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Danchuk Manufacturing in Santa Ana, the world's largest maker and retailer of 1955 1957 restoration Chevrolet parts, has been a customer of Graham's for more than 30 years.
Graham proudly shows off the 20,000 square Supra Running Shoes Review
He also sells posters and 3,600 reprinted 12 by 18 inch copies from his collection of 60,000 rare vintage car photographs.
Dave Graham Auto Literature, his Corona based company, reprints factory booklets, owner's and repair manuals, sales brochures, accessory books, restoration guides and all kinds of hard to find price lists and published material from 1918 to contemporary times.
1932 Ford roadster with the Roosevelt license plate and FDR hood ornament; and his first car that ignited his imagination, his 1925 Ford roadster.
DAVE GRAHAM AUTO LITERATUREWhat: Wholesale company that reproduces and reprints old auto manuals, owners' manuals, sales brochures, accessory books, restoration guides and hard to find vintage car parts.
does on that scale. Graham has licensing agreements with Ford, General Motors, Mopar and Shelby and pays legal costs, royalty fees and product insurance, if needed. "Anything printed without permission is counterfeiting," Graham said. "All these expenses keep the little guy at bay."
Three muses that inspired his venture and success are parked in the warehouse, but not for sale: his 1946 Ford with the clear top; his Le Coq Sportif Eclat W Quick Lace
After a tour with the Navy from 1957 to 1961, Graham worked in a San Pedro print shop as a camera man/stripper and continued to restore old cars as a hobby. Married with two children, he needed extra dough to buy tires for his 1932 Ford Victoria.
He reprinted 100 copies of 11 8 by 10 inch factory photos of 1970 cars and sold Le Coq Sportif Lcs R900 Silicone Print them for more than $300 in one day at a swap meet. "That was more money than I made in a week," Graham recalls.
Graham bought the '25 roadster for $35 in 1950 when he was 12, scraping together the money from work in the Missouri hay fields. He didn't have his driver's license, but proudly tooled around town, annoying some of the old timers.
"My love of old cars and printing made a natural fit," said Graham, 76. By marrying these passions, Graham has rolled out a unique manufacturing and wholesale business that, 44 years later, keeps picking up speed.
This triggered his treasure hunt for more photos to copy and the beginning of the risky business he launched from his Westminster house with a $100 investment. Graham quickly switched from retail to wholesale "to avoid swap meets."
He's still charmed by some of the humorous early repair manuals, especially one that warns Model T owners that if they take the lid off the electric box, "put it back! You don't need to be doing this!"
Colin Graham, who's been working for his dad since he was a child, has updated the catalog and is scanning every piece of literature on CDs. He's created a website and is focused on marketing through social media.
In 1976, Dave's Auto Literature moved into two buildings totaling 15,000 square feet in Santa Ana where the company did all its own printing. "In the beginning, printing was our strong suit," Graham said. "Then mail order became the main thing."
"There was a tremendous need for someone like Graham's in this industry and Dave has filled the gap," said Steve Brown, general manager of Danchuk, who's worked there 29 years. "A lot of guys do occasional manuals and decals, but Dave does it all. I don't know of anybody else doing what he Supra Skytop 2 Gold For Sale
Graham doesn't sell retail to avoid competing with his clients, charging them from $10 to $20 a booklet. He buys most of his auto literature on eBay and reproduces each one digitally, page by page, with computers and scanners. He sends the materials to a number of printers, a job he stopped doing a year ago, unable to handle the business's increased volume.
foot building he bought 10 years ago at 1576 N. Maple St. in Corona. Some of the auto literature has been languishing on the shelves for 20 years in boxes labeled chronologically. "But nothing is ever obsolete," Graham said.
"The Model T has survived with me for 64 years," Graham said. "It's been a solid anchor to get me through good times and bad."
Smooth ride for company that reproduces car manuals
In addition to the literature, Graham's reproductions of vintage vehicle glove boxes, arm rests, headliners, door panels, seat kits, visors and decals have helped crank business into overdrive. Sales are expected to hit $3 million by the end of the year, Graham said. His seven employees, including his son and partner, Colin Graham, 32, ship orders to businesses and dealers all over the world, who, in turn, sell the booklets and parts to their customers.
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