About DSS Racing

Untitled Document


DSS Racings first store front

March 1983: Our humble beginning. Based on a $3500.00 loan from our parents Ron Raffanti and Tom Naegele started Danny's Speed Shop.

Our first store located at 7521 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago.

Here we are building our parts counter before opening on April1.

Pictured from left to right Tom Naegele (age 19), Ron’s Dad Ron, Tom’s Mom Lela and Ron Raffanti (age 20).

April 1, 1983: We opened Danny’s Speed Shop, a 400 square foot retail space with a small machine shop area in the back.

Who is Danny? Well funny thing is, there is no Danny. There never was, just the 2 founders Ron and Tom. Danny was a nickname, kind of an inside joke. We hated the name from the beginning but learned how to make it work (later incorporating and changing our name to D.S.S. Inc.).

DSS Racings first location

1985: Our first brand new equipment purchase was this SuperFlow SF600 flow bench.

Making more power and developing our Racing Engine Business was everything to us.

1985: Tom's Outlaw Super Stock car, seen here at Union Grove Wisconsin (running in the high 9 low 10 second range at 3400 LBS).

Powered by a Naturally Aspirated 9200 RPM Ford Boss 351 Cleveland. Utilizing a manually shifted Doug Nash 5 Speed transmission and then later a Liberty Clutchless transmission. Fun to drive!!

When we were not at work we were racing or working on our race cars. Racing has always been a great learning and promotional tool.

Toms Race car that he bought when he was 16
DSS Racing Belmont store 2nd location

1986: Danny’s Speed Shop was incorporated under the new name, D.S.S. Inc., otherwise known as "D.S.S. Racing".

We outgrew our first shop and moved to Belmont Ave. in Chicago.

At the time we thought we would never fill up 5,000 square feet.

Our new location had room for 3 of our race cars in the front window. Better yet we had 3,000 square feet of shop space out back!

1986: Retail counter of our Belmont Avenue Store.

Founders (pictures from left to right): Tom Naegele (age 22) and Ron Raffanti (age 23).

1988: The dream of being involved, let alone be part owner of a Pro Stock Racing Team became a reality.

We partnered with a good customer of ours, Chuck DeMory and DSS-DeMory Pro Stock Racing was formed.

We ordered a brand-new Jerry Haas Ford Probe Chassis and got busy on our engine program.

Seen here one of our engines on our first Super Flow SF-901 Dyno.

Over the years we built several Big Block Ford Pro Stock engines both Hemi and Wedge style along with a few Pro Stock Chevy Big Inch Big Blocks.

We ran a busy Match race UDRA and Midwest Pro-Stock schedule, also fitting in a few NHRA and IHRA national events.

Pro Stock Racing taught us so much about engine building and engine design.

DSS Racing Pros Stock engine on the Dyno


 Pictured: One of our low deck iron engine blocks sitting next to a standard 460 block. Notice the short deck height on the right-side block. Back in the day (Mid to late 90's) there were no factory made "Pro Stock type Blocks". On this particular engine block, we decked the block from 10.3 to 8.95 (1.35 inches) and then furnace welded up the open deck creating a low deck Big Block Ford engine block. 

Pictured: Engine blocks sitting in front of our Mazak HCN 6000 F.M.S. (Flexable Manufacturing System). DSS Racing CNC Block shop
DSS Racing first building purchase in Lombard 1990: After paying rent for the first seven years of business, it was time to buy our own building. We needed space to expand our manufacturing business and operate our Pro Stock Racing operation. Pictured is the retail portion of our location in Lombard, Illinois.
1991: Ford Boss 600 CID. Pro Stock Engine in our assembly room just prior to our Lombard location’s Grand Opening. Our race engine building and racing experience is what makes us who we are. The experience we gained is invaluable and has inspired and enhanced our products immensely. DSS Racing 805 Hemi Pro Stock at Open House
DSS Racing Bullet Short Block

1992: Our Small Block Ford engine business was really starting to take off. The Chevrolet world had assembled performance short blocks readily available, but no one was really offering that for Fords.

With all the new Big Valve Cylinder Heads and Centrifugal Superchargers coming onto the scene there was a tremendous need for Forged large valve relief pistons.

The DSS Bullet Short block program was born. We have sold tens of thousands of these engines and there are still many of them on the road today.

Pictured: IHRA Mountain motor Pro Stock BOSS 815. DSS Racing Boss 815 Pro Stock engine
DSS Racing Jerry Haase Pro Stock Car

Building the engines, doing the weekly maintenance and the crew chief duties for a Pro Stock team is a big commitment. We did it for many years. The things we learned along the way are priceless.

We had to cut back on racing to make time for our growing business. Today we have several shop cars including a Super Charged Small Tire Mustang and one of our old Jerry Haas-built Pro Stock Mustangs. 

1994: Fly cutting pistons by hand in a Bridgeport mill for all the Bullet short blocks we were selling became a bit of a problem. Not to mention we had a new Product that was going to change the small block Ford world. The DSS Racing Main Support System made possible 600+ HP production block engines.  Our first CNC vertical mill was a game changer for us.
1994: Haas VF-3 - Our first CNC machine.
1994:Jerry Haas Race cars Pro Stock Mustang chassis. DSS Racing 1994 Jerry Haase Pro Stock car
Magazine Articles PICTURE                                                                                                                                           1995: Having CNC equipment opened the door to transition to a Piston manufacturer. Instead of modifying someone else's parts. We now could make our own under the DSS Racing brand name. The flexibility and the ability to make whatever you want is very empowering.
1996: The popularity of our Main Support System and the press it was receiving caught the eye of Ford Racing. They contracted us to make our Main Support Systems for them with their logo on it. First it had to be durability tested at Ford. We are proud of the fact that our system is the only one on the market that has passed durability testing at both GM and Ford. DSS Racing Main Support System with Pro Try Windage Tray
DSS Racing 638 Big Block Ford Comp Eliminator engine 1997: 638 Big Block Ford NHRA Comp Eliminator engine
1997: RJ Race cars chassis 1998 Ford Probe. DSS Racing 1998 RJ Pro Stock car
New Building construction Saint Charles Illinois Location. 
 2001: Completed, DSS Racing's Purpose-built Manufacturing Facility located in St Charles Il.  
 12 Pallet FMS Mazak HCN - 6000, Horizontal Machining Center With F.M.S. High Rise 2 level Pallet Stocker.
F.M.S. Pallet loading system that includes 12 pallets with a High-Rise stocking location, Rail guided pallet transportation vehicle, Pallet loading station and a HCN 6000 Horizontal Machining Center with 120 tool, tool changer.  FMS
 12 Pallet FMS High end Takisawa Piston Lathe, used to cut the very specialized cam and barrel shape on piston skirts. 
 Ring grooves being cut on Takisawa Piston Lathe.  FMS



 Press foundation being built. The press weighs in at over 125,000 LBS. and requires access to the underside for adjusting the specialized tooling required to forge pistons.
Press being stood upright after being unloaded from truck.  Tipping up the press
 Newley rebuilt Ajax 1300 Ton forging press moving into back door.
 Press about to be moved over the completed foundation (notice the basement access). DSS Racing 1300 Ton Ajaz Forging Press
1300-ton Ajax forging press  Press ready to go.
Piston Forgings, Hot off the press.
 Heat treating oven Solution Heat Treat System.
Sunnen CNC. Hone, Diamond honing Piston Pin Bore.