RXSpeed.com wants to write a better prescription for parts shopping

Car enthusiasts buy car parts. That’s likely the most obvious statement ever made on Hooniverse, but as we discovered just a couple months ago here (before IntenseDebate ate the site’s comments section), enthusiasts buy their parts from a myriad of places for a similar myriad of reasons. Not least among those reasons is that there’s no convenient way to shop for a part among a variety of suppliers, but RXSpeed.com may very well change that.
Not unlike VintageWheels.com that we featured on this site, RXSpeed.com (RX as in “prescription,” get it?) aggregates listings from dozens of retailers, meaning you can compare prices for exactly what you’re looking for. If you’ve ever used Orbitz or Kayak to shop for airfares and/or hotels, the idea is similar: Give the car parts consumer the most information possible to make an intelligent purchase.

The site came about at the hands of Michael Chapin and Eric Coomer, who are both car enthusiasts at heart. Both grew up in automotive families and worked in the past for race shops and race teams with a wrench before turning to business school (Chapin) and computer engineering (Coomer, specifically with race data acquisition). As mechanics trying to put together mostly European cars, both Chapin and Coomer frequently ran into problems with parts suppliers and making sure that parts were available and could be gotten quickly.
“While [my family] had our own race shop, I was always building up cars and looking for parts,” Coomer said. ”That’s everybody’s frustration, having to dig around forums for parts.”
Coomer and Chapin put their heads together and founded RXSpeed to put all of the parts and information—crucially, fitment data—from aftermarket brands in one place. Anyone who has ever worked with data from different suppliers knows this can be tiresome and time-consuming because few industries have across-the-board standard systems, but RXSpeed’s database currently includes more than 1 million parts from more than 300 brands.
Chapin said that number should expand rapidly in the next two months.
“I think you’re going to see a lot more retailer options and that will populate more parts,” Chapin said. “Our goal is first to build out the lion’s share of the industry, the parts that everyone is looking for that are around online and then we can focus on getting into the cooler, smaller stuff.”
Eventually, Chapin said he’d like for the site to include smaller manufacturers that make specialty parts or small parts runs, the kinds of builders who typically sell their wares maybe on a model-specific forum or some other means.
“If we create a good community and a good audience online, we think the smaller shops that are fabbing up really cool stuff—they may only have 10 SKUs in their catalog—that we can help them get those products online and reach the people they want,” Chapin added.
At the moment, the product descriptions no RXSpeed are fairly basic and typically just the technical data, but as the company grows, neither of the site’s founders seemed too concerned about that until . For the most part, enthusiasts know more or less what they want and can use RXSpeed to find what they’re looking for based on the fitment data used to build the site.
In addition to the parts search function, RXSpeed also includes The Lab, a blog that typically includes build stories that focus heavily on technical details. If you watched Ken Block’s most recent Gymkhana video and you’re even a little bit of a technical nerd, you definitely owe yourself the time to check out The Lab’s feature on Block’s Hoonicorn Ford Mustang. The Lab also features crossover content to RX Speed’s parts search function.
So will an aggregation site change the way car enthusiasts shop for parts? On a lark, this writer found coilovers for a car that nobody in the U.S. takes racing, giving him many bad ideas (more on this to come, hopefully). Whether this translates to a Mustang guy finding the right carburetor or a Honda tuner getting the right stainless steel header, time will tell, but it certainly seems to point toward a new way to shop the aftermarket.
[Images courtesy RXSpeed.com]

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  1. P161911 Avatar

    Might should have chosen a different name. I was sure that RXSpeed was Mazda specific until I actually read most of the article. Sounds like a rotary tuner place.

  2. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

    Prescription, more cowbell speed parts.

  3. ninjabortion Avatar

    I wish there was an aggregator for local parts places. I hate having to go to 5 different sites, put in my car, my zip, and then figure out who has the best price for whatever part/s i need. Rockauto is my usual go to, but if i need it same day, it sure would be nice if there was a site that did the leg work for me…