By Ashley Reyes
The SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) named Classic Instruments as the council’s latest member spotlight company. In this week’s feature, Classic Instrument’s COO John McLeod shares the company’s current projects, and what advice he has for up-and-comers in the industry.
SEMA: Tell us the story of your shop. How did you start?
John McLeod: Classic Instruments was founded in 1977 by Frank and Shirley Hettick in Oregon. When they relocated the company to Boyne City, Michigan, I was a police officer and GM of a custom/restoration shop and used Classic Instruments in some of my builds. As the new owner, I started with one employee in the corner of the restoration company and slowly, with a focus on customer service and building quality parts and hiring quality people, continued to grow the company every day.
SEMA: What was your breakthrough moment?
JM: Breakthrough moment? I would say the first night after being the owner the company and sitting back and thinking how blessed I am.
SEMA: Tell us about your business now in 2022 and what projects are you working on?
JM: Custom projects continue to raise the bar. Our customers continue to push our limits and we love it. On the catalog side, it is trucks. The world is truck crazy, and it is really cool!
SEMA: Tell us about an aspect of your company you are proud of.
JM: Our employees are what I am most proud of and the friends I have made in the industry.
SEMA: What advice do you have for young professionals contemplating a career in the automotive aftermarket?
JM: Be willing to give up everything you have to get everything you want. Work hard, be honest, fair and consistent. Good things will come!
Fill out an HRIA-member spotlight form to highlight how your company is contributing to the hot-rod industry. Selected candidates are eligible to be featured on HRIA's and media, SEMA News and future HRIA member updates.