In the development of high performance mufflers there is one name that stands apart - the Cherry Bomb© Glasspack, first introduced in 1968 by the Maremont Corporation. This bright red, 2' core, long straight pipe muffler with a baffled channel lined in fiberglass, produced an unmistakable, one-of-a-kind throaty sound with less backpressure for a noticeable improvement in performance. Its timely introduction occurred during 1968 - 1971, the beginning of one of the most exciting times in the development of hot rods. Relatively inexpensive to own, these cars were easy to modify and packed with power. The Cherry Bomb Glasspack became a standard bolt-on as it embodied in sound, the horsepower under the hood.
Robert Mater, Jr., former marketing director at Maremont and the man responsible for launching the brand, says, "Those were great times. It was the heyday of the hot rod and any muscle car worth its salt had to be outfitted with a pair of 'Bombs'. We couldn't manufacture them fast enough. In the '80's, that all began to change as there were more calls for a restriction on power, and more emphasis on safety. This coincided with the EPA's demand for use of a catalytic converter which greatly affected the muscle car industry."
In September 1981, when my father, Ken Banks, purchased what was then a very small muffler manufacturing operation, he let it be known to the 35 people in his employ they would all be "family". To this day, he refers to his employees as "IMCO family", and one definitely gets the impression of family when visiting the plant. In March 2006, history began to repeat itself when my father and I had the opportunity to purchase all rights to the Cherry Bomb product line and Maremont's 600,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Loudon, TN. An acute understanding of the value of brand equity coupled with our tenure in the exhaust business as owners of the International Muffler Company (IMCO), enabled us to recognize the value of reinvigorating the brand with improved technology, an expanded product line and increased marketing support.
At IMCO, we have based our success in the exhaust industry on researching what our customers wanted, and realized the trend was moving toward performance products. Having the Cherry Bomb product line was another way we felt we could meet the needs of our customers; and from the first introduction at the 2006 SEMA show in Las Vegas, it has proven to be every bit as popular as was expected.
The original glasspack had a brightly painted steel housing and a metal baffle interior channel surrounded with a layer of fiberglass insulation. Today's Cherry Bomb Glasspack is produced from high quality cold rolled aluminized tubing, and features a more durable, rust resistant powder coat , still in its characteristic red color. Tuned to perfection in a first class dyno facility, the Cherry Bomb Glasspack still has a throaty sound and is available for most makes and models of vehicles on the road today.
In addition to the Cherry Bomb Glasspack, IMCO/Maremont, the parent company since 2006, now offers five other Cherry Bomb muffler products. The Cherry Bomb Pro, Cherry Bomb Elite, Cherry Bomb Extreme, Cherry Bomb Turbo, and the company's top-of-the-line, most technologically advanced product, the Cherry Bomb Vortex, are each created with its own unique, patented design providing improved horsepower and a characteristic high performance sound. Cherry Bomb now offers a wide range of cat backs, straight and X-pipes, exhaust accessories as well as a very popular line of apparel including hats, garage jackets, tee shirts and more.
As I have previously stated, "Cherry Bomb is a timeless American classic. It is considered one of the most revered brands in automotive history. We're having fun keeping this product in the forefront of the exhaust industry and ensuring its success for the long run. One of the challenges of revitalizing such a popular product is keeping up with the demand. However, it has always been the policy of our company to provide a quality product along with superior customer service; and that is most definitely still our focus. The demand for Cherry Bomb has been overwhelming, and that provides us with a challenge... a good challenge to be sure... one that we are more than ready to deal with... get the product out to the performance enthusiasts so they may "disturb the peace" once again with our Cherry Bomb.