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Currie Enterprises - 1959-2009 50th Anniversary

Anaheim Location
Phil Howell | Writer
Posted June 1, 2010
Photographers: Kevin Blumer

Over 50 Years Of Quality And Innovation

In 1959, Frank Currie began designing and building differentials for material-handling equipment. He worked out of his garage, fabricating and assembling Ford 9-inch-based rearends for personnel carriers, electric carts, tugs, scissor lifts, and other specialty industrial vehicles. The business prospered and grew. By 1964, Frank had moved Currie Enterprises into a 5,000-square-foot building on his property in Placentia, California. Frank's four sons spent lots of their free time at their Dad's shop. In the late 1970s, Charlie, John, Raymond, and David entered the family business full-time.

The automakers of the 1970s brought us smaller vehicles including the Chevrolet Vega, Ford Pinto, Toyota Hi-Lux, Ford Courier, and Datsun mini pickups. It wasn't long before owners dropped V-8s into these small vehicles. The Curries began building performance rearends for these and other V-8 conversions, branching out from the still lucrative industrial vehicle rearend market.

Currie Enterprises hooked up with chassis shops in the early 1980s to design and produce 9-inch rearends for kit cars and street rods. The popularity of the Currie rearend grew and the enterprise expanded to a larger 7,000-square-foot facility. In 1985, the Currie product line again expanded, and they moved to an 11,000-square-foot plant that included state-of-the-art cleaning and tear down capabilities for rearends.

While the Ford 9-inch was Currie's claim to fame, they added Ford 8-inch, Dana 44, Dana 60, and Chevy 12-Bolt rearends to the product line in 1986. Currie Enterprises started designing and manufacturing complete custom-built 9-inch rearend assemblies, with nodular gear cases, alloy axles, and disc brakes. Currie's in-house capabilities grew and expanded. By 1999, Currie Enterprises offered a full line of driveline performance products including rearends, components, and suspensions.

All of the Curries were and are interested in the dirt. Frank was into dry lake racing that was so popular after WWII. The boys were interested in dirt bikes. Even before they could legally drive, the Currie brothers were driving 4x4 vehicles on the trails. It wasn't long before, in addition to the industrial vehicle, hot rod, and kit car rearend business, Currie Enterprises was building rearends for 4x4 vehicles.

Frank's friendship with Tom Mc-Mullen of McMullen Publishing added fuel to the 4x4 fi re. Tom was also an avid off-roader and he and Frank spent a large part of their free time exploring the backcountry. Frank had an early Bronco equipped, of course, with Currie parts. Tom was always building something new (sound familiar?) and was using Currie Enterprises as a major supplier for his projects. Charlie, John, and Ray all had their own 4x4 vehicles and were constantly coming up with ideas to make trail rigs stronger, useable, and better.


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