DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (May 9, 2023) – Three industry leaders are joining the prestigious SEMA Hall of Fame: Steve Ames of Ames Performance Engineering, John Iannotte of Kunzman & Associates, and Mitch Williams, who recently left StopTech Performance Brake Systems to join Rigid Industries.
Created in 1969, the SEMA Hall of Fame honors trailblazers who have significantly enhanced and contributed to the automotive industry. Its members are considered heroes, and each individual has a unique story to tell. The industry is invited to join in honoring the new SEMA Hall of Fame members during the 2023 SEMA Leaders & Legends Gala in Anaheim, Calif., on July 21. More details on the inductees will be shared during the Gala.
Steve Ames: Having developed a fascination for cars at a young age, Steve Ames began drag racing after earning an engineering degree from Columbia University. He started in the parts business by traveling along the East Coast buying New Old Stock (NOS) parts. In 1976 he noticed that Pontiac parts were in particularly high demand and began focusing exclusively on such products. As business continued, Ames realized that demand for restoration parts outweighed that of NOS parts and launched Ames Performance Engineering. He expanded with other companies within the restoration industry, providing much-needed products for growing markets, and became an authoritative voice in the classic car industry. Ames is one of the original founders of SEMA's Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO), was named ARMO’s Person of the Year in 2007, and is a recipient of the ARMO Lifetime Achievement Award. Ames passed away in December 2020.
Ames and the other inductees will be formally introduced during the 2023 SEMA Leaders & Legends Gala in Anaheim, Calif., on July 21, at which time newly elected and outgoing SEMA Board members will also be honored. All SEMA members and industry professionals are invited to join the celebration by purchasing tickets at www.sema.org/gala.