A speed bump. That’s why we are in business today. My father, Delmar Baker, who owned a ’33 Ford Victoria at the time, hit a speed bump and shattered the injected molded plastic grille that was in the car. Not wanting to take the chance of the same thing happening again, he decided to investigate different replacement options and found that they were few and far between and the cost of restoring an original was out of the question. A fiberglass grille shell was sourced and a long time friend, Ken Norris, helped dad out by sourcing some aluminum bar stock. Dad built his own grille insert to replace the busted plastic grille.
Dad started Alumicraft Street Rod Grilles in 1988 and ran it as an evening business for the next 10 years. Six months after dad started the business, I started bending the grille bars and welding the grille inserts. In January of 1998, my father retired from his day job of 40 years and he and mom wanted to start traveling the USA. I purchased the business and continued to run it as an evening business. With more advertising and participating in a few project cars, the business continued to grow to the point that I started building grilles full time around March of 2000.
In 2005, we outgrew my “glorified 2 car garage” and moved to our current location that encompasses 6000sf of our 8200sf building. With the added room, we’ve added more commercial grade polishing equipment and also added a Haas VF4 CNC mill in 2010. In 2012, we’ve added a 3D laser scanner to be able to reproduce some of the hard to find original grille parts and trim pieces.
So what’s the future hold? Alumicraft Street Rod Grilles has started to build more muscle car grilles, including Tri-Five Chevys, First Gen Camaros, Corvettes, First Gen Chevy II/Novas and Mustangs amongst others, while still adding to the street rod line up.
Dan Baker, owner