Original founder, Max Crawford’s, career in the motorsports industry began in 1966 in his homeland of New Zealand, where he raced a variety of cars while apprenticing as a mechanic. This experience combined with the subsequent ownership with his wife, Jan, of Max Crawford Motors, Ltd. and their race team was their first entre into this highly competitive field.
In 1980, they moved to California, with their two young daughters, Trudie and Catherine, to pursue Max’s dream of world endurance sports car racing. After beginning with Dick Barbour Racing, Max went on to serve as crew chief for John Fitzpatrick Racing from 1981 until 1985, where his team successfully campaigned a multi-car Porsche team in IMSA in America and around the world.
It was while working with the Porsche 962 that Max began the development and application of carbon fiber and composite technology, which coupled with aerodynamic packaging brought victory to the team.
After moving to North Carolina in 1988, Max and Jan established Max Crawford Composites, to pursue the full-time development of composite technology and aerodynamics. With ingenuity and perseverance, Max Crawford Composites became a premiere composite manufacturer to the motorsports industry. By 1990, they pioneered the introduction of autoclaved composite laminates to the American racing industry as the first US, privately owned, non-aerospace company to build a complete composite car, the Mazda RX7-92P, for competition in the IMSA series.
In 1996, they founded Crawford & Crawford Composites, Inc. supplying composite components and structural repair services to major American and European composite chassis manufacturers and motorsports teams. They have designed, engineered, and supplied components to the major racing series including IMSA, Grand-Am, ALMS, Indy Car, and NASCAR.
Through the following years, Max resumed an active association with sports car racing with his return to the role of crew chief for selected races for longstanding composites customer Dyson Racing. Under his direction, the race team won the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona in 1997 and 1999.
Determined to pursue their dream of designing and building their own brand of race cars, Max and Jan created Crawford Race Cars, LLC in 1998. Together with designer Andy Scriven, they designed, developed, and constructed the race-winning Crawford SSC2K.
Joining their individual areas of expertise, Crawford Race Cars and Crawford Composites designed, developed, and manufactured the highly competitive Crawford DP03 Daytona Prototype in 2004. The DP03 brought many victories to Crawford customer teams and to the Crawford’s own factory team, Howard Motorsports (a partnership with longtime friend Rick Howard).
They continued their design, development, engineering, and testing with the evolution of the Crawford DP08 Prototype, a race car that incorporated the knowledge and best proven elements of the DP03 and the Crawford SSC2K.
In 2012, Max was honored for his exceptional contributions to the motorsports industry with induction into the Road Racing Drivers Club, a US organization comprised of many of America’s and Europe’s most successful drivers and leading industry professionals.
Today, Crawford Composites is applying its rich knowledge of composite technology and 25 years of proven expertise in design, engineering, and manufacturing to other industries, such as military, musical, automotive, aerospace, and industrial.