The Forge is a one stop repair and body shop located in Loveland, Colorado specializing in period correct construction and restoration of fine automobiles. Previously known as "Custom Auto", the shop changed named to the Forge in 2014.
In 1996 Dave Crouse started Custom Auto as full-time venture after his lifelong passion for restoring and building vintage hot rods lead him to Colorado. Dave established a shop that he dedicated to preserving and restoring the history of the hot rod community, as well as creating vintage-style hot rods with the utmost consideration to the period correct details and functionality that our customers demand.At the shop, each crew member is dedicated to his skill set. They utilize their knowledge, experience, and versatility as well as adjusting their complementary overlapping skills.
Joe Nitti's 1932 Ford Roadster
An early restoration by Dave was the Joe Nitti Roadster, which was awarded the Bruce Meyer Hot Rod Preservation Award, and selected one of the 75 Most Significant 1932 Ford Hot Rods, which is a great accomplishment for any shop.
Award Winning Restoration
Custom Auto was privileged to receive the RM Auction’s Best Open Car Award at the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance with the Norman Timbs Special; the Dean Bachelor Award at Pebble Beach in 2007 with the Berardini Brothers 404 Jr. and the Bruce Meyer Hot Rod Preservation Award twice.
In 2014 Dave Crouse retired and sold the shop to Mike Detwiler, one of his customers. Mike renamed the shop the Forge, a name meant to reflect the team's ability to restore world-class automobiles that embody a different era and express a genuine devotion to craftmanship.
He was born and reared on a dairy farm in N.W. New Jersey. His father built a 5/8 dirt oval and a 1/8 mile drag strip race track in the early 60’s. He spent his early years hanging out with racers, helping at the track and working on the cars. Dave worked at Stone Barn in the 1980’s restoring CCCA classic cars as he continued his activities with hot rods and race cars. In 1989 he moved to Colorado and in 1996 opened Custom Auto. He has been restoring some of our industry’s most notable hot rods and racecars. Dave has a lifelong passion in preserving all aspects of our automotive heritage.
He was born and reared in Nebraska and has been tinkering with anything mechanical from a young age. Jake bought his first car, a 1970 Chevelle 454 SS, when he was 13. After high school he attended McPherson College and received his Associates Degree in Auto Restoration. Shortly after graduating Jake moved to the beautiful state of Colorado to work for Custom Auto. He has been a valued team member for nine years. His specialties include chassis fabrication, engine and drive train, and final assembly.
He grew up in the Texas panhandle. In his outstanding high school shop he was able to build a 1962 Chevrolet Apache ½ ton as his first vehicle. Rex joined the United States Marine Corps as an auto body repairman and sheet metal fabricator. After his honorable discharge from the Marines, he found his calling and was off to McPherson College for their Automotive Restoration program. While at McPherson, Rex decided that the exacting art of metal shaping would be his specialty. He was fortunate to serve an apprenticeship with Ron Fournier in Michigan for a year. He has been with Custom Auto in Colorado for nine years and has been in the metal shaping community for 16 years. Rex has been given the opportunity to work on some outstanding cars to help preserve our automotive history. He will continue to help preserve and build more cars for many years to come.
He grew up in southern Minnesota and was introduced to the car scene as a boy by his father. In high school he and his father restored a 1962 Chevrolet Impala together. He also participated in an internship program throughout high school, which allowed him to work in a collision shop in the afternoons. After high school Dustin enrolled at Wyoming Technical Institute where he learned collision, refinishing and fabrication for 18 months. Following graduation Dustin was offered a job at Custom Auto and has been there for almost eight years. He enjoys working at Custom Auto where he performs some sheet metal work and fabrication, but specializes in paint and body work.
He was born and reared in Colorado and grew up along the Front Range. He has always been interested in cars and is currently working on projects of his own. Fred’s training in this field includes classes from Fay Butler, Ron Covell, Gene Winfield, and instruction from Rex Rogers, Dustin Nere, Jake Yenny and Dave Crouse. Fred is currently twenty-one years old and has worked for Custom Auto for four years. He does sheet metal repair and fabrication, body and paint, assembly, and any other tasks he is asked to perform.
Cars Built by Custom Auto
Henry Astor's 1932 Ford Roadster
Jorge Zaragoza's 1932 Ford Roadster
John Walker’s 1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe
Karl Larson’s 1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe
Scott Buhler's 1932 Ford Tudor
Steve Memishian’s 1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe
Steve Memishian’s 1932 Ford Roadster
Tom Astor's 1932 Ford Roadster
Eric Lammes' 1951 Chevrolet
Cars Restored by Custom Auto
Bell Engine Crankshaft Special
Bernardini Bros. 404 Jr. 1932 Ford Roadster
Joe Nitti's 1932 Ford Roadster
Larry Shinoda's "Chopsticks Special" 1932 Ford 3 Window Coupe
Ed Pink's 1936 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Norman Timbs' Buick Special
Chet Herbert's Beast III
1067 Des Moines Ave.
Loveland, Colorado 80537
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