California Car Cover Company – Whatever You Need, We’ve Got You Covered!
August 2, 2017
When you hear the name California Car Cover Company, your first thought must be “they sell car covers.” Well, you’re definitely right about that, but they sell so much more than just car covers! This family owned and operated business is a regular at the Pomona Swap Meet, setting up on Road 19, Space 2 and Road 20, Space 1 at every show. We recently caught up with Tony DeFrank, Executive Director at the California Car Cover Company to learn a little bit more about the company and how he got started in the industry.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
Pomona Swap Meet: When and how did you get started in this industry?
Tony DeFrank: California Car Cover is our family business. My parents, Jim and Loraine, founded the company in 1989 and are still actively involved in operations to this day. My brother is our Chief Operations Officer and oversees catalog distribution, inventory control, and e-commerce. As Executive Director, I oversee the creative content that our company distributes, such as catalog designs and advertising. I also manage our social media and marketplace team associates. I have been running around the hallways of our company since I was a little kid, and have been working at the company full time since 2004.
Jim DeFrank (middle) with sons Tony (left) and Jimmy (right).
PSM: What’s the best part of your job?
TD: Getting paid to go to car shows around the country is a nice perk of the job. I have the opportunity to represent California Car Cover at some of the largest car shows in the country each summer, which is a pretty good gig for an auto enthusiast. I also work on all of our catalog photo shoots, so I get to see some incredible private car collections owned by our customers.
PSM: Have you always been interested in classic cars?
TD: Growing up in our household, it was a given that my brother and I would love classic cars. Jimmy is more interested in drag racing vehicles, while I prefer hot rods and classic cars. I have been going to car shows since I was a baby with my family, so it’s in my blood. I’ve also started taking my daughter to quite a few car shows already, so she is prepared for the classic car lifestyle.
PSM: Do you currently own a classic car?
TD: I have a 1967 Chevrolet Nova. My father and I found it when I was 16, so it has been in the family for about 20 years. It was a very clean car, but we fixed it up a bit. It was repainted the original colors and still has the original interior. I cruise it to local car shows or Cars and Coffee type events around Los Angeles when I have a chance.
PSM: If you won the lottery tonight, what kind of classic car would you buy?
TD: 1951 Ford Sedan. I’ve always liked the ’51s. I usually keep an eye out for them at the Pomona Swap Meet. It’s not a fancy or rare car at all, but I have liked them since I was a teenager.
PSM: Any favorite memories of the Pomona Swap Meet that you would like to share with us?
TD: No favorite memories, other than it being another weekend that I get to talk cars with friends, customers, and my father. If my father isn’t at a NHRA event the same weekend, you’ll usually find him cruising the Swap Meet or selling parts. I enjoy getting to work with him, even if it is seven days a week sometimes!
PSM: So Ford or Chevy, or ???
TD: Both! I do have a Chevy Nova in the garage, but my wife and I both have Ford vehicles as our daily drivers. I’m sure your Chevy or Ford fanatic readers will find a joke in there somewhere.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR COMPANY
PSM: How can customers contact you?
TD: They can come visit our store at 9525 De Soto Avenue, in Chatsworth, Calif., 91311, call us at (800) 423-5525, or visit us online at calcarcover.com.
PSM: Tell us a little bit about your company and its history.
TD: California Car Cover was founded by Jim and Loraine DeFrank in 1989. We are still a family owned and operated business based in Chatsworth, Calif. We started as just a retailer of custom fit car covers, but have grown to carry a variety of vehicle protection products and automotive accessories. Though custom fit car covers are our signature product line, we offer a number of products from the best names in the automotive aftermarket. We like to think that whatever your car care need is, we have it covered.
PSM: How long have you been coming to Pomona?
TD: We’ve been attending the Pomona Swap Meet since 1989. But, my father, Jim DeFrank, has been coming to the Pomona Swap Meet since its very first meet.
PSM: So what exactly do you sell then?
TD: Custom fit car covers are what we’re best known for, but that’s just the beginning of what we offer. On our website and in our catalog, you’ll find thousands of other products catering to the automotive enthusiast. We specialize in custom fit accessories, such as floor mats, seat covers, and dash covers. Plus, we always have an assortment of collectible signs, apparel, die cast cars, and garage gear that is second to none. At the Pomona Swap Meet, we usually bring car covers, our Golden Shine Car Care products, and California Car Duster products.
PSM: What makes your car covers different from the competitors?
TD: Our premium car covers are custom fit so they are year, make, and model specific. This differentiates us from companies that only sell universal fit or semi-custom type car covers. We have also been specializing in custom fit car covers since 1989, so we have an experienced sales and customer service team that can assist customers with any questions, problems, or special projects. We stock and ship thousands of the most popular car cover patterns at our warehouse. Not too many places have covers in stock for 1931 Ford Model A’s and 2017 Ford Mustangs, and everything in between, like we do.
PSM: What information does a customer need to provide in order for you to make a custom car cover for them?
TD: We have an extensive library of patterns, so we typically have a car pattern available for any production car that’s on the road. If someone owns a custom hot rod or a very rare production car, we can provide the customer with a simple dimension sheet to complete and return to us. If someone isn’t sure if we have a pattern for their vehicle, they can send us an email or give us a call to check out application guides.
PSM: How long does it take from the time you order your custom car cover to when you receive it in the mail?
TD: We stock our top selling car covers, so most customers receive a custom fit car cover within a week. If we need to manufacture a cover, then turnaround time is usually 2-3 weeks.
PSM: Are there different style car covers depending on the region you live in? For example, it’s very humid in Florida, but very dry in California. If I was parking my car outside, would you recommend a different cover based on location and weather conditions (snow vs. rain vs. sun, etc.)?
TD: Yes, we have a handful of different car cover materials that we suggest for particular climates. Our website or phone sales team can assist any customer with suggesting the best material for use and climate. For example, in the Southwest states, we would probably suggest a car cover material with a higher UV rating, while in the Northeast or Northwest, we recommend a cover with a higher water resistance rating.
PSM: I just bought a car. What products do you recommend that I get to keep my car looking nice, maintained, and protected?
TD: Besides a California Car Cover, our Golden Shine Car Care Products and a California Car Duster will definitely keep that vehicle looking new for as long as possible. The California Car Duster has been a car care staple since 1989. It helps keep your vehicle clean in between car washes. Our Golden Shine Car Care line is our signature brand of detailing products.
PSM: Given the fact that your company’s name is “California Car Cover”, I’m guessing your most popular products are your car covers. What is the second most popular item that you sell?
TD: The California Car Duster products are probably our next most popular category. Everyone likes to have one of the “original” style California Car Dusters in their trunk or garage.
PSM: What are your most popular items at the Pomona Swap Meet?
TD: We don’t have enough trailers or sales associates to bring everything we offer to the Pomona Swap Meet! But we always have a number of custom fit car covers, plus car car products, apparel, collectible signs, and some garage items. Car covers are always popular at the Pomona Swap Meet. Plus, our Golden Shine Car Care products and California Car Duster are always best sellers. We are at every Pomona Swap Meet, so our customers in the Inland Empire and San Bernardino treat it like a pop up retail store.
PSM: Do you offer any special swap meet deals or discounts?
TD: We have show specials or featured products at each Pomona Swap Meet. Offers and deals may vary by each event. Directly across the aisle from our main California Car Cover trailer is our sale booth. This booth also offers show specials and discounts on clearance, seasonal, or closeout products.
PSM: Anything else customers should know about your company or your products?
TD: We are family owned and operated, which is something we take great pride in. Our custom fit car covers are manufactured in the USA, which is something that classic car owners recognize and appreciate. If you’re not familiar with our products or our company, please stop by our booth at the next Pomona Swap Meet so you can find out what the California Car Cover difference is for yourself!
You can find the California Car Cover Company at every Pomona Swap Meet on the Main Aisle! If you need a cover or car care products for your classic ride, come check them out on Road 19, Space 2 and Road 20, Space 1.