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Glen-L History Photo #1

On December 1, 2011, in History Photo of the Week, by Gayle Brantuk

One of my favorite magazines is Latitudes & Attitudes and they put out a weekly history photo, so I thought I’d do the same. Heck, we’ve got 58 years of history to cover!

This photo is of the Glen-L shop in the early 1950’s–you can click on it to see a larger version. This is where our frame kits and test models were built. Back then, this was actually a separate company called “Frame Kits, Inc”. Don Ruffa, the dark haired man working on the Small Block Chevy, ran this company. Don is featured in much of our literature.

Don stopped building our kits at some point when he had an accident with the shaper in which he lost a number of fingers. He passed away quite a while ago. Glen has some interesting stories about a bachelor house he designed for Don before he was married. It had a rock wall with a waterfall and “floating” steps that came out of the wall and led up to the second level which was one huge bedroom. Apparantly, it impressed the ladies…

The boat in the foreground of the photo is our L. Capitan test model. This is one of our popular finned models of the day and I really like the finish on this one. Glen says that the deck was mahogany that they bleached with acid and then rubbed a yellow tinted filler on it. Don took a lot of time on the finish work.

You’ll notice the crated frame kits in the background too. We later built a warehouse extension to the shop where we housed the frame kits and other products we sell.

The band saw and table saw are still in our warehouse and in working condition. Glen bought them from a local man who had a wood shop and needed to liquidate his tools. He got a real good price and that was the beginning of our new shop. At the left of the photo is our dust collection system–the large funnel-shaped apparatus. We still have the parts for this, but it hasn’t been used in years.

There’s a restroom and utility room that’s outside the frame of the photo. And, it has two large garage type doors for easy access. I asked Glen if there was a story to the steel beams and he said he got them from a friend. He used to lunch at the same time as another man and so they started eating together. Dad found out at some point that he was the CEO of a large company, Industrial Engineering.

This space is currently rented out to our neighbors, American Rentals. They rent heavy duty construction equipment and the owner also races cars which he stores in the shop. When we stopped building frame kits after Allyn moved, we didn’t need the shop anymore. So, it worked out well for us and the rental company.

Watch for more history updates in the future!

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