Niles small business owner customizes classics
Growing up in Southern California where hot rods and beautiful vehicles roamed the streets with regularity, Jerry Fry developed a deep love for cars.
Fry, who now lives in Southwest Michigan with his family, has turned that love into a successful small business.
Fry Rides and Fabrication, located at 306 Wayne St. in Niles, specializes in custom and classic car fabrication. Fry said he can and has done everything from complete rebuilds to adding special touches like custom exhaust to headers.
The owner said his business is perfect for people that have a love of old style vehicles, but do not have the time or knowledge to take on the project themselves.
“That’s where I help” Fry said. “ I do only what they want me to do. If there are parts left that they want to complete I only take it up to that point and I turn it over. That is where working with the customer is so important. You tell me what you want and I’ll give it to you.”
Fry operated his business out of Buchanan for three and a half years before moving to his current location in Niles in December.
Prior to that, he worked as a welder and fabricator for Mosler Automotive, building half-million dollar supercars for people around the world.
He moved to southwest Michigan so that his wife, Kimberly, could be closer to her job at Whirlpool.
That’s when he started Fry Rides, which has grown steadily, necessitating his move from Buchanan to a larger space in Niles.
Fry gets great satisfaction out of seeing a vehicle transformation.
“It comes in as a rusty vehicle full of holes and skinny tires and nothing on it that says modern,” he said. “Then you transform it, for example, into a vehicle with air ride, power windows, power steering and air conditioning — all those luxuries but yet with the old style styling — it is an amazing transformation that gets me up in the morning.”
Jerry does all the work himself while his wife takes care of the business side of things. His goal is to hire three full time people when the demand for his service gets great enough.
To learn more, contact Fry Rides by phone at (561) 693-9163, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website fryrides.com.