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Author Topic: Race Trim, whats the history  (Read 7628 times)
Geoff P DVKK
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« on: January 10, 2010, 01:18:48 am »

Can someone enlighten me on Race Trim and when it came into being, maybe a little history?

Thanks in advance.
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deano
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 02:21:06 am »

Sarge and other former/current Auto Haus employees can enlighted you on this one. But basically, Race Trim was the trade name created by Lynn Rosevear and Auto Haus in 1968ish. A lot of their own private label stuff used the Race Trim logo (Dave Deal artwork). Now, moving ahead a few years, when DDS started their own foundry in '76, Lowry began to make product for them using the Race Trim imprint (as well as many other brands). So, late model Race Trim castings were probably done by Ken Lowry, hence the similarity in sump designs and so on. Since Auto Haus is now long gone, the trade name, Race Trim now belongs to Dan Weldon @ Mr. Bug.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 18:22:07 pm by deano » Logged

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edcraig
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 04:44:20 am »

Dean is pretty much right on.  We actually tried to come up with a name other than Race-Trim.  I didn't care for the Race Trim, however, every other name wasn't any better.  The purpose for the Race Trim name was separate the products a litte from the Auto-Haus name.  Many Dealers didn't want to sell or promote Auto-Haus labeled products as we were also their competitors.
Speaking to Bud Blumer at SEMA, Mr.Bug/EMPI is working a new product line using his name again.  Their version of the BRM's are one of the first products.
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Geoff P DVKK
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 05:19:16 am »

Great info! So what products were available in the early Racetrim years? Sumps? Zenith NDIX manifolds? Valve covers? Whats period correct in the 68-70 era?
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deano
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 05:32:19 am »

Oh, now that could be a bit early for most of that stuff. You best check a very early catalog for that one. I really think most of those parts came out later on in the '70s. Ed?
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edcraig
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 05:43:43 am »

I'd say it was 71/72.  For the most part, it was a lot of ARPM cast alum products at first, but I believe oil coolers, mounts..etcs too..  The plan was to switch everything over if I remember correctly fro AH to RT.
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Kaferdog
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 06:28:24 am »

Wow....! This great stuff guyz .....!!!...Pleez Keep it going
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 11:34:29 am »

here're some stuff about auto haus
i don't ve read them but may be they're talking about race trim , tehycame from the  1st vw trends 76/77
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 11:36:05 am »

 Wink
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2010, 11:38:10 am »

some adverts from old magazine  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2010, 11:40:13 am »

those adverts are around 75/76

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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2010, 12:00:16 pm »

geoff i scanned an auto haus catalog some time ago and surely there's some race trim stuff inside

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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 16:48:58 pm »

Great history knowledge there, Deano. That ad with the shifter brings back many memories... most everyone that I knew back then always talked down that shifter. First car that I drove with one was Dave McNew's Squareback. It handled flawlessly. I always wanted one, but had Hurst shifters. Most people had the Berg.

Since we're posting Auto Haus / Race-Trim stuff, outside of Long Beach Auto Haus.


Inside of same store w/some Race-Trim stuff.


Sorry for the reposted tired old pictures again. But ya never know... I may decide to sell my VW stuff tomorrow, move to either the South or North Pole and start my own country. When I'm gone, at least these images will be easily found and categorized for Fabian to sort though.

 Wink
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deano
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2010, 16:55:53 pm »

Geoff, as you can read, Auto Haus began to manufacture product around 1972, which may be an indication that your project could be a little too old for any real Race Trim castings. FYI, the famous Deano shifters would have been around late '69, early 1970 (wood, black plastic then chromed aluminum handles).
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2010, 18:33:09 pm »

Did someone mention Race Trim.........

http://cal-look.no/lounge/index.php/topic,6900.0.html

 Wink
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Geoff P DVKK
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 19:20:54 pm »

Did someone mention Race Trim.........

http://cal-look.no/lounge/index.php/topic,6900.0.html

 Wink

Great looking engine and buggy!

Geoff, as you can read, Auto Haus began to manufacture product around 1972, which may be an indication that your project could be a little too old for any real Race Trim castings. FYI, the famous Deano shifters would have been around late '69, early 1970 (wood, black plastic then chromed aluminum handles).

Thanks Deano, I'm looking at building a couple period engines and the Race Trim one may still end up in my current project although, If things work out i'll have a more uniqe dressed engine soon. Grin
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Lee.C
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2010, 19:59:45 pm »

Did someone mention Race Trim.........

http://cal-look.no/lounge/index.php/topic,6900.0.html

 Wink

Great looking engine and buggy!

Geoff, as you can read, Auto Haus began to manufacture product around 1972, which may be an indication that your project could be a little too old for any real Race Trim castings. FYI, the famous Deano shifters would have been around late '69, early 1970 (wood, black plastic then chromed aluminum handles).

Thanks Deano, I'm looking at building a couple period engines and the Race Trim one may still end up in my current project although, If things work out i'll have a more uniqe dressed engine soon. Grin

Cheers dude - I have just always loved the D.Deal Race Trim logo/artwork Smiley
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Kaferdog
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2010, 11:52:03 am »

Wasn't there a Auto Haus in Downey,ca on Firestone & Paramount too .....?
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Sarge
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2010, 15:12:26 pm »

Here's an old Race Trim gasket set I've had for many years.
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Kaferdog
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2010, 22:29:19 pm »

Heres some NOS T-bars
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Russell
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« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2010, 22:33:08 pm »

All the Tar Babe parts are on these adverts, steering wheel, DDS gearshift, etc
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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2010, 17:47:06 pm »

After reading the topic I felt I could add some answers, but before telling what I remember I thought to contact the source (Lynn Rosevear) and see what he could offer.  A call was made and Lynn and I had a long somewhat detailed discussion about this part of the Auto Haus history, so between our two very old memories here is the way it was.

The name “RaceTrim” actually existed prior to it becoming part of Rosevear Enterprises or Auto Haus.  I had remembered some of this and Lynn confirmed and also filled in some details I didn’t remember or didn’t know.

RaceTrim was a separate company owned and operated by a fellow whose name Lynn was not able to come up with.  He made wood dash buttons and the glove box covers along with the speaker covers designed to fit the stock VW dash.  Side note:  I remember in my early days running the Buena Park store a customer came in and wanted to purchase a wood dash set, but couldn’t understand why the grains within the wood weren’t exactly the same in each peace.  I had to explain that these came from trees and God made them not man, thus they were that way.  Needless to say we dealt with some real Einstein’s of the day.  The business was located as Lynn states close to where Gene Berg was, but after some discussion I think he meant actually over by Anaheim Stadium in a newly developed (at the time) business complex.  I believe this location to be close to where an early version of Fleming & Aronson (pre FAT) was located on Howell St. in Anaheim.  Another now famous company that started there in the middle 60’s was “Mother’s Wax”.  As a teenager I use to go there and purchase products prior to them having any distribution.

RaceTrim items were sold directly to the VW dealers under the RaceTrim name and also to the Rosevears.  Anyway, the owner offered to sell the business to the Rosevears along with the RaceTrim name and equipment as he wanted to move to another business venture.  Now here is part I didn’t know.  You locals will recognize the name of Marie Callender’s which started by making pies and developed into a chain of restaurants that exist to this day.  Side note:  the actual Marie Callender is buried at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove very close to where LeRoy Zeigner and his wife are buried.  Zeigner was the founder of Royze.  The then RaceTrim owner wanted to start making pies for Marie Callenders which I guess he did once the deal was completed.

At that point Lynn & Ron moved that operation over close to the Fullerton Airport in a building which they purchased.  This was close to the Auto Haus main warehouse in Buena Park.  At that point the RaceTrim operation was expanded and hand laid fiberglass products were produced for VW applications.  This would include full fenders that were widened and had a flair, custom hoods with recesses, custom rear deck lids and even a scoop that covered the grill below the rear window.  Along with all of these parts were the same in Baja Kit form including a front nose section.  We also offered “chopper gun” glass covering most of the same parts which was outsourced and was used a as price leader.

A fellow named Gene Bradsfield, a friend of Ron’s, was brought on to oversea the operation.  There were a few people that worked in that building laying up glass items and doing skin packing.  I can still remember walking in the place and being knocked down by the fumes.  The EPA would love that place today!!  A couple of those folks were the senior Rosevears, Ted and Varona (Ronnie) who were the parents of the dynamic duo.  Lynn also mentioned in yesterday’s conversation that we did the Bus and Beetle side scoops that were vacuum formed there.

At that time the cast intake manifolds, nerf bars and many other things were finished and packaged there.  Lynn remembers that all of the manifolds were painted black and once they dried the RaceTrim logo was sanded to raw metal then they went to the shrink wrap machine. 

As time progressed Gene left and another guy was brought in which Lynn can’t remember his name, but does remember the guy was a smoker.  Why does he remember this? Well here is another tale.

I remember this as if it were yesterday.  After a full week of work I’d arrived home on a Friday and Christie and I were having dinner.  Must have been close to 6pm and the phone rang.  I picked it us and said “Hello” and then those famous words came, “Its Lynn”.  What’s up I said and he replied with “guess where I’ve been for the past couple of hours”?  Of course I had no idea and said “where”?  His reply I can still quote to this day, “I’ve been watching RaceTrim burn to the ground”.  Needless to say we forgot about dinner and drove up to the location immediately. 

The fire department wouldn’t get to close as there were drums of resin within the building that were going off like rockets.  Once the fire was contained there was no question that RaceTrim was a complete loss.  Lynn told me yesterday he has photos of this and I’ve asked him to go and try to find them so they can be shared with all. 

Don’t know what the final blame was for the fire, but Lynn has always felt that the “smoker” might have left a burning ember and that is what did it.  Today one wouldn’t be allowed to smoke in such an environment.  I believe the fire was in about 1974.  At that time the RaceTrim operation was moved into the 6460 Dale St. location and remained there until the end.

I marvel as to how collectable some of these items have become and wonder why I didn’t have enough sense to put some of it aside for future use.  Everything I have collected over the years relating to VW’s or Chryslers I’ve come to appreciate that there is a history with them.

So there you have what the “Old Weasel” (Lynn) and I can tell you about those times and a product name that seems to have become rather revered in the VW world.
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2010, 17:52:56 pm »

This photo was taken in the Beach Blvd. original Auto Haus retail store.  The rather chubby guy on the left is Lynn Rosever with his older brother Ron to the right.  Both are behind the counter. 

I verified with Lynn yesterday that the guy posing as a customer is actually Steve Richards a then outside salesman for the Rosevears.  Steve lived just down the street from this location and at one time I looked at his house to possibly purchase as our first home. 

Lynn told me that after Steve left Auto Haus he went to work for Hurst and stayed in the industry.  He would be seen by the Rosevears at SEAM over the years, but Lynn believes that Steve has now passed on.

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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2010, 18:38:55 pm »

Thanks for the info, John!

Here are some parts I've put together over the years...
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2010, 18:54:28 pm »

Thanks for the info, John!

Here are some parts I've put together over the years...

I remember selling all of those items.   Grin Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2010, 21:51:01 pm »

So, I wonder, how did Mr Bug get the Race Trim name?
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edcraig
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« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2010, 21:56:24 pm »

John,
Wan't the company AH bought out called Autogear?  The old wood dash stuff.  Maybe they used the Race Trim name too?
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johnl
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« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2010, 22:38:23 pm »

John,
Wan't the company AH bought out called Autogear?  The old wood dash stuff.  Maybe they used the Race Trim name too?

Ed,  I do remember the Autogear name, but in talking with Lynn yesterday there was no mention of it.  I'll e-mail him and ask the question.  Did you know the thing about Marie Callenders??
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« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2010, 22:50:42 pm »

So, I wonder, how did Mr Bug get the Race Trim name?

Dean, As I remember the story and you must understand that I had left the company by this time, went like this.  When Auto Haus failed Emeil (sp) Weldon, Dan's father was purchasing major names and acquired the Auto Haus name and logo and I guess the RaceTrim name was part of that.  Memory tells me that is how he obtained EMPI where he once worked as an outside saleman and drove one of the orange sedans some years prior.  There were other names as well, but the only one that comes to mind is Truehauft.

I think there was some issue with Jeff Kymla at KYMCO and Dave Greiner who had a franchise.  Can't remember if Ed Craig, also a franchise owner was still in the game or not when all of this went down.

After Mark Milbreth and I left Auto Haus and opened Autopia Motoring Accessories in Orange, I remember Emeil coming in and trying to sell us product.  Don't think we ever bought any as Mark and I had enough connections we didn't need them.
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« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2010, 22:56:50 pm »

... RaceTrim items were sold directly to the VW dealers under the RaceTrim name and also to the Rosevears.  Anyway, the owner offered to sell the business to the Rosevears along with the RaceTrim name and equipment as he wanted to move to another business venture.  Now here is part I didn’t know.  You locals will recognize the name of Marie Callender’s which started by making pies and developed into a chain of restaurants that exist to this day.  Side note:  the actual Marie Callender is buried at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove very close to where LeRoy Zeigner and his wife are buried.  Zeigner was the founder of Royze.  The then RaceTrim owner wanted to start making pies for Marie Callenders which I guess he did once the deal was completed.


Ah! So there is a connection between Dean Dyno-Soars' aluminum VW wheels and (Marie Callender) pie pans!
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