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WORDS AND PICS Povi Pullinen
Chasing those last little pieces to get your build just right can be hard, as we all know, and scouring swap meets for months on end without any luck can get frustrating. Chances are that not every little hinge, handle, seal or fitting is available just when you need it but thankfully where there’s a will, there’s a way. Bob Drake has known such a way since the 60s and his outfit has grown from a kid cruising Los Angeles with a ‘Wanted: ’32 parts’ sign into a 40-person, three-building company providing over 7,000 reproduction Ford parts.
Based in Grants Pass, Oregon, the Bob Drake Reproductions inventory is nothing short of impressive, not to mention the gorgeous showroom, the storage and manufacturing areas packed to the rafters with almost everything you’d need, and the friendly, hard-working staff scurrying about the hallways and warehouses.
Chatting to Bob, you’ll soon see he’s got a keen eye for understanding what it takes to produce high quality reproduction parts and it carries on through the company family. Being able to manufacture pieces for 1932-1948 Ford cars as well as 1932-1966 Ford trucks is no easy task, but as you’re walking the aisles of the warehouse it’s obvious the pool of resources and the talent of the R&D and manufacturing teams really back up the quality of work behind every Bob Drake parts tag.
Not only do you feel like a kid in a candy store when you look through the catalog, but Bob’s also developed a few unique pieces that solve some of the problems the factory never really worked out; things like custom door hinge kits for ’37-’40 cars, adjustable pedal assemblies and optimized fuel filler kits. Each product that leaves in a Drake box is built to a high standard, screwed together by skilled hands and ready to go right when it hits your hands. This really comes down to the ethos of the crew and the lengths to which they go to make sure they lead the industry.
The effort to reproduce and improve on these old Ford parts is never ending, and the team works every day to develop newer and better products to sell to hot rodders across the globe. Between attending trade shows and events, developing new offerings for the market, and managing their own manufacturing and distribution, there’s always a lot going on in the Bob Drake hallways, and it’s honestly impressive.
Scroll through for a quick glimpse into what goes into the parts that land at your doorstep.