History of Top End
Engineering, by Matt Steinhausen
Pete Klucas, owner of Top End Engineering, has been rodding cars
since high school. Pete's first car was
a 1969 Dodge Charger that he bought off the side of a Lincoln street for $2000
(interestingly, it was later discovered that the car was an actual R/T Charger,
but Pete didn't know it at the time).
Pete built a 440 for the car, modified the drive train, installed a new
interior, and caught "hot rod fever". The neck-jerking torque and thunderous roar of a well built 440
inspired and motivated Pete to continue to build cars.
Between jobs and school, Pete bought, sold, traded and modified
autos. First his Charger, then a
Coronet 500, an old Volvo S-1800, a big block '67 Chevy Impala, a '71 Dodge
Challenger, and a few VW bugs. The
family garage and barn were dedicated to Pete's hobby. Upon earning a degree in business
administration from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Pete started his
business "Pro Auto" at a rented shop north of 56th & Havelock. The early years included a lot of work on rebuilders,
numerous Volkswagen restorations, and a couple pro-street projects. Pete hired auto tech Tim Mulhair early on,
and the two of them worked elbow to elbow mastering the art of metal
fabrication and suspension modification.
The sawdust from the cabinet shop next door was bothersome and the new
company outgrew the rented shop on the first day of business, but Pete and Tim
managed to build some top quality cars working in cramped and dusty
quarters. Soon after starting his
business Pete renamed the firm "Top End Engineering" and he began
preparations for a larger shop. In
2004, after years of planning, Pete finally finished and moved into his
present-day shop, equipped with state-of-the-art tools, offices and paint
Top End's innovative concepts include custom valve covers. Pete's been fabricating custom valve covers
for almost 20 years. His newest design
is "fastener-free", so there are no bolts, studs or T-bars to
interrupt the clean lines of the engine components. Pete also designs and fabricates custom air induction systems.
Top End project "Cremoso", photo from
Pete is a visionary who foresees trends in the auto industry while
recognizing the classic artistry of the past.
He melds his ideas into his projects in an effort to make each car
unique, functional, fast and beautiful.
Pete's creativity and attention to detail is what sets Top End
Engineering apart, but the company has persevered because of the support of
family, super-skilled employees like Tim Mulhair, and the many other folks that
have been a part of the Top End team.