By SEMA Editors
Frank Currie passed away of natural causes on the evening of March 2, 2016, in Yorba Linda, California, with his family at his side.
Currie was born in Anaheim, California, in 1929, and was one of five children. He was heavily involved in the early years of hot rodding, building Model As and Ts with overhead converted engines. He competed at the original Santa Ana Drags and lakes racing at Muroc and El Mirage.
Following Currie's Airforce service as an aircraft mechanic during the Korean War era, he went to work at Taylor-Dunn Manufacturing in Anaheim, where he met his wife Evelyn. They were married in early 1955 and immediately started a family. Currie eventually became the foreman of the Taylor-Dunn shop where he realized an ever-growing need for rear differentials to be adapted to the chicken-feeder machines manufactured at Taylor-Dunn. In the early days, it was Ford banjo rearends, then early Plymouth drop-out rear ends and finally the 9-in. Ford. Currie became a large supplier of the core rear ends to Taylor-Dunn. He bought property in east Anaheim in 1956, and in 1959, Currie and his wife founded Currie Enterprises and moved full-time to their own business of supplying rear-end cores.
In 1985 Currie Enterprises moved to a larger facility, and Currie’s sons took over the reins of the company as he retired to build hot rods and Jeeps.
Currie competed in The Great American Race 20 times, winning the overall once and countless segments. He also dabbled in the LaCarrera PanAmerica three years in a row with his ’65 Shelby Mustang. He remains the only person in history to have driven a car to Bonneville, run over 200 mph and driven the car home. This car, his AA/SR #258, was named 1998 Hot Rod of the Year. He was a ’32 Ford aficionado, and at the time of his passing, he had two ’32 roadsters, a ’32 three-window coupe and a ’32 Tudor sedan.
Jeeping and off-roading were also a family passion. From early Broncos and Willys station wagons, all the way up to his last Jeep—an LS-powered TJ, Currie was an experienced off-roader. He co-drove with his son John in the first BFG Rock Crawling Championship in 1998, where they took a second-place finish. Currie was a member of the California Roadsters car club and had been a member of the Regroupers Jeep Club.
Currie is survived by his wife of 61 years, Evelyn, his four sons, Charles, John, Raymond and Andy, and a large extended family.
A celebration of life will be held Wednesday, March 30, 2016, from 3:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. at Astor Classics Event Center. 1563 E. Babbit Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806
The family asks that any correspondence or sentiments be sent to Currie Enterprises, 382 N. Smith Ave., Corona, CA 92880