Under the hood ... and beyond
By RANDY GONZALES
By RANDY GONZALES
PLAINVILLE -- Alan Krumpe has been around cars -- and fixing them up -- for as long as he can remember. There's even a picture floating around somewhere of him when he was approximately 9 or 10 and sitting in the engine compartment of a Ford truck.
"I remember Saturdays always going to the car shows," said Krumpe, who grew up in Maryland.
Krumpe, 37, turned his love of all things on wheels into his business, first part-time, and the last few years full-time, restoring cars and trucks at Jade Classics, 406 N. Broadway.
In his shop recently vying for his attention were a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle, a 1967 Mustang fastback, a 1965 GMC pickup and a 1953 Ford F100 pickup.
"When I was a kid, my dad and stepfather built street rods and hot rods," Krumpe said. "I've always kind of been around it."
Krumpe met his wife, Sharra, in Tennessee while he was serving a stint in the Army, working on Apache helicopters. They later moved to Denver. He first worked in a body shop, then became a body shop manager at a Mustang shop and later worked on muscle cars.
The couple then moved to Plainville, where Sharra was born and spent summers even after moving to Denver when she was 4 or 5.
Krumpe restored cars part-time in Ellis, then went full-time for the last six months before buying a building in Plainville for his business. That was in August 2012, and business has been good, Krumpe said.
"It was a little scary at first," he said. "The work just kept coming in."
Doug Emerick, Plainville, had Krumpe restore a 1964 Chevy pickup.
"Truck looks good," Emerick said. "Did all the body work, wood bed in it, some of the brake work underneath of it.
"Basically just put the whole truck back together. Got it looking like brand new again. I'm happy with what I had done."
Sharra Krumpe, who works part-time at a restaurant in town, also helps out in the shop and does the company's books. She takes care of the little things that need to be done.
"A lot of the stuff that I do, there are a lot of little parts and pieces when you do a restoration that need cleaned up, sanded down, then re-painted so they look brand new," she said. "That's more or less what I do.
"We've been working on cars together since we got married."
Krumpe takes pride in his work.
"It's going to be a brand-new truck that looks old," he said, pointing to a truck in his shop.
Krumpe, who also does collision work to help pay the bills, wants to give his customers a fair shake. He charges just one rate for both collision and restoration work; that rate generally is what collision shops are charging in the area.
"If I can keep my overhead down, my cost down, and I can still profit off it ... I'm not in this to get rich," Krumpe said. "I do this because I really enjoy it."
Nothing can quite compare to seeing one of his restored cars or trucks on the highway, Krumpe said.
"It's not an ego thing; it's more pride," he said. "I see something I've done go down the road.
"It's nice to know I've brought that back -- it's not in a junk yard."