We recently had the opportunity to head north to Fresno, California from our Orange County base of operations to pay a visit to our friend Dave Clark at Early Classic Enterprises. Early Classic is one of the nation's premier manufacturers and distributors of classic truck parts for '60-'72 Chevrolet and GMC pickups, and has been in operation since '93.
Dave is a lifelong classic truck buff who in the beginning had a pretty rough time trying to build the caliber of classic truck he wanted because of the "one size fits all" situation that existed in the early days of classic truck restoration and modification components.
It was those rather aggravating circumstances that led Dave to the realization that he was just one of countless enthusiasts who were encountering the same hardships in their quest to build high-quality classic Chevy and GMC pickups. It was at this point that he decided it was up to him to transform adversity into an opportunity by developing and creating a line of quality disc brake kits for other classic pickup owners, as well as himself. Early Classic enjoyed almost immediate success. The company's rather limited initial offering quickly expanded to include not only disc brake conversion kits, but also suspension restoration components, dropped spindles, and a myriad of custom components that are for the most part designed and manufactured in house, as well. The success of the original venture, due to Dave and his crew's commitment to top-notch products and customer service, has enabled Early Classic Enterprises to continue growing in both size and scope. Today, Early Classic Enterprises is housed in a trio of buildings which comprise well over 10,000 square-feet of manufacturing, warehouse, and showroom space.
As we toured the facility we asked Dave what he thought was the one or two most important factors behind Early Classic's success. Without skipping a beat he replied; "I honestly believe it's staying true to our business philosophy: Quality first. Our company goal is to manufacture and distribute the absolute finest classic truck products, and do it at
the most reasonable pricing we possibly can. One big advantage we offer our customers is that we, as a company, focus on a rather narrow, or shall we say specific group of vehicles. Directing our attention to '60-'72 Chevrolet and GMC pickups only, enables us to concentrate on the task at hand, instead of trying to design and manufacture components for every vehicle ever made. In addition, we own , build, and drive these very same years and models of truck, so it gives us a better understanding of the needs, wants, questions, and problems our customers may encounter when working on their own vehicles."
It was to this end that Early Classic made the decision to design and in-house manufacture as large a percentage of the overall parts they offer as they could. Keeping design, R & D, and manufacturing chores within the company allows them to keep a tight reign on quality control, and allows them to focus directly on new products that will enhance their offering within the self-induced confines of the company's target customers.
As legions of loyal customers will attest, Dave and his philosophies are right on target. The company continues to grow in both physical size and in the number of new components offered, and at this point, there's no end in sight.
Early Classic's headquarters is located in Fresno, California, but its wares are shipped worldwide. The fact that the company produces and sells components for '60-'72 Chevrolet and GMC trucks exclusively allows them to focus on producing the absolute best components available to the market, without the worry of diluting its attention to cover dozens of other makes, models, and years of trucks.