Hot Rod shops are a major player in our automotive world. Shops around the world that are filled with talented fabricators, mechanics and technicians are a direct link to hot rodding of days gone by.
Our favorite work is on early Ford hot rods.” – David Stoker.
In the do-it-yourself world we’ve grow accustomed to, it is important to highlight the teams that live and breathe this stuff. The guys and gals that are artists and engineers all in one, providing their skills to help those who aren’t able to. One such company is Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory in Upland, California.
Terry and David Stoker, a father and son team, started the company in Terry’s garage. For over 35 years, Terry had been building and modifying classic cars which means he knows a thing or two about hot rods.
David is not only the son of a hot rodder, he comes from the automotive publishing world where he would write and publish stories much like what you see here in Rod Authority. The duo decided to launch a full force effort into the aftermarket world around five years ago and has been gaining serious traction ever since.
The showroom at Stoker's Hot Rod Factory is clean and organized. A great selection of parts are displayed from companies like Classic Instruments, Vintage Air, American Auto Wire and more.
Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory handles it all. Their showroom covers retail sales of quality products from Classic Instruments, Vintage Air and more. They pride themselves on keeping American made products in stock. The shop also handles vehicle repairs, custom projects and full-tilt restorations.
The family business has added a few key and talented employees that help keep everything running. The shop’s specialty is early Fords, mostly from 1928 to 1948. However, they have the skills and experience to work on just about anything, especially up to the 1972 model year. Like most hot rodders, their favorite vehicles to work on are 1932 Fords in all configurations.
A 1959 Chevy El Camino is set to receive a 2015 LS3 V8 and 4L65 Auto Transmission to improve its reliability and driveability.
In their shop right now, Stokers has a 1959 Chevrolet El Camino. The gorgeous black car came to them because the owner was tired of it getting hot, and dealing with carburetor issues. The car was set up on a complete Art Morrison Chassis and is getting loaded with a 2015 LS3 V8 that they expect will have around 430 horsepower along with a 4L65 automatic transmission. The engine is being left stock for reliability, the customer plans on cruising and enjoying the air conditioning and overdrive on getaway trips to Santa Barbara.
This 1932 Ford Roadster getting some attention to the radiator and cooling system.
Left: A 1928 Ford Model A is in the midst of a full restoration to compete for the 2017 America's Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) Award. Right: A 1932 3-window Coupe is undergoing a full-tilt restoration.
Performance gauges – Perfect for adding the extra single gauges you need
Direct fit gauge sets – Replacement instrument clusters with new bezels and gauge assemblies for many popular models
Universal fit gauge sets – Retro and modern style sets for custom applications
Individual gauges – So you can build your own system of gauges, just how you want it
Gauge upgrades including multiple bezel and needle options, LED turn signal and highbeam lighting, curved or flat glass and halo lighting.
Retrofitting – The Classic Instruments team can help you utilize your original instruments by retrofitting them with modern electronic movements
Sending units and sensors – Classic Instruments has all the proper sending units so your gauges are calibrated properly
Wiring harnesses – Wide selection of wiring harnesses for custom and application specific needs
Mounting brackets and dash panels – For custom gauge additions
Other vehicles in the Stokers shop are getting treatments as well. On average, they have at least seven vehicles in the shop at a time and right now they have a 1932 Ford Coupe that is getting a radiator repair and another ’32 Ford 3-Window Coupe is getting a full restoration.
Additionally, Stokers is in the midst of a full restoration on a 1928 Model A Roadster that will contend for the 2017 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award given out by a select panel of judges that view and qualify the cars at the Grand National Roadster Show.
Also in the shop is a 1940 Ford Coupe that the team is installing a set of Classic Instruments gauges in. Stokers has had a long history with Classic Instruments.
Terry and David have been using their products for over 15 years and love the quality and craftsmanship they get. “We never have any warranty issues,” says David. “We always have Classic Instruments parts in stock.” Classic Instruments highly recommended Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory to Rod Authority.
Currently, Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory is set up on just shy of one acre of land with around 2,000 feet of shop space, not to mention the offices and showroom. Moving to their current location was a huge upgrade from the garage space they previously worked in.
David mentioned they plan to add another 4,000 square feet of shop space by the end of 2016. The property was originally a residential home. Converted for commercial business, the structure still has the original home’s look which fits very well into the family business model. When walking up to the front door, without realizing it, you get a comforting feeling that Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory is a home-grown family business filled with people who genuinely care about what they are doing.
By the end of 2016, Stoker’s plans to add another 4,000 square feet of shop space on the property, bringing the total working space to 6,000 square feet, plus the showroom and offices.
In the original garage, a special car is tucked away for safe keeping. The 1932 Roadster was built by a dear friend of the family in 1948. The car has run in El Mirage and Bonneville multiple times.
Around 1956, the family friend parked the car. Since then, hardly anything has been done to it, so as to keep its original feel and class. Unfortunately, the friend passed away. To help the widow, Stoker’s got the car running and driving as a memorial to her late husband. Stoker’s is now acting as a caretaker for the car and the family friend’s memory.
Originally a residential building, it still has the “home” feeling. Perfect for a good ‘ol American family business.
When asked about some of their notable builds, David said there were a lot. The top two that came to his mind are a 1932 Ford Roadster for the 2014 AMBR contest and a 1972 International Scout restoration with an LS3 V8. The Scout is off the beaten path of the normal work Stokers tackles but is well within the skill sets required for quality work.
Originally built in 1948, this roadster is nearly all original. Stoker's got the vehicle running and driving as a tribute to the car's builder, a family friend who sadly passed away.
Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory is a true American company. They pride themselves on quality craftsmanship and amazing customer service. These things combined with top notch products from Classic Instruments, Vintage Air and the like are what keep the backbone of hot rodding culture alive. For more info on Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory, check out their website.