CONCORD, N.C. – Pretty much anybody who has ever fixed up an old Ford knows about the Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts company, located just down the road from the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. As a family owned and operated company, Dennis Carpenter has been making Ford restoration parts for over 46 years. When Ford Performance had visited the Charlotte Spring Auto Fair last year, our friend, Mark Young, of the Carolina Regional Mustang Club arranged for us to tour the sprawling Dennis Carpenter complex, with son Daniel Carpenter as our tour guide.
“As a kid, I was at my dad's side when he hand-poured the first plastic dash knobs for our 1940 Ford convertible in an unfinished room in our home,” Daniel says. “Demand for them was strong because no one had ever made factory correct replacement knobs, and good originals were impossible to find. The business was birthed, and soon thereafter, my dad Dennis purchased our first injection molding machine for making large runs of higher quality knobs. As the business grew, we began manufacturing rubber seals, rubber bumpers, die cast chrome parts and metal stamped parts. In 1998 Ford granted us the honor to use the original Ford factory tooling for many parts that we make now. Today we have over 160 employees at our facility making and selling quality Ford parts. We now have 12 plastic injection molding machines, a rubber extruding operation, 54 rubber molding machines, 48 metal stamping presses, 2 zinc die casting machines, 3 roller mills and many other special machines for making quality parts in America.”
Daniel now manages most of the business for his father, and the private tour of this remarkable facility was nothing short of amazing. It even included a peek inside Daniel Carpenter’s personal car collection on-site, which included lots of cool Ford memorabilia. At first glance it was obvious that young Daniel was a big fan of Ford Mustangs from the Fox Body era – but only pristine, low-mileage examples would qualify them for inclusion here. We asked if it would be O.K. to take a few photos inside of Daniel’s “man cave” to share with you here on FordPerformance.com, and he agreed. We’ve chosen our favorites for the gallery below:
FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY JOHN CLOR