As The Industry Changes, It Really Stays The Same
By Doug Kaufman
Think back to what you were doing 36 years ago this month. In the February 1968 issue of Automotive Rebuilder magazine, my predecessors were hinting that some of the new 1969 Dodges might be coming from the factory with turbine technology under the hood. Detroit was beginning to get nervous about a growing acceptance of imported cars - especially the Beetle. And young Bubba Crunk was reading this latest industry information in the break room at Grooms Engines.
One year later, Tommy Begley was learning about the causes of the 10 Most Common Engine Failures in the February 1969 issue of Automotive Rebuilder. He probably discussed the matter with Crunk over a sandwich during lunch at Grooms.
Some things never change. While Automotive Rebuilder has, of course, become Engine Builder, and turbine engines have gone the way of many other promised forms of automotive propulsion (what DID ever happen to those hover cars we were all promised?), Dwight "Bubba" Crunk and Tommy Begley are still discussing the ins and outs of engine remanufacturing at Groom's Engines in Nashville. Only now, you can call Mr. Crunk "Vice President of Purchasing and Assistant General Manager" and Mr. Begley "Vice President of Manufacturing."
Doug Anderson, long-time Engine Builder contributor and president of Grooms says Crunk's and Begley's dedication is the rule rather than the exception at his production remanufacturing facility. "We've got a nucleus of people that have been here for over 25 years. We've got key players, including supervisors and department heads who are all twenty-year plus guys. We have a depth and breadth of experience that's not common."
Part of that is impressive employee dedication. Plus, Grooms has continued to grow since 1966, doing something right over the years to instill that loyalty.
Thirty-six years ago, I remember what I was doing: I was dreaming of being an astronaut. Who knows - with a renewed interest in manned spaceflight to Mars, maybe I'll achieve my dreams. Whether Bubba and Tommy dreamed then that they would be in their current positions today, I can't say. But we at Engine Builder are pleased to salute their longevity and commitment to their employer and this industry. And we wish all of the new employees reading this publication the same kind of stamina. 2032 isn't all that far away.
Doug Kaufman is the editor of Engine Builder magazine, and can still draw a pretty impressive Saturn V rocket. Feel free to contact him with comments or suggestions about the magazine.. email@example.com