Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 29, 2016
Photos By: Kooks Headers

For nearly six decades Kooks Headers and Exhaust have been building innovative exhaust components for everything from dragsters to modern muscle street cars. You’ll find their headers and cat-back systems on today’s high-powered Coyote Mustang GTs and the new Ford Shelby GT350 but walk any race track’s pit lane and you’ll see Kooks Headers and Exhaust products in just about every class of race car.

Kooks relocated from Long Island, New York several years ago to North Carolina and settled into Statesville, about an hour north of Charlotte. There, Kooks Headers and Exhaust works out of a main 46,000 square foot manufacturing and headquarters building that we recently toured (see video below) and also has a nearby separate shipping facility. Recently, Kooks Headers and Exhaust expanded into a third building in Mooresville, NC, roughly half way between Charlotte and Statesville and just a quick 25 minute drive down I-77. The new facility houses the sales and marketing team, which used to work out of the Statesville headquarters, and a newly expanded research and development center that will ultimately be able to sell and install Kooks Headers and Exhaust products at the retail level.

The 20,000 square foot facility was completely gutted and redesigned by George Kook Jr. and opened in the fall of 2016. The move and expansion allows the original Statesville headquarters location to expand its manufacturing capabilities, including laser cutting up to ¾-inch plate in stainless to produce their own exhaust flanges and other plate parts such as brackets, making in-house production completely self-reliant now. We also toured this new location as well in the second video below.

The new research and development center includes four lifts (two two-post, two four-post), a mandrel tube bender, welding center, digital laser scanning equipment, and more. Future plans call for a chassis dyno as well, allowing for full pre and post testing of installed exhaust components.

The new equipment includes:
- 6,000 Watt Mitsubishi Laser Cutting machine
- 60-ton Dener break press
- Time Saver surface conditioning machine
- AIM 1CNC Wire bending machine

“Our customers continuously ask us to develop new products, and with this new expansion, we are showing our customers how devoted we are to continuing to provide the best technology in the industry,” George Kook Jr. said. “And a big part of that is our investment in cutting-edge machining equipment and engineering talent. We are now one of the only header and exhaust companies that can produce everything in house, and we are very proud of that.”

Kooks will also use their new equipment and to manufacture products for other companies. “We look forward to providing custom machining and fabrication services for other companies with our investment in the new equipment” stated George Kook Jr. “The Mooresville location will also feature a custom fabrication center where customers can have the best header and exhaust products on the market installed on their vehicle.”

The Mooresville location is the third facility for Kooks Headers and Exhaust. The company now occupies more than 100,000 square-feet across the three facilities and employs 90 people.