We've all heard horror stories of guys trying to narrow a junkyard rear end at home and failing miserably. Attempting such a feat seems foolish today, but it used to be the only game in town. With the good work of pioneers like the late Greg Moser and his wife Marianne, enthusiasts now have catalogs full of quality aftermarket drivetrain components at their disposal. Although the hot rodding community recognizes the Moser brand name as one of the most prominent in the automotive industry, the Moser's were also generous philanthropists who never lost touch with their small-town roots.
Originally from Paulding, Ohio, Greg got into motorsports at an early age when he started racing a Norton motorcycle in the mid '60s. After finishing high school, he picked up a '70 Camaro and hit the dragstrip. His racing endeavors got a bit more serious in the late '70s, when he decided to build an Altered dragster. With a modest budget to work with, he scoured a rear end off of a '57 Olds, narrowing the housing and re-splining the axles in his garage. Blessed with a gift for metal working from an early age, where others had failed miserably, Greg succeeded gloriously. Shortly thereafter, other racers started hiring Greg to do the same for their cars.
In 1982, Greg landed a job as the plant manager at Portland Forge, and relocated to Portland, Indiana. The plant supplies industrial steel forgings for the railroad, agricultural, and aerospace industries for clients such as Caterpillar. Greg's experience at the Forge allowed him to further develop his metal-working skills, which were an invaluable tool when it came to designing the Moser product line. With the help of his son Rob, Greg re-splined axles at night in his garage after working all day at the Forge. To teach his son the value of a dollar, he dropped Rob off at junkyards to search for 9-inch rear ends, and paid him $5 a pop. Instrumental in the company's early days was Greg's wife Marianne. While Greg was at work during the day, she answered the phones, took orders, and handled shipping and receiving duties. All the while, Greg continued racing his Altered dragster on weekends.
Just a few years later in 1989, business was booming and Greg left the Forge to dedicate his attention to running Moser Engineering full time. Meanwhile, Marianne continued supervising the day-to-day operations of the company. By the early '90s, Greg developed fully automated splining machines to meet the increased demand for his axles. The product line eventually expanded to encompass a complete line of housings, third members, axles, and complete bolt-in rear end assemblies. Today, refurbished parts are obsolete, as everything is now built from scratch.
As the years passed, Rob took on more business responsibilities as Greg and Marianne started traveling and spending more time together. Unfortunately, the Moser's left us too soon, when they were killed in a tragic plane crash in 2003 along with plant manager Jeff Bickel and his wife Eileen. Greg and Marianne are survived by their son Rob, and daughters Cindy and Danielle. Greg is best remembered by those around him for his intensity and focus when it came to work, and his extreme loyalty to his family, friends, and employees. He recognized that his employees were his best asset, and went out of his way to always treat them with respect. In fact, the company's first dozen or so employees still work there to this day.
Greg and Marianne's generosity extended beyond the workplace as well. They donated their time and money to help support local libraries, art galleries, and performing arts centers. Today, Rob has taken over the helm at Moser Engineering and continues to uphold the legacy left behind by Greg and Marianne at work and in the community.