Hanneman Fiberglass: Hot Rod & Off-Road Parts
October 5, 2017
Go out on the street and take a look at your water meter and tell us what it might have in common with that really nice chopped Model A in your neighbor’s garage. Don’t know? Well, the answer might just be Harold “Hal” Hannemann, owner of Hannemann Fiberglass. Hal’s family has been making all sorts of things out of fiberglass since before many of us had a driver’s license. When talking with Hal, it’s apparent that he’s seen lots of glass come and go in his day, and his creative spirit shows itself in the products his company, Hannemann Fiberglass, makes. Many Pomona Swap Meet regulars have probably already seen Hal’s creativity first hand, as he’s set up on Road 7, Spaces 32-34-36-38, at every show.
Way back in 1957, Hal’s father started making water meters out of fiberglass. The good thing about fiberglass is that these items don’t corrode like metal, and they don’t break your back when you’re installing them, the way their concrete counterparts might. Hal’s father ran a successful business, but in 1974, a short in a radio caused his shop to burn down. Following the disaster, the business was moved to their present physical location in Azusa, Calif. At that point, the Hannemanns got hooked up with American International Racing, and the fiberglass family used their experience to begin making parts for Porsches to compete in races like the 24 Hours of Daytona. To make parts that help win a big race is quite an honor, but keeping up with the proverbial Joneses in this field also requires a considerable investment so the business moved on to find another niche.
Hal always enjoyed getting dirty and his days off-roading with the family led the company in the direction of what we see a lot of on their spaces in Pomona: off-road parts. Hannemann Fiberglass makes all sorts of innovative parts for pickup trucks and off-road vehicles, parts that are durable enough to withstand the rigors of rough desert and mountain driving. The decades of desert experience definitely shows in the product line.
But, off-road parts aren’t the only thing Hannemann Fiberglass makes. You’ve seen their work if you’ve ever watched The Fast and the Furious movies. They’ve also made some of the drainage pipes for a few of the big casinos in Vegas, and for other large buildings. Again, heavy cast pipes last, but it takes some doing to bring them up 30 stories, whereas fiberglass drainage pipes just ride up in the freight elevator.
Of course, you’re probably more interested in Hannemann’s Model A bodies, right? Hal’s always had a keen eye for ’32 Fords and as fiberglass bodies became popular, he noticed that many of those parts just didn’t measure up to his family’s standards. So they decided to take on the challenge of making their own quality Model A bodies. What’s more, they build original 2″ and 4″ chop bodies and have done so since the late 1980s. And just to prove that everything would fit and work properly, Hal built his own Model A using his own body parts, combined with parts he found right here in Pomona!
“My whole ’32 hot rod was bought at Pomona, except for the frame. People get afraid of their projects and end up selling their stuff. I bought the block one time, I found the transmission the next. There was a bunch of chrome at another. I worked on it from 1988 to 1992. I got everything from the radiator to the taillights,” recalls Hal.
Like most of us, Hal scoured the aisles of Pomona looking for the things he needed to create the perfect Model A. From the engine block, to the suspension, to the wiring, everything but the frame and the fiberglass body came from the Pomona Swap Meet. Seats, mirrors, glass, electrical, engine, transmission, you name it… Hal’s got a true “Pomona” car!
“We’ve had a lot of fun out here with everybody,” says Hal. “I see four cement walls Monday through Friday and it’s fun to go out and talk to people.”
What’s more, many of the friends who spend time with Hal “sand buggying” are friends he made in Pomona.
If you’re looking for some great fiberglass off-road parts, working on a hot rod, or maybe you just want to hear one of Hal’s stories, come on out to Pomona. You can find Hal at every show on Road 7! You can also visit the Hannemann Fiberglass website, or give them a call at (626) 969-7317 to discuss any of your off-roading needs.
This article was written by Tony Barthel of the Curbside Car Show Calendar which features a whole new way to easily add or find your car show. Share your car show or other automotive event with the world today – it’s free and easy at www.curbside.tv.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published to the Pomona Swap Meet blog on April 2, 2013.