Company - The Blacksmith Story
20 Years of Building Excellence
More than a hundred years ago my great grandfather John Smith, like millions of European immigrants, came to America with not much more than a few bags, his new bride, and his skills as a blacksmith. He came here to America to BUILD a new life. John and Francis Smith settled in a small town in the Allegheny
Mountains of Pennsylvania. He would become the town blacksmith and they would have six sons, the youngest of whom was my grandfather Ted Smith.
From our family stories, I think my great grandfather was a realistic version of Longfellow’s poem, “The Village Blacksmith.” After church on Sunday, his wife would have him open up his shop to let the neighborhood women gather and bake bread in his furnace. The tradition lasted many years and while metal was forged six days a week, friendship and community was forged on the seventh day. John Smith was known as an honest and hard-working man and I enjoy thinking of the way he built his business and his friendships in a small town a hundred years ago.
The advent of the automobile spelled the end for blacksmiths, and John Smith would tell his sons to seek other paths. When we started Factory Five Racing in 1995, it was my father who reminded me that this was a return to our family
tradition of blacksmithing in a way. The tools were different for sure — The bellows and furnace are now CNC cutting machines and MIG welders, but modern-day Smiths we were, and the automobile that spelled the end of our family craft three generations ago would bring us back to metal a century later.
In many ways, all of us are living and repeating the lives of those who came before us. I like to think that many of the things that have made Factory Five Racing successful come directly from this fact.
What we do at Factory Five Racing is design and manufacture affordable, high-performance “build-it-yourself”-car projects. How we do this is by using factory engineered running gear, modern technology, and a talented staff to make cars that deliver on the promises their good looks make. The what and the how are important, but it’s the why that is at the heart of Factory Five.
Friendships forged at my great grandfather’s blacksmith shop a century ago were made the same way we make them today. At Factory Five Racing, we build. We love to build things. We build cars. We build friendships. We build community. We build family stories. We build dreams. We build respect for labor and craft. The things we build make a difference in the lives of others. That is the why behind Factory Five Racing.
Every decision I make running this company is sifted and winnowed not against what will make us the most money, but against this standard of building something meaningful. On behalf of the employees and families of Factory Five Racing, I want to extend to you my thanks for giving us a chance to build a great car with you. The small fact that it will be the coolest, fastest car in town is a nice bonus.
If you decide to build your own Factory Five, we’ll be there for you each step of the way. We’re honored to share this heritage with you, and we look forward to seeing you at the next red light.