Check Engine

Reliable Vehicle Service & Care Info

A blue Chevy Camaro that's equipped with GM Performance Parts is parked on a race track.

Are Chevy Performance Parts Right for You?

The answer to this question can be rather simple, depending on what kind of vehicle you own. Do you have a Chevy? If the answer is “no,” then you really don’t need these parts; but if the answer is “yes,” then Chevy Performance Parts could definitely be the right choice for you. Previously known as GM Performance Parts, Chevy Performance Parts are made by Chevy for their high-performance vehicles and available to the public for use in your car or truck.

By choosing these parts you know that you are getting exactly the right piece to fit into your vehicle, so you don’t have to worry about aftermarket designs and issues with construction. Chevy Performance Parts are designed for Chevy’s fastest, most powerful, high-performance vehicles on the road (and the race track). That means they are built to handle serious stress beyond what you probably put your vehicle through in a routine week.

If you want to get the most you can out of your Chevy, then Chevy Performance Parts are a perfect choice. And if you want to know more about the history of these components and what they can do for you, then just keep on reading…

GM Performance Parts

The origin of GM Performance Parts, which later became Chevy Performance Parts, goes back to 1967 and a meeting at General Motors. They decided they needed to better support the Trans Am racing teams that were on the tracks at the time. To do so, they began developing high-performance parts for those vehicles to make them the best they could be – after all, if their vehicles and parts won races, it looked good for them. At the time, these parts were meant only for their racing teams and the vehicles they drove.

The folks at General Motors quickly realized, however, that there was a section of customers that were interested in those high-performance parts designed for race cars. Some genius or another decided to make them available to the public, and so GM Performance Parts were born. These were high-performance pieces for vehicles like the third-generation Corvette and the first Camaro, designed to boost them even further. One aspect in particular of the early GM Performance Parts program remains as perhaps its greatest legacy.

The Crate Engine

Three Chevy Performance Parts, previously known as GM Performance Parts, Crate Engines are shown.

The idea of a crate engine was conceived by General Motors and became a major facet of the GM Performance Parts program. Prior to the development of crate engines, engines had to be assembled piece by piece when working on a vehicle. If someone wanted to replace the engine in his vehicle, he had to take it apart and put a new engine together with each component. The development of the crate engine replaced that with a fully built engine, originally shipped in a crate, which could be placed in a car and simply hooked up to secondary components like the fuel system.

Crate engines were a huge part of the GM Performance Parts system because they allowed customers to buy an entire engine from General Motors and then have it installed in their vehicle at a garage, or do it themselves if they had the equipment and expertise. Not only was this faster and easier than completely building an engine, it greatly reduced the chances of mistakes being made or incompatible parts being introduced. Overall, the crate engine and its inclusion with GM Performance Parts was a major turning point in American automotive design and maintenance.

Racing and High Performance Support

Perhaps the biggest factor in the development and success of GM Performance Parts was the involvement of General Motors with NASCAR. They backed every NASCAR team that was powered by Chevrolet and would actually ship high-performance parts to local dealerships that would then supply them to the NASCAR teams. This created a strong network between the manufacturer, dealerships, NASCAR teams, and fans/customers that all became involved in the process.

In particular, their involvement with Junior Johnson as he won three consecutive titles in the 1970s put GM Performance Parts in the spotlight in a big way. This was only matched by Dale Earnhardt featuring a GM Performance Parts logo on his car later on. By tapping into this market, connecting racers with their fans and the manufacturers of their vehicles, the GM Performance Parts program opened up new doors for customers.

Expansion and Customer Contact

In the 1980s, General Motors boosted their GM Performance Parts program by taking it directly to more customers in two major ways. The first is that they started driving huge, 18-wheel trucks and trailers to major races and car shows, loaded up with GM Performance Parts on them. Customers could meet with GM representatives and talk about the parts, discuss their builds and plans, and even buy the parts right there, directly from the trailers. This was before the internet made shopping so easy – so having GM Performance Parts brought right to them was a huge thing for a lot of customers.

The second way came in 1989 when the first catalog became available for customers to easily look at GM Performance Parts that were available and order them. For the first time, customers could look through what parts were offered, order crate engines and other components quickly and easily, and have them delivered straight to their homes. While that might not seem like much now, at the time that was a major innovation that opened up the high-performance part market for a lot of people.

Available Chevy/GM Performance Parts

The 2017 SEMA Chevy Colorado ZR2 is drifting in the sand.

Now that you know where GM Performance Parts came from, you might still be wondering if they are the right choice for you. In 2012, this program was renamed and is now Chevy Performance Parts, but you’ll still see and hear a lot of people use the two terms interchangeably. If you have a Chevy vehicle that you want to boost or get the most out of, then Chevy Performance Parts are some of the best ways to do so. Particularly if you have something that needs power and takes advantage of it, like a heavy-duty pickup or a sports car.

Different components are available for almost all the new vehicles made by Chevy, so you don’t have to feel like you need a Corvette to find something that is right for you. You don’t have to use a catalog or go to a car show these days to find Chevy Performance Parts – as you might expect there are many different websites that offer them. You can also go to a local dealer in your area that offers Chevy Performance Parts – such as a Chevy dealership.

Crate engines for different Chevy vehicles are as popular as ever, with numerous offerings from Chevy Performance to get the most out of your car or truck. Individual engine components, including accessory drive systems, adapters, camshafts, and cylinder heads, are all available from Chevy Performance Parts. Complete transmissions and transmission parts, such as clutch kits and shifters, are also offered by Chevy.

At the end of the day, the answer to that title question I posed earlier is, “If you have a Chevy and you want to get the most out of it, then yes.” Chevy Performance Parts are the best way to know you have components and equipment in your vehicle that can meet all of your demands and are designed by the engineers at Chevy itself. Plus, when you have a certified professional install these parts, they typically have no negative impact on your vehicle’s warranty – unlike a lot of aftermarket components.