Sway-A-Way, the Company
High Quality Suspension Components and Accessories since 1967!
Sway-A-Way is a leading manufacturer of off-road, street, truck, and circle track suspension and driveline components. Applications include Off Road race cars, trucks, Rock Crawlers, Performance Street cars, Prerunners, Sand Buggies, Sprint Cars, Dirt Modifieds, and NASCAR Cup cars. Products include rugged axles and torsion bars, sway bars, and hubs for your application. Where ever you drive, Sway-A-Way has a quality suspension product for you.
Sway-A-Way has a long history of winning and success in the street, circle track, and the competitive off-road racing markets. From our early days working with VW buggies to today’s powerful trophy trucks, sophisticated buggies, sprint cars, Cup cars, and high-tech rock crawlers, Sway-A-Way offers cutting edge technology and a wider scope of applications than ever before. Based on a heritage of hardcore racing, every Sway-A-Way product is designed and manufactured to uncompromised levels of excellence.
Since 1967, Sway-A-Way has been a leader in street, circle track, and off-road suspension technology. Professionals choose Sway-A-Way to maximize the performance of their vehicle’s suspension.
Brian Skipper, President and CEO of Sway-A-Way, may not have started the company but he has been involved in off-road racing for some time.
Brian Skipper graduated in 1975 from CSUN with a Mechanical Engineering degree and won the 1975 SCORE Engine Builder of the Year award. Then he started a company called Speed Specialties where he was building his own engines. After two years, Brian then went to work for an aerospace machining company for about six months, designing and building machines for some projects they were doing. Not finding that very interesting, Brian then went and talked to Sway-A-Way, and they hired him in 1978 as their main engineer.
Still racing, all the way through his college career, he was racing different cars. And, in 1976, he teamed up with Bob Gordon, and started racing with him in the two-seat car. They were very successful in that car, winning a lot of races. In 1977, they won both the SCORE and HDRA Points Championships for class 2. Then In 1978, Brian raced with Jerry Baer and Bill Lennox in a Class 2 car and won the HDRA Championship that year.
He then ended up working full-time at Sway-A-Way, designing products and expanding their product line, working in the shop, improving production efficiency, and making sure that things were delivered in a timely manner. Sway-A-Way at that time was owned by two partners- Russ Harmon and Phil Pausmer. Phil was working for VW of America, and his involvement there was such that he has no time to spend with Sway-A-Way, and Russ wanted somebody there full-time. So, in 1981, Brian ended up buying Phil’s ownership of Sway-A-Way, and became a minority owner.
The year was 1988. Russ Harmon got to the point where he really wanted to do something else, so he sold off the mini-truck torsion bar division and the sway bar division to another company. Russ took the proceeds of that and went off to do something else and Brian ended up keeping the Volkswagen and off-road section. Then, about a year-and-a-half later, the company that bought the mini-truck torsion bar and sway bar division sold it back to Brian which pretty much made him the sole owner of Sway-A-Way.
Brian then engineered items such as the VW front end adjusters, urethane transmission mounts, and nearly all of the urethane products such as the snubbers and grommets. Sway-A-Way was one of the first companies to start using urethane for suspension bushings and related components. He also designed the adjustable spring plates for the rear end, and the heavy duty leaf springs for the front end (the six- and seven-leaf design). Manufacturing 300M products for the high stress, high strain racing products, Sway-A-Way was the originator of the 300M torsion bar and axles and the first company to use this material for off road torsion bars and axles.
In about 1991 or 1992, business was expanding really well and was looking for a new product to offer. Shock absorbers were a natural progression for the business. The first Sway-A-Way shock absorber made was called the IBS, which stood for Internal Bypass Shock. Its design was centered on the idea of having a bypass shock and a coil-over, all in one package. This shock was developed and in use for about three or four years, until 1996. That’s when Kuster shocks came on the market for sale, and Brian ended up buying the company. This included the complete Kuster shock line, engineering drawings, customer lists, everything. At the time, most of the Kuster shocks were high-end applications. The reason to start manufacturing shocks stemmed from the idea that Sway-A-Way could potentially offer a complete line of suspension products. Even though Sway-A-Way has made a name in offering torsion bars, they were getting to the limits of what they could do with torsion bars. There wasn’t really better material, at a reasonable cost and car builders wanted to build trucks and buggies with more and more and more wheel travel. So, the solution was to go to a coil-over shock suspension system.
To this day, Sway-A-Way continues to engineer and manufacture high-quality suspension products like larger racing shocks, bolt-in performance OEM replacement kits, larger truck torsion bars, sway bars kits and drive hubs.