life around fort wayne's east state village neighborhood is quiet, just what you'd expect from a sleepy residential area like this...certainly not the place you'd expect to find an industrial powerhouse...
eric: we service every jack manufacturer in the u.s., every cylinder pump..anything hydraulic we do 'er.
it's another morning at abc specialty on kenwood avenue. eric rohrs and tony burford are rebuilding a hydraulic pump, as countless other repair jobs await their turn, stacked in trays like cordwood in every nook and cranny of a space no larger than a two car garage. that's what the building was when art coe started the business back in 1937. art couldn't find anyone to repair his floor jack so he fixed it himself in the basement of his house. soon he was fixing them for all his neighbors.
julie: when he grew out of the basement he put up the shop.
since that day 70 years ago abc specialty has been a family business. art's son richard took over the place in 1969. richard's daughter julie grider and son-in-law eric rohrs bought it in 1996. but there are reminders of grandpa here and there, like this circa 1901 south bend lathe that still gets plenty of use. if it's hydraulic abc specialty can fix it, from modern hydraulic actuators to 25 ton semi jacks...to items like this, a 1930's era floor jack. abc carries parts for all of them in their very cramped parts room.
julie: we are zoned so we can't expand we can't go up and out so we have to just keep packing it in.
and pack it in they do...new parts, old parts, tools stashed everywhere. eric insists he knows where everything is. he has to. abc has customers in a dozen states, as far away as kansas. they've come to expect prompt and competent service from one of fort wayne oldest repair shops. just the kind of service grandpa coe would expect of his descendents, in this industrious corner of your country. this is eric olson reporting.
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