Ken and I were in Amish Country (Berlin, Ohio) over Valentine?s Day weekend. The weather was great for our 200 mile drive to get there on Friday. Saturday on the other hand, a blizzard was upon us! We were among horse and carriages and cars in the winding hills of Holmes County, while being battered by ice and blowing snow. It was a scary enough experience in a car, can you imagine applying the brakes to your horse! It gave me plenty to be grateful for as I am riding in our car with heated seats. At one point we came up to a hidden intersection and we almost collided with a horse and buggy. I think the buggy had more control than we did!
As I revel at the hot rod industry today, I have to look at our progress from 1986 to today. We started manufacturing steering columns because the original GM columns that all of us builders were pulling out of the wrecking yards were really ugly. We created a neat clean look down the column where all once was exposed in the stock column. Those first columns we designed were for cars in the '30, and '40's. It was a great little business. Ken made it tilt and gave it turn signals, which was just like the modern comforts of cars we were used to driving.
As the years went on, we moved to the '50's and the '60's. These car bodies were not quite as expensive and a little easier to work on. Many of us were remembering our first car and bringing it back! That was really fun! The '55, '56, and '57 Chevy were a bit of a challenge to build since the fit had to be absolutely perfect. The steering column had to fit in the dash with the gearbox only inches from the firewall. Ken met the challenge and our success continued.
Well, the next step in our steering column progress was the muscle car. Since we were so close to Detroit we cruised down Woodward and Telegraph when we were young. We would park at Big Boys, get a coke and wait to see who was drag racing on Ford Road that night. Ken always loved the Camero. He designed a steering column for the '67 and '68 Camero in the late '90's. Today it is one of our best selling columns.
As we are all getting older, Ken is still designing tilt columns to meet our customer?s needs. Those being Golf Carts, the perfect transportation for gated retirement communities. Of course, since we have owned a hot rod, we know that we can't leave anything alone! We know hot rod guys need to hot rod their golf carts with custom steering wheels, custom interiors, custom wheels and of course a tilt steering column with turn signals and four way flashers!
We have grown up being creative with our rides. I don't think it will ever stop!