Founded by the late Ron Silvester in 1970. A bi-product of Ron’s own racing and the scarceness of American V8 parts in New Zealand at the time. The actual business all started in a small white cupboard, which still exists today! Ron was famous for the successfully raced, red and silver ’38 Chev Coupe powered by a small block Chevrolet V8 which was a leader in its own right, racing against Camaros and Mustangs of the era, the coupe being the dominant car at the race track back in the late 60’s. This car today, is still in the family and is now raced at annual classic racecar events by Ron’s son Grant Silvester who demonstrates it well. It is still an eye catcher for the young and not so young, as it was back in the 60’s.
With Ron’s car sales business Sydenham Park Car Sales focusing on American vehicles of various types, the performance business “Sydenham Park Chev Spares” was a natural addition. The importing from the USA of used V8 engines and new parts started in 1970 with Ron and good friend and mechanic Jim Walker, the first trip to the USA in search to obtain the best Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler engines available at the time. Ron’s great working team all did their part in getting the company to where it is today the Race Shop that was forged with the team of Neil Stuart, Wayne Watson and Ron’s son Grant. All major brands were undertaken and the old original shop in Bath St had the logo “Little Shop With the Big Stocks,” today’s logo reads “Now You’re Racin”.
In 1987 the purchase of larger premises at 144 Moorhouse Ave were obtained and old buildings were demolished to make way for a mega site with brand new show rooms built. The car division also became a leading NZ dealership for new Chevrolet trucks, while the new performance parts shop was product searching the world and still is from places like USA, India, China, Taiwan, Pakistan, Italy and Australia. Any great business is only a reflection of the people that run it and that is more than true with the Silvester companies, which are very proud to have staff that have been with the company for up to 35 years! To date.
1995 was the saddest of years with Ron Silvester who was our Founder, Managing Director, Mentor, Father & Friend passing away. Ron was 59 years old and had battled with cancer since early 1990. With much alternative treatments, Ron past away on the 24th July 1995 in California USA. A huge loss to us all.
The legacy lived on through Ron’s design / plans, the new dealership was set in place and completed late 1996. Ron would have wanted “business as normal”, which was done and still is done in true fashion. As the years moved on both Donna, Ron’s daughter, and Grant moved into two company areas, along with a dedicated team to run the Silvester Group of Companies. The addition of Japanese Race Supplies – Chevron Finance – Chevron Global – Silvester Safety Equipment – SRP (Silvester Racing Products) – and Silvester Service Centre, these are all companies that are in the Silvester group and the name Chevron was brought about from Ron’s days racing Chevrolets and using his name hence the Chevron from the early 70’s. Japanese Race Supplies as the name suggests caters for all leading quality products from body kits to hard core race pistons, cams, conrods, turbochargers just to name a few and marketed here in NZ as well as in other countries around the world.
Silvester Safety Equipment to date, markets high quality products such as race harnesses, race gloves, driving boots, neck braces, helmets and race suits. Designed and built to stringent world safety standards such as SFI and FIA specifications and proud to be sold world wide via our Chevron Global Company. SRP brands are another high quality brand of product we market which includes Alloy race radiators, AN hoses and fittings, reduction drive starter motors plus many other items for the true hi performance and race market.
Silvester V8 continues as part of Ron's legacy and passion for cars and racing.