HERITAGE AND HISTORY
From Astro Van to Z car, we have worked with all makes and models
Xenon Heritage and History
Born out of the Southern California Hot Rod movement of the 1960’s, the Xenon brand was founded in 1973 by Chet Knox of Cyclone Automotive Products. Chet & Cyclone were noted for their high-performance header designs that dominated competition throughout the 1950’s & 60’s AHRA, NHRA, Funny Car, and Street Car Scene. By 1970, Cyclone Headers had been sold to W.R. Grace and Chet was on to his next venture.
In the early 1970’s, Chet began noticing that composite and fiberglass materials were becoming widely adopted for Hot Rodders and Motorsport teams as a solution to streamline their cars and offer stability at higher speeds. Keeping that in mind Chet began working with composite materials and found that he could produce parts with accuracy and repeatability. This eventually evolved into taking these precision capabilities and moving into the next boom, personal computers.
Starting in 1973, Xenon began producing computer enclosures. With the mass production of the microprocessor starting in 1971 computers became affordable for the general public and Xenon was there to build the enclosures with precision and repeatability. This continued throughout the 1970’s, but just as computer models became centralized and computer companies starting gaining critical mass a new material and manufacturing process started making headlines in automotive, Polyurethane and Reaction Injection Molding.
By 1980, Xenon had a new opportunity and Chet had a chance to get back to his roots in automotive. His friends over at Pacesetter Exhaust had been working with the urethane material and RIM process and were successful in molding a rear valance design that complemented their performance muffler and tip placement. After discussion, Pacesetter wanted to maintain focus on exhaust and Xenon knew they could use this process to produce quality parts in a highly repeatable process. Armed with their core competency in composite manufacturing and highly skilled in precision design work, Xenon began manufacturing polyurethane parts alongside their composite operations.
In 1983, Chet’s son Greg Knox was at the helm of the operation and began launching new designs, building a reputation for Xenon as a leader in part quality and design. Through the next decade automotive restyling and Xenon products continued to gain momentum as a deeper understanding of aerodynamic efficiencies and functional aerodynamics became more prominent in automotive performance and design.
By the mid-1990’s and a new era of car customization at hand, Greg was expanding operations and capturing the mass customization market firsthand. Xenon had styling and functional aero components for every major vehicle model on the market and played an important role as a partner and supplier to bailment pool and upfitter operations for both the US and Japan markets.
This success continued throughout the 2000’s and to current day with Xenon expanding further into OE programs, private label, and contract manufacturing in addition maintaining passion the Xenon branded line of automotive restyling products. Throughout its 45 year history, Xenon has relied on its core principles of manufacturing with precision and using the latest technologies to produce quality products.