Getting to Know California Car Cover: Q&A
April 14, 2020
History of California Car Cover
California Car Cover was founded by Jim and Loraine DeFrank in May of 1989, who recently celebrated their 30th year in business in 2019. After starting out as a small mail order shop in Van Nuys, CA, they have now become an industry leader in vehicle protection products. Their business is family owned and operated, with all four members of the DeFrank family still active.
At the start of 2020, California Car Cover recently moved from the San Fernando Valley to their new headquarters in Simi Valley, CA. Executive Director Tony DeFrank states “It was a pretty big move for our company, but was something we had been discussing for many years. Considering that we had 25+ years of stuff at our most recent home in Chatsworth, CA, it was quite a production to set up the new location and move within seven weeks at the end of 2019. Our staff, and quite a few friends, did an amazing job to make the move happen.”
Read below for more information about California Car Cover!
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Pomona Swap Meet: How long have you been coming to the Pomona Swap Meet?
Tony DeFrank: Our company has attended the Pomona Swap Meet since we opened in 1989. Our founder, Jim DeFrank, has been attending the swap meet since it first opened in 1975. He always tells us about the early days before reserved spaces. He would sleep in his car outside the swap meet the night before to make sure he could get a good spot on Sunday morning.
PSM: What exactly do you sell?
TD: Our signature products include our custom fit California Car Covers, Original California Car Duster products and Golden Shine Car Care products. People come to us when they are in the market for custom fit vehicle protection products, such as car covers, floor mats, seat covers, dash cover, etc. Online and over the phone, we offer 1,000s of other great garage items, car accessories, apparel, nostalgia and much more. We like to say the car covers are just the beginning when customers visit our website or browse our catalog.
PSM: What car makes and models do you sell products for?
TD: If it is on the road, we can cover it. We have car cover and accessory applications for probably 100,000+ vehicles. So if you have a 1909 Ford or a 2020 Tesla, we have you covered. We can even make a one-off cover for a customer with a one of a kind hot rod or a rare vintage car. Often customers bring their vehicles by our booth at the swap meet to measure for a custom fit car cover or to add an accessory to their car cover, such as antenna sleeves or mirror pockets.
PSM: Who is your main audience?
TD: We do sell products and accessories for all vehicles new or old, foreign or domestic. But we are most known for custom fit car covers and accessories for owners of classic American cars, trucks and muscle cars.
PSM: What is the best method for purchasing?
TD: Customers can easily order from us online, over the phone, in-store or at car shows like the Pomona Swap Meet. Online or over the phone is the easiest, but we often have show specials or discounts when you order/purchase from us at the Pomona Swap Meet.
PSM: What sets your company apart?
TD: Product knowledge and variations. We have been selling car covers and custom fit accessories since 1989, so we have a staff of knowledgeable enthusiasts that can suggest the right product for your needs. Most of our sales associates have been with our company 10+ years, so they are experts in the vehicle protection category. Also, we carry mostly custom fit accessories, so our team can help you get just the right product for your needs. We know that one size does not fit all when it comes to your custom car.
PSM: What do you offer at the Pomona Swap Meet?
TD: We bring our most popular products to the swap meet. Our show trailer has inventory of all our popular car covers on it. Customers can purchase a car cover at the event, or place an order and we will ship it to them. We will also have our popular California Car Duster products and Golden Shine car care products. Additionally, we will bring out automotive apparel, Fender Gripper fender covers, and garage signs.
PSM: Do you offer any swap meet specials?
TD: Yes, if you place an order for a custom fit car cover at the Pomona Swap Meet, there is always a show special to save our customers some money and to thank them for stopping by our booth.
PSM: Do you have any new products?
TD: We just launched a Ceramic Spray in our Golden Shine Car Care line in March, which is an excited new addition to our growing car care line. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are into auto detailing. Our California Car Duster company has some new automotive and RV dusters coming out in 2020.
PSM: How can customers contact you?
TD: Customers can contact us by our address, phone, or website listed below.
California Car Cover
1650 Voyager Ave. Ste B
Simi Valley, CA 93063
Pomona Swap Meet Spaces: Road 19, Spaces 2 & 4; Road 20, Spaces 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8; Road 21, Spaces 1 & 3
PSM: Anything else customers should know?
TD: Many of our products are made in the USA which we are proud to promote. You will see a note about products being Made in the USA throughout our catalog and website. Our company also actively looks for new brands and products offered by small businesses that we can help promote through our sales channels too.
About Tony DeFrank – Executive Director
“We are a relatively small company so I work with a few different departments. I work with the social media team, marketplace sales, new product development and catalog design group most of the time. But I do attend almost every Pomona Swap Meet each year and quite a few trade shows for our company during the summer.”
PSM: When and how did you get started?
TD: California Car Cover is our family business, so I have been running around the halls of our company since i was in grade school. I grew up there and spent most days after school making copies and cartoon drawings of our employees. Now, I spend most of my days in meetings, but I still will post some funny cartoons around the office from time to time.
PSM: What do you enjoy the most?
TD: Getting paid to go to car shows and seeing customer’s car collections during catalog photo shoots. I attend 15 or so car shows each year around the country, so it’s pretty cool to see different cities and cars across the USA on behalf of the company. It means working a lot of weekends in the spring and summer, but it’s great to visit with customers face to face.
Second, I coordinate our catalog photo shoots with our customers. We often shoot at a customer’s garage, so I often get to see private car collections and tour them with the owners.
PSM: How did you become interested in classic cars?
TD: I guess classic cars and drag racing is in my blood. My family has been involved in automotive events ever since I was a baby, so I don’t think I had a choice either way. I grew up going to car shows and swap meets with my dad, and now i get to pass on that tradition with my daughters. I competed in NHRA sportsman drag racing for ten season with my brother, Jimmy. My brother, is still active in the NHRA, and is a 5X NHRA national champion. I did relatively well on the racing circuit, but I think its better for me to be at the office rather than drag strips nowadays.
PSM: If you won the lottery tonight, what car would you buy?
TD: How much money would I win? 1951 Ford 2-Door Sedan. It’s not fancy, but it’s the car I always keep an eye out for in the Car Corral at the Pomona Swap Meet. If I really hit it big, I would probably purchase a Lincoln Zephyr too.
PSM: What are some of your favorite memories?
TD: I don’t have any favorite memories, but to me, the best part of the Pomona Swap Meet is the familiar faces I see every swap meet. I enjoy catching up with customers that have become friends over the years that I see every swap meet.
PSM: Ford or Chevy?
TD: My daily driver is a Ford, but I always had or grew up with classic Chevys in the garage. We’ll let your readers determine the joke there.