Detroit Radiator Corporation's History
Detroit Radiator Corporation (DRC) has a storied history that began in 1936 when the firm was founded by Walter Kaminski to make automotive and truck cores. That was an era dominated by strong, regional suppliers who sold exclusively to radiator repair shops. That was an era in which complete replacement radiators were rare if they existed at all. That was when the copper-brass re-core was king.
When Walter Kaminski died, the firm was taken over by his son Ron for a short time before being bought by a management partnership led by Robert Duquet. Bob Duquet eventually bought out all of the partners by 1978 and built the firm into a multi-faceted cooling system enterprise that did business in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
However, the future did not bode well for DRC and by 2001 all that remained was a name and manufacturing equipment owned by Hot and Cool Holdings. Randy Pruitt, President and CEO of Randall Industries Inc., purchased the company from Hot and Cool and began to pave the wave to a new frontier for Detroit Radiator Corp.
Like many in the radiator industry, Randy started working at an early age. As a teenager, Randy worked the summers as a “gopher” in a shop that was owned by a friend of his father. The shop was Downriver Radiator and as Randy turned 18 the shop owner approached Randy’s father about taking over the shop.
The senior Mr. Pruitt saw first-hand how much Randy had grown while working there so he agreed to purchase Downriver Radiator. Randy said the first year was filled with hiccups but they quickly learned from their mistakes and opened a second shop just two years later.
In 1991 he formed Randall Industries which manufactured cores and complete all-metal radiators for the heavy truck market. Having success in the local market he decided to start marketing nationally. Randy has continued to build on early successes by adding product lines and marketing to different customer segments.
Today Detroit Radiator is a well diversified manufacturing and distribution company in the heat transfer/climate control industry, providing services which range from manufacturing radiator cores for material handling, bus, tractor, earth moving equipment and stationary units, to complete all-metal radiators for class 6, 7, and 8 trucks, charge air coolers and oil coolers. It has deep roots in the radiator industry and is celebrating over 75 years of success.