Workshop Profile: Performance Ignition

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Local outfit, Performance Ignition, finds its hardware in engine bays across the world


Profile: Performance Ignition

Performance Ignition Services, based in Melbourne, is one of those places that has cemented itself into the classic car business over a period of decades.

The business has been operating for over 50 years, with Dick O’Keefe (who still helps out during busy periods) running it for 23 of them. Current owners Shayne and Andrew Makin took over a couple of years ago.

Andrew’s family has owned several car dealerships, which was where his career in the automotive industry began. He’s had the distributors in his race cars, and so knew the product and liked it. So when the business came up for sale, they jumped on it.

Old cars have always been popular, and Shayne and Andrew agree they seem to be getting more so. "The vintage, hot rod & muscle car scene is continuously growing, and keeping us incredibly busy" says Shayne.

That’s no doubt helped by their direct long-term involvement in historic racing. Andrew currently pilots a 1973 March Formula Atlantic while his father, George, was a life-long competitor.

Their technical staff look after a lot of trade work – which they try to turn around in a day – and deals direct with retail customers.

The business has also gained recognition on an international platform. Their ignition systems and components are regularly sent to the US, New Zealand, UK, Serbia, Sweden & the Phillipines.

"Many rally cars in Wales run our systems, we regularly work with race teams in NZ, several concours cars in the UK now run our Scorcher distributors and recently we have been doing more and more business in the US."

"People who have issues with their distributors and ignition systems eventually make their way to us," says Andrew.

"We build reliable distributors using genuine Bosch components. All our Scorcher ignitions are hand built, in-house in Melbourne by a team of skilled machinists, engineers & mechanics."

"Often when it comes to ignition & distributors, people are left scratching their heads. The current market is filled with Chinese knock off distributors – which are terrible. To say the quality is substandard is an understatement. You can buy these dizzys for under $50 online, but you get what you pay for. It often ends up costing a lot more when they fail and cause catastrophic engine failure. We’ve seen it happen many times," says Andrew. "A $14,000+ engine destroyed by a $30 distributor."


Shop 47, 41-49 Norcal Rd
Nunawading 3131

Phone: 03 9872 3644



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