History of Hardcore Horsepower

Mike Petralia began his high performance career like many of us, bolting on different parts in vain, trying to make his car go faster than his buddy’s. After graduating high school in 1987, Mike’s obsessive hobby landed him a full-time job working the stock room, and then the front sales counter of Western Performance Inc., a well-respected speed shop and W.D. in Glendale, CA. Within the next year he moved into the Technical/Sales Dept. at Weiand Automotive Industries, which was just a few miles down the road in Los Angeles, CA.

During his 9-year tenure at Weiand, Mike answered tech calls, attended trade shows, wrote instruction manuals, ads, and catalogs; and tested/developed many of Weiand’s new and existing products. If you’ve installed a Weiand intake manifold, water pump, or supercharger since 1988, chances are that Mike tested it first, and then wrote the instructions and technical manuals about it so you could install it right the first time. He also worked as liaison with many magazine editors; educating them on Weiand’s product line and helping create their stories. Many of the stories were done on Mike’s personal cars and engines in his own garage. It was his hands and arms shown in the photos those early years of his career.

All that activity gave Mike some insight into the publishing world and after leaving Weiand in 1997 he moved into the editorial trade, holding Associate Editor, Contributing Editor, Technical Editor, and Editor’s titles at several magazines including: Hot Rod, Super Chevy, Chevy High Performance, Popular Hot Rodding, Chevy Rumble, Street Rodder, Rod & Custom, Classic Trucks, and Engine Masters; as well as serving as Horsepower TV’s Technical Producer and Dyno Operator in 2006, and freelancing tons of stories for a multitude of other titles.

Mike opened Hardcore Horsepower, LLC in 2007 and builds cars and engines for magazines and walk-in customers alike. In 2012 they added a state-of-the-art 2,000+hp engine dynamometer system to tune and test all types of engine combinations. Mike’s still active in the writing business too, freelancing a few stories a year for select titles. And he’s now a distributor for most of the big name parts in the aftermarket.

Mike installs and tests what he sells. And with over 10,000 dyno pulls logged on all types of engines, he knows how to make power and stands behind his products.