In 1968, racing enthusiast Gary Holzapfel witnessed his colleagues’ problematic broken engines, reoccurring deficiencies caused by inferior fasteners. Armed with experience as a subcontractor for a leading aerospace company, Holzapfel founded ARP (Automotive Racing Products) and grew from a backyard garage workshop into a highly diversified manufacturer with four operational entities in Southern California, covering more than 115,000 square feet of space for tooling and machining. ARP’s customer list includes the top names in motorsports, from NASCAR champions to CART Formula 1 race teams.
A Classic Moment: ARP President and Hozy’s Grill co-proprietor Mike Holzapfel with Neil Conway, Wine Manager, Southern Wine & Spirits. Along with this ’66 Chevelle, Mike owns three Camaros and a Buick GS.
Gentlemen, Start Your Ovens
ARP’s main facility is located in Santa Paula, California, a quiet community halfway between Valencia and Ventura, off Highway 126. Instead of a showroom for chrome studs to represent the business, Holzapfel opened HOZY’S Grill, a race-themed restaurant.
“My grandfather was a chef and dad always cooked at home,” said Mike Holzapfel, Gary’s son and President of ARP.
Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon is among the highlighted wines on the list at Hozy’s, shown emerged here in world class, speed-purpose bolts.
The tie-in to great cuisine started at home, and Hozy’s Grill, a comfort food haven, combines the same commitment to premium grade ingredients as ARP is to premium grade for its “zero defects” quality materials.
Executive Chef Merced Robles, formerly with Suzanne’s in Ojai presides in the kitchen. Consultant Chefs are brought in on a regular basis, and we met with Michael Hutchings, who founded the original Michael’s Waterside in Santa Barbara.
Locally grown Heirloom hydroponic tomatoes are luscious with fresh basil, feta and arugula tossed in a white Balsamic vinaigrette. We thought it paired wonderfully with Chandon’s Classic Brut from Califorina.
As equipment at ARP is bought and modified to make custom parts, Robles has the authority to create fantastic menus with choice meats, poultry and produce, flying in stone crabs from Florida, fresh lobster from New England, lamb from Virginia and even such items as cheesecake from New York’s Carnegie deli.
“We make the best products we can and we serve the best food,” notes Mike. “We keep our reputation up, whatever we do; you can’t buy a reputation.”
Hozy’s has it all: It’s as much fun as being in the luxury box at Indy.
Executive Chef Merced Robles with Consulting Chef Michael Hutchings