Thanks to a few imaginative, dedicated entrepreneurs, some of the once ‘lost’ auto parts brands are being rejuvenated to their former glory. Infamous brands such as King, Sun and S-K Tools are among some of this category of lost auto parts brands. used engines
For those familiar with the era of the ’50s and ’60s, you might be aware that dissimilar to the cars of today, vehicles of these eras weren’t built with computers to help the mechanism of the ignition process; they implemented a mechanical distributor instead. The distributor’s key purpose is to locate the most accurate ignition timing for the vehicle in order to exploit the fastest speed and effectiveness.
Regarding the famed brand ‘King’, (founded in 1911), Deke Williams from California, purchased the rights to the brand after realising that without the mechanical distributors, even the most skilled mechanic can only guess time accuracy at its best. Subsequently, his purchase revived this 100 year old classic brand by creating a contemporary version of the original distributor from the brand. The name of the brand has changed slightly too; it’s now known as King Electronics. The new model of the distributor is called the D16 and facilitates the combination of both contemporary and mechanical elements whilst being able to turn a distributor to up to 11,000 rpm.
This piece of machinery will enable the user to test any ignition system or any configuration. The cost reflects is capabilities at almost £2,500 but this piece of kit would be invaluable in any restoration workshop or garage.
Another story of a classic brand failing to stay afloat was S-K Tools. The brand was founded by Mason H Sherman and Roger Klove in 1921. The brand was famed for its patent of the round head socket wrench and its unrivalled high quality. Sadly the company declared bankruptcy in 2010 but was revived a few years later by Ideal Industries.
Halibrand Engineering, established in 1947 by amateur racing driver Ted Halibrand was another classic brand to suffer and then come back from the ground to its former glory. Halibrand’s key selling point was magnesium alloy wheels; these wheels were more durable and lighter than the common wire wheels. Halibrand’s wheels rapidly became favoured by many other racers. Sadly the industry moved further towards using aluminium alloy wheels from abroad due to their very reasonable cost. As a result the company was sold in the late ’70s. Thankfully in 2003 the brand was rejuvenated and took on the new name of Halibrand Performance and will continue to create the same magnesium wheels it was originally famed for.