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Currie Enterprises - 1959-2009 50th Anniversary

Posted in How To on June 1, 2010
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Photographers: Kevin Blumer

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.

Currie Enterprises' 21,000-square-foot Anaheim, California, location houses research and development, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. There's also a 19,000-square-foot warehouse in Corona, California.

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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Besides quality front and rear ends, Currie Enterprises started building front and rear bumpers, suspension systems, and other parts for 4x4 vehicles. Currie became a one-stop shop for those wanting to outfit their vehicle for tough off-road trail use. At first, a large portion of the business included Ford 9-inch custom front and rear ends that started as refurbished 9-inch housings culled from around the country. As the 9-inch supply dwindled, Currie Enterprises designed their 9-Plus and Track 9 lines of brand new 9-inch housings, very popular with hot rod, racing, and performance car enthusiasts. The Currie High-Pinion 9-inch reversecut third member allowed us to use a quality 9-inch housing and have the advantages of a high-pinion.

With rock crawling competitions came the need for even stronger components. Currie stepped up with their innovative Rock Jock 60 front and rear ends. Originally, the Rock Jock was only available with an aluminum center section, but it is now available in cast iron, too. Currie Enterprises' latest offering is their new, heavyduty F9 front and rear ends. The F9 uses 9-inch or High-Pinion third members, beefy 3/16-inch plate and tubes, and can be built using one-ton componentry. Currie's stronger parts included new tie rods and drag links for Jeeps, new bumpers and body armor, new suspension designs, and other parts.

Today, Currie Enterprises occupies a 21,000-square-foot complex in Anaheim, California, and a 19,000 square-foot warehouse in Corona, California. The company has grown in size and the product line has continued to expand. Currie Enterprises now has nearly 50 employees and boasts a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The Curries design, build, modify, test, sell, and install rearend and drivetrain products, all under one roof.

From humble beginnings as a dream of Frank and Evelyn Currie, Currie Enterprises has become one of the most recognized names in specialty rearends and components. Whether it's Ford 9-inch, Ford 8-inch, Dana 44, Dana 60, or custom axles, Currie Enterprises designs and manufactures the components needed to continue offering complete front and rear ends that exceed the original cores in strength, quality, durability, and versatility. They also continue to design and build strong, quality parts that make our lives better in the backcountry.

This feature is a short history and overview of Currie Enterprises. Go to the Currie website to check out all they offer. Currie Enterprises -- here's to a bright future and another 50 years of success!

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Currie Enterprises
Corona, CA 92880

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