top of page
  • Chris Smit

Welcome to Osprey Performance

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

My name is Chris and for over a decade I have built and raced cars in South Africa and now I have brought my experience to the United Kingdom. The aim for Osprey is to become the benchmark aftermarket performance parts and tuning service center for high performance vehicles in the UK, I believe that we have a winning recipe for clients that wish to achieve their power goals safely and reliably.

I enjoy seeing the looks on people's faces after they have driven a car that we have modified that push them so deep into back of their seat it makes them redefine their definition of what fast is. I remember the first real “fast” car I ever owned, it was a 2002 Astra Coupe Turbo, I mean; I was just a kid then, youngsters shouldn’t be driving such cars, it was marketed as the M3 rival back then (Opel and BMW had a legendary Group N racing rivalry in South Africa back then and it spilled over into the marketing) the car was absolutely dead standard and I remember sitting at the dealership in the center of Benoni town crammed between the multitude of car dealerships and pawn shops waiting for my mom to finish with the dealership salesman, they wouldn’t give me the car because I couldn’t get insurance even though I had already signed all the paperwork, and after a few calls she managed to get some sort of cover on the car under her name, she was quick to tell me that she wasn’t impressed with me as the insurance was a small fortune because it was deemed a high performance car, so I'm standing on the sidewalk next to my newish Midnight Blue Astra itching to get in so I can finally feel what my new wheels were capable of without any supervision, and my mom delivers a one liner I will never forget, she says - “It's not a race hey, I'll see you at home”...

My previous car wasn’t exactly a slouch, it was a newish Corsa (typical) that I had spent every penny on to make it as fast as I could so I could go race guys I didn’t like at the Sunday night roadhouse races to prove a very “insignificant” point. This new car though, it wasn’t a little A to B student clapper with a modified exhaust and overpowered sound system, no, it was a healthy turbocharged luxury high speed weapon. So, I get into the driver's seat and notice my mom is still making her way to her car and I realize that if I quickly gap it, I can get ahead of her on our journey back home and I wouldn't have to stay behind her piddly Ford Fiesta and miss out on putting the hammer down for a Sunday night preview of the power. Well, I pulled out of the parking and planted it, I was immediately met with a proper kick in the nads, the car hit the rev limiter so quick I battled to slot the next gear in, I looked like a proper student driver, when the gear finally engages, I am immediately over the next set of traffic lights, my heart was pumping as 3rd gear came and went and before I knew it, I was a block away stopped at the next light with a my eyes wide open and my left handle trembling on the gear lever, heaving to catch my breath. I look in the rear-view mirror and there is no purple Ford Fiesta anywhere in sight, it was safe to say that my addiction to real power was in full swing from that point.

As time went by, that car ate many salaries, well not the car so much as the tuning shop that I entrusted to use to keep it fast for Sunday nights. In the space of a year the engine was pulled apart unnecessarily many times, I went through ECU and sensors on a weekly basis, I found myself to be the guinea pig to a negligent tuner. I did try other shops but I could never feel a sense of security in their abilities, I decided that I would just modify and maintain the car myself, I was a qualified mechanic by that point but never fully engaged my trade as a source of income because I was chasing money in a sales job that I was quite good at, so in the evenings I would work on the Coupe and on the weekends I would go race with my buddies or go on breakfast runs with other enthusiasts, word got around that I was knowledgeable and helpful about fast Opel's and I eventually started working on other enthusiasts cars in the evenings after work.

Over the next 14 years, I left my sales job and pursued a career as a fulltime fabricator and tuner in my own shop, I taught myself to TIG weld and tune piggy back systems and standalone management systems, I’ve built uncountable race engines, I’ve helped many other former guinea pigs out and I have designed and fabricated turbo systems for other companies all over the world. My time and experiences in South Africa have taught me how to build a successful business in this industry, together with our manufacturing partners abroad and vast knowledge of performance cars and engines we will endeavor to be the benchmark in aftermarket performance parts and tuning in the United Kingdom. Just remember, even though “it’s not a race hey” we can still have fun getting there.

643 views0 comments


bottom of page