved are even more excited to join us on our fresh journey.
Understanding the Why
For those of you thinking to yourself “what is he thinking, he just spent a decade building TopSpeed and now he is just gonna throw all that away” Allow me to expound a little bit on my reasoning and mindset for you.
Growing up I was obviously fascinated, even borderline obsessed, with cars and racing. I used to draw pictures of cars, sign them with specific naming conventions and even brand them when I was 7, 8 and 9 years old. When I grew older my passion for history was passed down from my mother and I began to research the foundation of these great companies I loved. I was fascinated with stories of legendary companies and their founders such as Enzo Ferrari, Bruce McLaren, Ferdinand Porsche, Karl Benz, Henry Ford … the list goes on and on. These men and their creations were something that I looked up to as well as the many great family names in aftermarket performance.
To only compound those aspirations, I looked at my own family. Lots of you may not know this but my mother quit working in order to teach me and my brother school. She dedicated her life to shape us without the outside influences of the public school system. It was her belief that it was a worthy investment to which I will forever be grateful. My father not only picked up the slack of a single income household by working sometimes 100 hour weeks, but also has invested in me on so many levels I could never begin to repay him. My brother also has stood by me through good decisions and bad, offering everything from a sounding board to investments in some of my crazy ideas. My extended family is also very close and I simply wouldn’t be near the man I am without them. Anyone who has been around events where my parents or family is can feel what I’m talking about.
So, one motivation behind this rebrand is very simply to dedicate my work, my hopeful legacy, to our family name.
To further that thought I will bring in my staff. As I’m sure a lot of people reading this can attest to, myself and my team have a unique unity at events we attend. That feeling isn’t created or made up, it stems from truly caring about one another and the clients we serve. We are without exaggeration like extended family to one another. I do not say that in some corny way … it’s simply the truth. I can tell you confidently that there is little myself or any member of my team would not do for one another in a time of need. That comradery and mutual respect is yet another driving force behind me wanting to leave these guys with a legacy formed with the family name on the building.
Then there is the simple raw drive behind me as a leader. My family’s name is on the door! To me this is the ultimate, accountability I could imagine. It makes me want to push harder in absolutely every area. I want customers to have the absolute embodiment of a perfect experience more than ever. I want our cars to perform better and more consistently than ever. I want the art that my staff immerses themselves in to be more beautiful than ever.
In my mind, I have been building something I inherited. I am thankful for it as it taught me so much, and those lessons will most certainly help shape what is to come. It has however become clear to me that in 30 years I want to leave behind more than an inheritance…I want to leave a legacy.
The mission of this new brand while it may not deviate much will be a very clear set path in which our future and decisions are based.
We will award joy and security to our clients by way of consistent performance and exclusive service.
After over a decade of servicing the aftermarket automotive industry, there has been a thread that has consistently been the magnetizing force drawing our team aggressively toward perfection. That thread or idea has been to provide our clients with an automobile that brings them joy. Not just a machine that gets them to work but rather a part of their lives that helps shape their experience and friendships.
Our foundational goal here at Cicio Performance is to utilize our experience combined with hard work to bring our clients a product… a machine that consistently without fail puts joy in their hearts and a huge smile on their face.
As always I want to thank the great community of enthusiasts for the support. We are excited to turn the page to this next chapter, rest assured the book is far from over!