Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vintage Grove Innovations pics...

I've been sick the last two days and have not had much motivation or ability to get off the couch, so I've been trying to stay sane by sorting through some old stuff.  I found a cache of old photos from the early 90's that included a few shop photos from around Grove Innovations headquarters and thought I'd share.

The Centre Hall Shop sat just to the left of Hubby's house, the original sign was rescued last year from a pile of junk in the back of the building and is now safe and sound if a little faded.

A look down the machine row toward the front roll up door.  The frames hanging above varied from protos, to broken frames, to cast offs from sponsored racers.  If you look close, you can see a few AL X frames that never made it to production.

Material came in at the front and was processed through the cold saw...this shop used a LOT of Dillsburg 4130, manufactured by Patco during this time period.  Most the Ti came from Ancotech and Aermet from Carpenter Technologies.

Fixtures hang on the back of the work benches, waiting for the next production run.  The table in the foreground was used primarily for lay out work.  Ironically, I still use that Timbuktu bag today...

 Ti frames hang on the outside office wall waiting for a new home.  Above the office, crammed between the office ceiling and roof line was a small space with a drafting table for frame design, climbing the ladder up there was a pain in the arse and the paper drawings always got crushed trying to climb back down.

Bill didn't want me ever sharing this picture, but enough time has elapsed I don't think he'd care.  This is the original fixture he built when he began making frames in his basement in Pleasant Gap in 1982.

A shot of the fixture for building Ti and AL racing wheelchairs...these were raced by the Japanese Olympic team.

A Ti frame and a Ti mono-ski base just sprayed in House of Kolor purple to raw ti fade.

A candy blue mono-ski sits awaiting packaging to go to a new home.  These were insanely popular with disabled athletes until Grove Innovations had to close it's doors due to a frivolous suit from a skier in California who had skied out of bounds and went off a 40' cliff. Obviously, it was the ski's fault he got hurt. The guy received death threats from other disabled skiers for years following the loss of this product in the disabled community.

GI did a LOT of work for other companies, often prototyping new frames and products.  These were proto frames for Royce Union USA which later could be found in sports department stores across the country.  Another staple that came around monthly were the production of rebar nuclear waste paddles for the US government.  Not sexy work, but paid well.

One of the last hand cycles, this one still hangs in Bill's basement.  I've tried to pry it from his hands to send it out to Steve Garro so he can enjoy some of the pavement in his area again.  No success yet, but I'm determined :)

Where my fascination with machines began...


A ti road frame painted in candy red over pure gold.  This one went to one of my best friends, Herb Winters.  Herb rode this til he passed, it now resides with his son.

 Pics of the crew...


A nice walk down memory lane, hope y'all enjoyed it too.

1 comment:

Jim Sota said...

Great to see these. My name is Jim Sota, I bought my first bike from Bill in 1986 and I race on the team from 87-89 along with the Yoders. I still have my bike. I pictures of the previous shop. Thanks for sharing.