Yesterday I got the rare privilege to tour the Dinan R & D facility in Morgan Hill and meet the mastermind behind the operation – Steve Dinan. The knowledge gain about Dinan’s business operations and Steve’s personality was invaluable and a great learning experience.
It was an incredible tour while trying to absorb all the daily activities that take place at Dinan. From the design and testing of new products to the in-house manufacturing capabilities, I was impressed by the amount of work involved to produce and sell a world-class product. Dinan’s basic philosophy is to build and sell a product that is straightforward to install and improve a car’s performance without any compromises or sacrifices. This means that your car is going to run better than when it came from the factory with no issues after the product is installed and no check engine lights.
There were so many fascinating projects taking place I don’t know where to start. The photo is of an M6 being fitted with a prototype exhaust system. One of Dinan’s philosophies is attention to detail. Dinan stainless steel exhaust systems optimize exhaust flow, have the proper back-pressure, allow for heat expansion, and sound totally cool. I learned that the exhaust pipes can extend almost two inches from cold to full operating temperature. Which is why I’ve nearly burned my shins from a Borla exhaust while unloading gear from the back of a Mini Cooper. The Dinan exhaust systems are setup such that the tips barely extend beyond the lower valance of the bumper when cold and extends enough beyond the lower valance such that the Dinan logo can be seen after the exhaust is heated and the pipes have expanded.
Being a long-time BMW enthusiast, it was fun meeting the people who work hard to create reliable “go-fast” products and have fun doing it. Steve is an amazing person and many of his employees recognize his genius by staying with the company for many years. The admiration and respect for Steve Dinan is evident with every person I met yesterday and most have been with Dinan for 10+ years. In an industry with a high turnover rate, this speaks volumes.
Pictured below are James, Jeff and Izzy. Be careful if you ever get in the car with Izzy. Izzy placed 2nd in points for the season in the Mazdaspeed Miata Cup race series in a field of 42 people. I got a demonstration of how fast a supercharged 3-series can accelerate and how quickly the Dinan brake kit can bring the car to a stop. I’m still waiting for my stomach to catch up with me after getting a ride from Izzy in a supercharged M3.
In a few days I will post more details and performance products from my tour with Steve Dinan.