Alpha Motorsports adding to Flint’s automotive legacy with custom work for worldwide clients

FLINT, Michigan -- Since opening in Flint in 2017, Alpha Motorsports has worked on an impressive array of projects.

They’ve built and shipped custom engines to Hong Kong for Rolex Sports Car Series-style race cars. They’ve remanufactured Ecotec engines for military vehicles. And the staff’s ability to rebuild engines, drivetrains, and do other custom work has brought clients from all over to Flint.

“I ship engines all over the country and have also shipped to Canada, Mexico, Australia,” said Shaun McColley, owner of Alpha Motorsports. 

Alpha, located at 1101 SB Chavez Drive behind the historic Flint Armory building, is a full-service ASE certified speed shop, with projects ranging from custom engines and tuning and calibration to chassis dyno tuning to smaller scale projects like camshafts, headers, fuel conversions, and more. A list of services is on their website. 

“We’re not just a specialty shop, we do more than just performance stuff,” McColley said. “If there’s something we can’t do here, we can recommend a reputable shop that can. We want to be able to help the community by giving them good service.”

One of the ways Alpha has built its clientele and draws people from all over Michigan and beyond to work with them is the fact that they have several certifications directly from manufacturers. One big one for them is Holley, one of the best recognized brands in racing and performance manufacturers. It is an intricate process to go through the training and certification, but it does result in Holley connecting people in need of service for Holley parts or products directly with Alpha Motorsports as a certified place to do the work.

“That separates us a little,” McColley said. “There’s not a shop around here, at least a certified shop like we are, that does what we do.”

McColley is a Flint native and Carman-Ainsworth graduate. He grew up in a family that did a lot of off-roading and racing in dune buggies, dirt bikes, and other vehicles. Then, after high school, he spent six years on active duty in the military. After that, he worked at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. 

“That’s where I got professional experience in EFI calibration and drivetrain calibration and things like that,” McColley said.

McColley also credits his military experience with teaching him things that have helped him in business, like organization, respect, loyalty, and integrity, all of which are key aspects of how he interacts with customers.

McColley, who is a service disabled veteran, spent 17 years working for the military and the government. He started his business part-time while still working but made the decision to go full-time and open his shop in his hometown four years ago. A big part of his mission since then has been providing opportunities for other veterans. Four of the shop’s nine current employees are veterans.

“It means a lot to me to be able to provide good jobs for veterans,” he said. “I had an ad posted for a mechanic. Someone hit me up, said he was a disabled vet, wasn’t working, and I said, can you be in the shop for an hour? If you’re willing to learn, willing to push a broom or do whatever, we’ll train you. He’s been here over a year now. Some veterans come back and may not think there’s opportunities when there is. I like to give back to those people that fought for us, it’s super important for me.”

Along with those employment opportunities, McColley is just proud to be able to bring business to his hometown.

“I wanted to give back,” he said. “I think people appreciate that we’re bringing business from all over to come to Flint and visit us and get work done. It’s a neat feeling to have a business in your hometown that is supporting Flint and Genesee County. Flint’s known as the Vehicle City. It’s rewarding to be a little piece of the (automotive) history and legacy here.”

Learn more about Alpha Motorsports on Facebook, Instagram, or their website.
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Read more articles by Patrick Hayes.