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Quirt Crawford, the owner and lead engineer, started his involvement in the racing world the moment he could pick up his first wrench. His father and father before him were both car enthusiasts, and as we all know, racing starts in our blood. Both Quirt and his brother Monte learned from watching their father, and ended up racing as adolescents. From class 10 in the Baja 1000, to go-karts, to running the dyno for the NPTI GTP team, Quirt's wealth of knowledge has come from a lifetime of experience. He was even the crew chief for Tim Allen's Saleen Racing team. Comedy.
Crawford Performance is a company that has evolved since the early 90's, starting off as 'Quirt's Turbos' which designed and tuned turbo kits for VW. Quirt alongside San Diego's own VW Paradise set the record for the world's fastest 4-cylinder dragster.
A few years later, someone brought Quirt a sandrail with a Subaru engine. Since it was similar to a VW configuration, the customer was hoping he could give it his best shot. Quirt is always up for a challenge and an opportunity to build on his knowledge, so he took on this new project. He was blown away at the motors' composition and it's potential for power, and from that point on, he was hooked. From this spark, he started a company called Leading Edge, which specialized in building turn-key motor/turbo packages for off-road vehicles such as sandrails. They then teamed up with a leading chassis manufacturer, Funco, and together they put out hundreds of turn-key sandrails.. some of which are still shredding the dunes today! Quirt couldn't stop there though, he was itching to test one of these packages in a street car to see how it could do on tarmac. In the late 90's, he started R&Ding his very first Subaru; a 1993 Legacy (turbo model, of course). Since there wasn't really a tuning market for these cars yet, he had no way to tune the car other than a standalone ECU. Although it took re-wiring the entire engine harness, he set up a MoTeC. That poor little car saw dozens of motors, about 8 transmissions, and plenty of grins. Quirt even went as far as duning the car up Oldsmobile Hill in Glamis, CA. The car had enough torque that he just let a bit of air out of the tires and was able to beat V8 sandrails down the sand drags harnessing his 2.8L monster motor.
When the WRX came out in 2002, he finally had a car with a strong enough platform to build and competitively race on tarmac with. Around the same time, Quirt decided to completely move on from the off-road market in to the street market, and effectively closed the doors on Leading Edge. In 2002, Crawford Performance was established, and there the fun really began.
Although the WRX was a great place to start, the STI blew it out of the water when it was released in 2004 with it's improved drivetrain and chassis modifications. With this improved platform and Quirts extensive R&D on the motor and turbo, teams that were powered by Crawford began taking home trophy after trophy and set record after record. This gained the attention of one of Subaru's Rally drivers: Ken Block. He was looking for the right experts to turn one of his rally cars in to a 'Gymkhana' car. A good way to describe Gymkhana is a series of events/obstacles to test the diversity of a vehicle. In this case, tarmac diversity. A car that could go fast in a straight line, around a corner, and even accelerate while in a drift. He needed ultimate control, paired with power at every point of the curve. Together, Ken Block and Crawford gave you Gymkhana Practice (1), and Gymkhana Two: The Infomercial.. two viral videos that changed the world's perception of Subaru in the performance world. Following these projects, Subaru of America reached out to Crawford Performance in 2007 to build them the fastest new-age STI in the world.. and that they did. We call her "Tony the Tiger", our orange time-attack champion, driven by none other than Eiji (Tarzan) Yamada. In it's glory, she put out 850 HP/TQ, and still remains in our Oceanside, CA facility for all to see.
Here we are nearly a decade later, when Subaru surprised all of us with a brand new engine: the FA20. The second Quirt got his hands on his first BRZ in 2012, the engine came out and apart so he could tackle his next challenge. Upon first inspection, this motor was entirely different than the EJ. Since it came stock with an NA setup (non-turbo), compression was pretty high. Quirts expertise and background is with forced induction (turbo) setups, so his first goal was to figure out to make this motor strong enough for the kind of power that he planned on making with a custom turbo kit. Crawford was the first to complete and successfully run a turbo on the BRZ/FRS/GT86, as well as the first company to offer a built FA Turbo block. Subaru impressed Quirt yet again with its new powerhouse, and 3 years later, it continues to prove it's worth.
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Here at Crawford, one of our favorite sayings is, "Don't fix what's not broken." Many companies in this industry will tell you all of things you "need" to modify to make power, but we insist on telling you what is not needed. Any part that you do not see available on our site is for a reason.. we simply do not support useless modifications. For example, blow-off valves. See our FAQ for in depth articles on the method to our madness. Subaru's Genuine OEM parts are built to last, and we don't like to modify any component that cuts down on reliability and longevity. Obviously, with performance modifications, the more power you make, the harder it is on parts. Just the name of the game. But with our 30+ years of R&D and racing, we have honed in on how to make power, and how to make that power last.
Crawford Performance is a small family owned and operated company based out of San Diego County in sunny Southern California. We design and manufacture expertly engineered, high quality performance components for the race and street worlds, specializing in Subaru. Since 2002, we have been using the track as our platform to research and develop new performance parts, taking home countless victories in the process. Passing that R&D on to our fellow racers and street enthusiasts, Crawford Performance has become best known for building Ken Block’s Gymkhana 1 & 2 cars, and for inventing the Air/Oil Separator that is widely used to properly manage oil consumption in Boxer motors.
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