As racecars spin their wheels on the streets of Long Beach for the Toyota Grand Prix, local business owners Joyce and Hank Feldman of Performance Plus Tire & Automotive Superstore will be cheering along with the crowd.
“We never miss it,” Joyce, 58, said.
Although they don’t see any increase in sales during Grand Prix weekend, the couple said the event is good for showcasing all that Long Beach has to offer and for increasing awareness and driving passion for motorsports and automobiles in general.
Race weekend also can be an opportunity for the automotive experts to talk shop with other industry professionals, but the Feldmans said they’re mostly at the Grand Prix to watch the show.
Away from the track, it’ll be business as usual at Performance Plus, which has been located at 3910 Cherry Ave. in North Long Beach for a quarter-century and offers an unprecedented selection of tires and wheels as well as a full-service garage.
Hank’s late parents, Roselyn and Milton Felton, founded Performance Plus in 1971 in Inglewood. Hank, who is now 63, started mounting and selling tires as a teenager, and ultimately took over the operation.
He and Joyce’s five children also have all worked at the shop in various capacities, learning the trade from their parents as well as the many employees, and even multiple generations of employees, who have worked for the shop for several decades.
“We are a true family business,” Hank said. “Our customers see the same faces every time they come here.”
Dennis Feldman, for example, runs the company’s online department, which represents about half of sales today, Hank said. Performance Plus also offers its old-school customers a printed catalog, and the truck sitting outside the store is filled every day with items being shipped across the country and even internationally.
Self-proclaimed “locally world famous,” Performance Plus is an independent business with less than 50 employees that has managed to become a juggernaut in the tire industry, Hank said, selling as many as 10,000 tires a month and beating most any competitor’s price or selection, including rare and custom-made wheels and collector tires for vintage vehicles, hot rods, muscle cars and imports.
Some of those rare specimens are parked right outside Performance Plus, with the Feldman’s personal collection of cars on display there as well as a museum’s worth of automobile memorabilia spread throughout the business’s storeroom, waiting area and administrative offices.
Long Beach residents will recognize some of those cars as regular attractions in local parades since the family often loans them out for a good cause. Giving back to the community that supports the shop is important, Joyce said, noting that Performance Plus has raised money every fall for the past two decades to pay for Thanksgiving bags of food for the needy, in addition to other charitable endeavors.
That’s part of why they’ll be cheering along with the community this weekend as they show their support for Long Beach and the Grand Prix, the Feldmans said. And, maybe too, the auto enthusiasts will be able to add a few more driver signatures and tchotchkes to their business’s collection.