Celebrating 32 Years...
Celebrating our 32nd year seems like an ideal time to take a look back at our history, and some of the highlights and
innovations that helped us to become the company we are today. Each of these milestones were achieved with a team of
dedicated professionals that have enabled our Dream Vision to become reality. While we look back with a bit of nostalgia
at the exciting projects and products that we have been able to launch, and reflect on how quickly 32 years flies by, we also
continue to look forward to new opportunities and new ways to evolve. As I am often asked how I got started in this Industry
and at Flaming River, this history feature seems like an ideal way to share some of this story.
In 1987 Flaming River enters the
marketplace for the sole purpose of
developing unique products for the
Racing and Hot Rod Industry. This
included products the Original Equipment
Manufacturers were no longer making, like
the Pinto rack and pinion for starters. In the
beginning, we offered four main products:
Pinto – Drag Race
Timing Light – Self Powered 2 D Battery
Big Switch – Battery Master Shut off
Tuff Ties in colors
Most of these products are still sold today. The overall
philosophy of Flaming River remains to develop new products
for the specialty market, and even then we knew that Junkyard
parts weren’t good enough for our Racers and Rodders! (Not to
mention, parts that once were thought to be available forever,
are no longer there.
After starting work at Flaming River as
an office student through the Co-op
program at her high school, Jeanette
Ladina becomes a part owner of the
company at the age of 22. It was a year
where we started to build upon the initial
four products and the expansion of new
product development began moving
By 1993, the company becomes a known entity
to racers and rodders. We exhibit each year at
SEMA and Performance Racing Trade Shows to
meet customers and expand our market, and in
fact, learn customers are asking for much more.
The muscle car and classic car enthusiasts
come knocking on our door for products they’re
having trouble finding. Exhibiting at SEMA each
year is an important part of business growth and allows us to
connect with customers more directly.
Flaming River takes a big step and decides
to build the 1974-78 Mustang manual rack
and pinion. The Industry was waiting for this
one - you couldn’t find it anywhere and it
was the standard chassis platform for Street
Rod builders. In fact, at SEMA customers
looking at the Pinto we made for Racing
and asked “Why can’t you make this other rack that we really
need?” Flaming River makes it happen and opens up a new and
Listening to your customers is a great
business model. Customers looking at
our new rack and pinion wondered why
we didn’t offer universal joints. After
careful research, we team up with a
U.S. company and are proud to say that
we now have over 600 combinations of
universal joints available… All Made in
During this same period, we developed the Vega steering box…
another all new product that is commonly used on roadster
chassis’s. We worked with a local builder and friend for the final
fitment and details. Many knew him as the guy who was quoted
as saying “The Sun never sets on the Cool”
Never say history doesn’t repeat itself.
People ask and we respond with the first
all new Made in the USA tilt steering
column for the aftermarket, and score our
first SEMA New Product win. Manufactured and assembled
with all new components and an attractive stainless steel design,
no cores are used in our process. Great things to come – the
goal is to build in house manufacturing for true flexibility and
responsiveness to customer requests.
Welcome to Flaming River.
This was the year Jeanette
became the sole owner of
Flaming River and decides
to build our own building
to allow us the ability to
manufacture as much of our
own products as possible.
The tilt steering columns
becomes our flagship and truly says Flaming River USA.
In order to meet demand
and continue product line
growth, machinery is the
only way. We bought our
first laser from Haas and
retired the punch press.
Customers wanted more
and we delivered. Built
from the ground up, Flaming River creates the all-new Stainless,
Laser-Cut Collapsible Tilt Steering Column for our product line.
...The Best is Yet to Come!