About King Motorsports
King Motorsports was founded in 1981 by Jim Dentici. This was a natural progression of his successful Milwaukee, Wisconsin based Honda auto and motorcycle dealerships. Jim already had extensive motorsports background with karting championships, 1/4 midget championships, motocross, F-1 snowmobile (hey, it's Wisconsin) and even Top Fuel Dragster experience! To race the car that was being sold off his showroom floor seemed to be a great idea. But at that time the idea of Honda and performance were not exactly an everyday occurrence.
Jim and his crew built a 1200 Civic for SCCA GT-4 (now GT-5) road racing. Since performance parts were unheard of at the time, virtually every part of the car was designed and fabricated by the boys on South 76th St. Jim went on to win the SCCA National Championship that year and was also named SCCA "Rookie of the Year." Not bad for a guy in his first year of road racing! It is important to note that this was the first championship of any kind for American Honda Motor Co. Ltd in the U.S.A.! Word spread throughout the racing world and before he knew it, Jim was fabricating and marketing performance products for the fledging Honda performance aftermarket. Their motto; “They make it simple. We make it fast.”
The King Motorsports Civic became “the” force to be reckoned with at every SCCA National event. It won 33 out of 36 races and set lap records that still stand today. When the new 1984 Prelude was introduced the King Motorsports boys were ready to take it to the next level. They constructed the very first Honda racecar for a professional race series— the grueling IMSA RS Series. Once again they designed and fabricated the entire racecar using all the knowledge gained through 3 years of racing the Civic. The King Motorsports Prelude was fast. Really fast. It finished in the top ten its very first year in a series dominated by factory teams. King Motorsports' parts sales grew even more.
When American Honda made plans to introduce the new Acura line in 1986, King Motorsports was chosen to introduce the new Integra to the racing world. But this time King Motorsports had the help of Mugen Co., Ltd.! Mugen, meaning "Without Limit," was started by the son of Mr. Soichiro Honda, Hirotoshi Honda. Mugen was founded in 1973 and had become hugely successful in Asia and Japan winning EVERY race series they entered and producing the finest performance products for Honda automobiles.
The IMSA RS Integras won the Championship two years in a row powered by Mugen engines, transmissions and suspension. In 1987, when Mugen decided to enter the US market they chose King Motorsports as the sole authorized North American distributor of Mugen parts. Jim hired Scott Zellner, a successful Honda racer from the east coast, as head of sales and they never looked back.
When the second-generation CRX was introduced in 1988, King Motorsports and Mugen laid plans for the world-beater SCCA GT-3 racecar. The tubular chassis was constructed by King Motorsports and the powertrain produced by Mugen. Mugen sent two engineers to live in the States and help develop this car. The result was another two SCCA National Championships and utter domination of the GT-3 class from 1989-1993. Eight of these cars were constructed for clients all over the world. The head engineer from the GT-3 engine program, Tenji Sakai, would later become the head of the Mugen/Honda Formula-1 engine program!
King Motorsports’ success in the racing business continued through the 1990’s. 1993 saw yet another SCCA National Championship with the GT-3 CRX and in 1995 a World Challenge championship via a Honda Prelude constructed by King Motorsports. They also showed dominance at the grass-roots level with championships at the SCCA American Road Race of Champions in an ITA Honda CRX in 1996 and 1999. Meanwhile the sport compact market was growing rapidly and King Motorsports was bringing all of their race winning technology to the masses. In 1997 Jim Dentici retired and Scott Zellner assumed the reigns as President and CEO of King Motorsports, now the world’s largest distributor of Mugen products.
In 1997 Acura released the high revving Integra Type R to the US market and King Motorsports set out to make it a championship winning race car. Equipped with Mugen products King Motorsports scored two more professional championships in the 2000 Motorola Cup and the 2001 Grand Am Cup. Scott Zellner was named “Crew Chief of the Year” from 2000-2003 for his development of the car and management of the team. The Type R became the dominate “touring” race car in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s; all of the top professional teams were running Mugen powertrain and suspension components. During this time King Motorsports also constructed an Integra Type R project car that made its way through the automotive press; the editors from Car & Driver stated, “If you have to own one car to haul groceries, blast out the morning cobwebs, and go on weekend track forays, few do it better.”
In the winter of 2002 King Motorsports began development on the newly released Acura RSX platform. The chassis was completely engineered and fabricated by King Motorsports with powertrain again coming from Mugen in Japan. The result was a proven race winner in the ultra-competitive SPEED World Challenge Series. In only seven completed races the RSX captured two Top 5 finishes and one win with veteran driver Bob Endicott at the controls. The World Challenge team was also featured on SPEED Channel’s “Sports Car Revolution” TV show along with the Mugen EP3 Civic Project car.
By 2004 King had outgrown their facility in the rolling hills of Sullivan, WI and made a move to the Metro-Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. The new facility offered much more usable space, a comfortable showroom for walk-in customers, machine shop, engine building clean-room, and more warehouse space. The concept of the new facility was to create a “destination” for customers and enthusiasts. A destination for them to physically experience the professionalism and quality that King Motorsports and Mugen products have come to represent.
Currently King Motorsports is working on several K-Series related projects. They include an all motor K24 powered Honda Element, a 2005 RSX-S that will compete in the “RSX Challenge”, and they plan continued development of the Mugen TSX Project car that was featured at the Detroit Auto Show and will be featured in Car & Driver and Sport Compact Car.