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Steve Leavitt Race Cars – Steve Leavitt, Sr. and RMI Racing Fabrication – Robbie Macleod 
Published on: December 26, 2022
50 car

Steve was one of the first team members selected to work on the #50 Pontiac Tempest project. When told about the project Steve eagerly agreed to help. He was asked to work on the chassis and roll cage to start. Then, since an original Tempest trans axle was near impossible to find, he offered to design all of the mounting arms and brackets on his CAD/CAM system to adapt the purchased Corvette rear to the 1963 Tempest’s chassis.

Early Racing Start

Steve got his racing start at a very early age. Steve was born into a racing family in Kezer Falls, Maine and his true love is not behind the wheel, but instead behind the scenes building something.

The son of the renowned Northeast racer Gardner Leavitt, Steve got his start in the industry early by building race cars before he was 10 years old. Originally, they were the old coupes that his father raced. Gardner and Steve ran mostly New England short tracks, but once a year would venture south to race at legendary Southern short tracks like Martinsville, Virginia and Hickory, North Carolina. Later, Steve began building race cars for himself and was driving them by the age of 16.

His racing adventures were abruptly interrupted in the early 70s due to a call from Uncle Sam. Once back home, Steve got busy building a ’64 Chevelle for himself, but didn’t run it long because it was sold (too soon for his liking). Steve then started another car and then yet another car, but they too were purchased as well. As he built more cars, and they won more races, his fame continued to spread.

Dream Phone Call

In 1992, Steve received the call that every racer dreams of. It was from Hendrick Motorsports of Concord, North Carolina calling and they wanted Steve to move south and build cars for them. It didn’t take two seconds for Steve to say “yes.” After a successful career at Hendrick, Steve moved on to work exclusively for Bobby Allison Racing, Kranefuss-Haas Racing and Bahari Racing.

It was in 1999 that he opened Steve Leavitt Race Cars deciding that a journeyman chassis-building career was not for him. From that day to today, Steve has been kept busy every minute building his famous, and successful, chassis’ for a variety of NASCAR Truck, Xfinity/Gander Mountain and Cup Series teams.

A Little Help From His Friends

On the Tempest, Steve didn’t work alone, he called in metal fabricator, Robbie Macleod. Robbie has worked with Steve on many other projects and Steve knew he was the right guy to fabricate the floor pans, tunnel, air cleaner housing and trunk for the #50 Tempest.

Besides being great with metal, Robbie is also a fantastic old-school painter. He freehand painted the numbers on the car with a 1” brush and 1 Shot paint just like it used to be done. The look is amazing and adds to the “original” feel of the car.

Robbie owns RMI Racing Fabrication in Mooresville, North Carolina where he fabricates various duct work, air cleaner cowls, and tool trays among other parts for several different race teams from different race series including NASCAR. Robbie is also the innovator of the new Air Hogg Engine coolers and wheel blowers.

Both of these gentlemen were instrumental team members for this project.

Published by: Roger Rosebush

With 54 years of racing experience and over 40 of them in the Automotive Aftermarket, Roger is in a unique position to speak to those wanting an insight into many areas of interest in the industry.

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