Burns Stainless A Deep History Of Relentless Innovation In Orange County

Anaheim was the first American town founded in Orange County in 1857 which built a new community based on wine making. The area was subdivided, an irrigation ditch was dug and the wine and raisin vineyards were planted before the first colonists moved to Anaheim in 1859.

As early as 1870, local residents had tried to break away from Los Angeles and form their own county, but it was not until 1889 and a burst of economic growth and local pride, that the California Legislature passed a bill to allow a vote on county division.

Oil was discovered in the 1920s from the coast to the north county hillsides. The county boomed during WWII. Innovation sprawled here as new technology and industry was developed for the war effort. Ranchers saw the booming population and started subdividing their farms for homes, neighborhoods, communities and more industry.

The drive for innovation after the war developed as families grew, so was the need for nearby schools, shopping and business. Companies came for the great weather, abundance of skilled labor and new transportation opportunities. The automobile was a major part of OC families. Soldiers who returned from the war were looking for an adrenaline rush and began “hopping-up” their cars and competed with each other on performance and style. 

hot rod

The weather was a perfect 70° on this final day of Spring in 1950 when C.J. “Pappy” Hart opened the first sanctioned dragstrip in the United States on an auxiliary runway at the Orange County Airport. Santa Ana Dragstrip had installed revolutionary computerized timing clocks so the racers could actually get accurate times for each run. There was a pit area, restrooms, a concession stand and grandstands with plenty of parking.

Relentless Innovation happening in Orange County became a beacon for entrepreneurs in a myriad of industries. Surfing, action sports, retail, fashion, restaurants and entertainment continued to grow with world class technology and healthcare industries fueled by a robust educational system.

Innovative businesses grew out of barns in the foothills and shacks on the beach to be global leaders. The Aerospace industry with companies like McDonnell Douglas, Boeing and Ford Aerospace became massive business in Southern California. Cottage industries grew from those living in Orange County and commuting to Long Beach and the South Bay areas. Suppliers for those large companies sprouted in the new fertile grounds in coastal communities like Burns Stainless’ hometown of Costa Mesa. Today car culture continues to thrive with brands like Toyota, Volkswagen, and Karma brands having a major presence. It’s amazing how many car collections and hot rodding shops have developed in the area too. All snug in office/industrial complexes between residential and shopping zones.


Is it the salty air, the bright sun, fertile ground, fantastic weather, or is it the shoulders of the titans before us that bring innovation to this 948 square miles from the coast to the mountains? We feel it here at Burns Stainless. No cookie-cutter products on our shelves. We are a manufacturing facility based heavily on the specific engineering requirements of each of our customers. That “boutique” quality is what Burns Stainless is known for.

Racing is inherently a competitive sport. Racers are competitive on the track yet collaborative in the pits. With only a few performance focused companies out there, the racers know, they race with other racers, but mostly compete with themselves, and their machines. How can I be better? How can my machine be better? Those are the mantra’s they hear in their heads as they hit the track. They know what the other guy is using and sometimes even help the other guy to break their own record. All in the course to get better themselves.

When a racer sees his fellow racer using a product like Burns Stainless exhaust components, they know they can call on Burns and get a system that is built specifically for how their vehicle is built. We accept that call. We acknowledge the responsibility we have in innovation. We appreciate the history here and look forward to being the shoulders for next generations to stand and build products with pride.

See our Relentless Innovation first hand with our Mufflers and Collectors.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Our Mission

To offer you the best selection of race quality parts. Relentless innovation in exhaust technology isn't just a tag line, we are always improving, advancing, and refining what we offer. 

Featured products

2 into 1 merge collector2 into 1 merge collector
Burns Stainless 2 into 1 Base Collectors
Sale price From: From $147.95
1 stage race muffler1 stage race muffler
Burns Stainless 1 Stage Race Muffler
Sale price From: From $297.00