CustomChrome celebrates 45 Years of chrome plating

Jon Wright’s CustomChrome Plating is celebrating 45 years of providing impeccable plating and polishing to hot rod, motorcycle, and boating enthusiasts–and beyond.

In November of 1968, Jon Wright opened the doors of his newly established CustomChrome Plating shop in Grafton, Ohio. He was the sole employee operating out of a 4,000 square foot shop, following a dream to turn his hot rodding hobby into a vocation. Today CustomChrome is one of the most respected names in the industry, and they’re celebrating their 45th anniversary. We’d like to congratulate them on their accomplishments and share with you a little more about Jon and what he’s been up to.

CustomChrome featured in Rodder's Journal Issue #50

Jon was hot rodding long before starting CustomChrome Plating, and over the years he has assembled an impressive collection of cars. Back in 2011, we traveled to his facility in Grafton, Ohio–which had grown to over 12,000 square feet and more than a dozen employees–to take a look at their intensive metal prep and plating process for a feature in TRJ #50. While we were there, Jon invited us to check out his garage.

Jon Wright's two Deuce three-windows.

He acquired this pair of ’32 Ford coupes nearly 20 years ago from Boo Lowrey. They were already hot rodded when he bought them, but both have been disassembled and rebuilt since. The painted three-window in the background has a tri-power 350 Chevy, Muncie four-speed and a ’57 Ford 9-inch rearend. The painted steel wheels mount radial tires.

the chopped, primered coupe was powered by a 59AB with Grancor high compression heads and three Holley 94s

You may recognize the chopped and primered three-window from an issue of Street Rodder a few years ago. When we shot the photos you see here it was powered by a ’48 Ford flathead hooked to a Lincoln-Zephyr transmission. Since then, Jon had Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop build a finely-detailed, painted and chrome-plated chassis with a dual-quad equipped early Hemi. Jon will be transplanting the chopped coupe body onto the new chassis and driving it to the 50th L.A. Roadsters Show this June.

Jon Wright's Chassis

Jon’s new chassis utilizes many of Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop’s Perfection Hot Rod Parts such as the front and rear wishbones, dropped I-beam axle and Kinmont Safety Stop brakes. Plans are to paint the body a flattened single-stage black to match the frame.

Jon Wright's 1957 Ford Del Rio wagon and 1956 F100 shop truck

Jon bought his ’57 Ford Del Rio wagon from Gerry Burger in the early-’90s. He replaced the 429 Cobra Jet that was originally in it with an injected Mustang 302 and an automatic overdrive transmission. A Vintage Air system keeps him cool on long hauls. He bought the ’56 F100 in California in 2010. He has since lowered it five inches and installed the 429 and C6 transmission from the wagon in place of the stock 292-inch Y-block and 3-speed. The body’s perfect patina is now offset by a freshly chromed grille and bumpers.

Jon Wright's CustomChrome Facebook Page

“Chrome Molly” is CustomChrome’s plated and polished “spokesperson” you may have seen in their recent advertisements. You can see more of her and the excellent plating and polishing they do on their Facebook page.

Not all of Jon’s projects are hot rods. His full-custom ’36 Ford roadster, which we showed under construction at Squeeg Jerger’s shop back in TRJ #44, is nearing completion. And for something completely different, about a year ago CustomChrome introduced their new spokesperson, a beautifully chrome-plated mannequin named “Chrome Molly.” You may have already seen her in their advertisements and on their Facebook page. If you haven’t, be sure to stop by to check it out–and congratulate the CustomChrome team on their anniversary while you’re there!

Jon Wright of CustomChrome

Jon is very appreciative of those who have supported his business over the last 45 years. “I’m so thankful,” he says. “We’ve got a small group of people here that work hard and get it right, and we’ve got some of the best customers in the world. To be a car guy and do this, I don’t feel like I ever go to work because I love what I do so much.”