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Mr. Gasket


Mr. Gasket, a company which manufactures automobile accessories, was founded by Joseph F. Hrudka in 1965 to produce a new type of gasket he designed to withstand high temperatures. At the time, Hrudka and his brother Tom participated in the drag-racing circuit and hoped to make around $6,000 annually to fund their racing. By 1967 he sold $600,000 worth of gaskets and other auto parts and moved his operation from 4468 State Rd. to 4569 Spring Rd. With sales of $3 million and earnings of $375,000 in 1969, the company went public and Hrudka sold one-third of its equity for $2.7 million. When W. R. Grace & Co. acquired Mr. Gasket in Dec. 1971, Hrudka realized $6 million from his initial $5.00 investment. By 1972, the company relocated to 4566 Spring Rd., and by 1981, the company had 6 locations in the Brooklyn Hts. industrial park and employed 200 people in Cleveland, with another 300 working in plants in California and Mexico. However, when Mr. Gasket's business declined under Grace & Co.'s management, Hrudka bought it back for $4 million in Apr. 1981. He reinstated his former associates and acquired other auto-parts firms in order to boost annual sales and earnings.

Among the company's owned divisions are brand names MSD Performance, Nitrous Oxide Systems (NOS), Weiand, Flowtech, Earl's Performance Plumbing, Hooker Headers, Demon Carburetion, Racepak, Superchips, Diablosport, Edge Products, Accel Ignition, Quick Time, Hays Clutches, Mr. Gasket, Lakewood, and Mallory Ignition.

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