Born in the Forge

Another Era Restored

Our team is driven by passion, integrity and a purist's devotion to craftsmanship - the same values that built the automobiles we restore. We have decades of experience with every aspect of the restoration process, and this has only sharpened our attention to detail, reinforcing the fact that shortcuts have no place in our pursuit.

To deliver matchless quality, we simply do our job the way it should be done, and we are genuinely grateful to our clients for having faith in our skill and expertise. 

Our team considers you a true partner throughout the process. From your vision to the driving experience, it's your dream, every step of the way. 

Thank you for visiting The Forge, and we look forward to meeting you.

The Team

Josh Allison

Lance Baily

Fred Frank

Jason James

Dustin Nere

Rex Rogers

Financial Matters

Providing thorough, accurate estimates, along with a precise timeline, can be difficult at the outset of any scratch-build, extensive restoration or service work. The scope of a project inevitably changes as the job progresses and we learn more about the car during disassembly. Adjustments are also frequently made as challenges arise or additional work is authorized as we move forward. For each major project, we provide you with an engagement letter outlining our policies and expectations, and we keep you informed throughout the process.

The Forge believes informative billing and accurate accounting practices are part of the overall restoration process. It's a way for us to truly demonstrate our integrity and to show our respect for you as a part of the team. We have a secure system to manage customer payments and keep you up-to-date on the financial side of the project.

We provide clear and current billing information for every project. Monthly statements include detailed descriptions of parts, labor and any outside services, along with an accounting of payments made and payments due. On a related matter, we strongly recommend that you continue to carry full coverage insurance on your car while it is at our shop, in storage or being transported.

The Forge has been in business for over 20 years. We are a financially strong, stable business and we count many long-tenured employees among our staff. We have no debt, we own all of the equipment that we use in the shop, and we also own the building and underlying real estate. This financial strength means we aren't going anywhere, and your job will be completed right. Integrity and professionalism are our core values, and we apply them to every aspect of our business, from the work in the shop to the back-office accounting.

"I have been real impressed with the quality of the stampings and how close the parts are to an original 5 window. They went the extra mile to put all the details back into the parts."

"I am so greatful that The Forge was able to help me build the hot rod that I wanted in my youth."

"The Forge has built several special cars for me. I keep coming back because of the quality, communication and overall professional approach." 

"I have had The Forge build several cars for me and I am sure they will build more!" 

The Shop

Home Away From Home

The Forge was born in 1995 at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Loveland, Colorado, just 45 minutes from Denver International Airport. The shop still sits on the same quiet street were it was founded 20 years ago, but it has since doubled in size. Originally a two man operation, The Forge is now huge, full service facility that includes a fully-equipped fabrication shop with a separate facility for paint, body work and final assembly. 

The Forge's team of six has turned the shop into a second home, with every tool for any job, including what they consider to be one of the most impressive microwaves ever built, and a vintage peanut dispenser full of vintage peanuts. The fabrication guys insist that the paint shop keeps its radio tuned to a lite and easy listening station, but the truth is that it's classic rock all day long. And anyone who doesn't forewarn the others before using the Chicago pneumatic planishing hammer - the loudest tool in the shop - has to buy the beer at the end of the day...

The History

A Living Legacy

Originally from New Jersey, founder Dave Crouse relocated to Colorado to continue pursuing his passion for building and restoring classic cars. Dave started Custom Auto in 1995, and the shop's restoration of a purple 1932 roadster originally owned by Joe Nitti of the East Los Angeles Vultures Car Club is still talked about today. The car was chosen as one of the 75 most significant 1932 Ford Hot Rods and displayed at the 58th Grand National Roadster Show. The Nitti car also received the Bruce Meyer Hot Rod Preservation Award at the 2000 Grand National Roadster Show.

Several historic restorations followed, such as an impeccably-restored maroon 1948 Norman Timbs' Buick Special which left the shop and went on to win 1st place in the American Sport Customs Class at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2011 and competed again in 2012. 

As Custom Auto's reputation for skill and integrity spread, both the shop and the team have grown, attracting skilled craftsmen from across the country who love to make things by hand. We truly appreciate the opportunity to preserve a piece of automotive history, and we take great pride in bringing our clients' dreams to life.

Dave Crouse handed over the keys to owner Mike Detwiler in 2014, and the company became The Forge. Mike believes strongly in the heart and soul of the shop, and the team is proud to be doing business now under the new name, believing it better reflects their dedication to matchless quality and timeless style.

Dave Crouse

Dave has been involved with the hot rod industry his entire life, from growing up near his father's race track to working on classic cars back East. Dave moved to Colorado and started Custom Auto in 1995. His vast knowledge and experience in the hot rod community earned the shop recognition for several signature restorations. Dave has dedicated his entire life to building and preserving world class automobiles and the heritage they represent.