“You’ve gotta be a car guy to work here,” rebuilder Terry French commented about his position at ZBAG. He’s worked here since 2001, and his specialty is rebuilding differentials, although at times he’s called on to rebuild a front wheel drive transmission.
Terry has extensive experience at various aspects of automotive mechanics in addition to his differential expertise. He has had a fascination for horsepower since he was a child. Terry got a lawn mower to play with when he was eleven, and wanted to take the engine apart, but couldn’t get the bolts to loosen. He broke off all the fins and ruined the motor, he recalled. Soon after that, he started working onsnowmobiles. “I took snowmobile motors and put them on lawn mowers…Mowing the grass wasn’t an option at that point.” From there he moved on to motorcycles, and at the age of fourteen, cars.
Terry’s two older brothers worked on cars and provided Terry with hands-on experience and advice. Terry’s first car project was a 1963 Falcon. “We tried to put a 390 in it,” he remembered. Then, they put a 429 in a 1967 Cougar. His junior year in high school, Terry bought a 1965 Ford Fairlane. His favorite comic was Garfield and he had Garfield painted on both rear window pillars. “Since then, I’ve become addicted to the Fairlanes,” Terry noted. In 1964, Ford put their hat in the ring to run super stock, which opened up new opportunities with the Fairlanes. He currently owns three: one is finished, he’s working on a second, and the third is for parts. Of course, he’s rebuilt the differentials on these cars.
Terry recently rebuilt the differential for his RV as well, a skill that comes in handy for a guy who has a passion for horsepower.