This month's Shop Talk took me all the way to Tecumseh, Michigan. With a population of roughly 8,500 residents, this small community plays home to the HQ of ididit Incorporated. The family-run business is known for crafting the world's finest steering columns and has since become the quintessential example of the American dream.
The ididit brand started with Ken. After serving in the Navy as a machinist, Ken went to work for Ford Motor Company back in 1970. As the years passed, he refined his skills and found much joy and passion in creating trick parts for his own project vehicles. Needless to say, his side work always seemed to be overshadowed by a regular work schedule up until 1983, when a fellow Ypsilanti Area Street Rods member asked him to machine a billet aluminum steering column. It was that first column that caught the attention of fellow builders, and from there his business began to grow by word of mouth. Fast forward three years later and Ken and his son Scott were receiving a steady flow of orders in what was soon to become a full-fledged business.
So how did such a peculiar company name come about? Well here's where it gets really fun. One day at a car show a man approached Ken and Scott's display, picked up one of the machined aluminum parts, and asked who had made it. Ken replied, "I did." The man picked up another part and asked the same question, to which again he replied, "I did." After several repetitions, the man said, "For the last time, who made these parts?" Ken, his patience running short, told him, "For the last time I DID! I made everything on this table." At that point the disbeliever looked Ken up and down and said, "No way. You're not smart enough to make stuff this nice." Ken had had enough. He reached across the table, grabbed the offender by his lapels, and yelled in the guys face—"Look here! #$%!# I DID IT!" The company now had a name. Jane, who was an accomplished interior designer, joined ididit full time in 1987 when the growth of the company demanded fulltime management and has held down the office since. Ken finally retired from Ford in January of 1994, forsaking the security of a job for a successful dream he and his talented family had carved for themselves.
Today Ken, Jane, Scott, Kim, and their staff continue to offer products found in some of the finest lowriders, street rods and specialty cars, in the world. ididit was the first to develop a chrome tilt for the Impala market and is currently working to have a full line of columns for the Impala market. If you do not own an Impala, they do have their universal applications that will work for other vehicles. Their services also provide custom columns that can be created and incorporated into your build. While visiting the facility we also learned that they could laser cut car club plaques as they do for "Low4Life," so if you're ever in the Tecumseh, Michigan, area, make sure to stop by and visit them and make sure to tell them you saw them in Lowrider.