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  • Arizona Contractor & Community

Building on the Past 1969: Chrome-Plated Expansion

Aircraft Plating Co. was flying high in 1969. The firm, founded in 1963 at 1313 South 26th Street, was having a new 20,000 square-foot plant built nearby at 2113 East Mohave Street. The company processed component parts for the electronics and aerospace industries, subcontracting with major Phoenix firms including Motorola and General Electric.

The company treated metal surfaces for enhanced characteristics for superior and more durable products. The new building allowed for separate grinding and heat-treating facilities, said Guy Wixon, the company president, to the Arizona Republic in 1969. Employment at the plant will likely increase from 23 to more than 60 when construction finished in November, Wixon added.

Stephan Ryciak was architect and the general contractor was Alsbrook Construction Co. Financing of the $150,000 project was arranged through The Arizona Bank.

Motorola’s semiconductor product’s division purchased the building in late 1970, and continued to use the facility for plating and piece-part processing.

One happy customer was Jeremy Rowe, who in the early 1970s was restoring a pair of 1957 Porsche 356 A coupes. “The simple Porsche bumpers were painted metal with an aluminum and rubber strip, but had chrome over riders,” Rowe, a photo historian, recalls. “Mine were pitted and the worse for wear. I pulled them off and dropped them off at Aircraft Plating to get re-chromed, along with a couple of other small pieces. A couple of weeks later I picked them up, reassembled and installed the bumpers.” Rowe says that he drove the Porsche for the next year, then sold it for $1,000 - enough to fund a six-week summer solo bicycle trip to Europe and Morocco.

To read the rest of this article, you are invited to purchase the digital issue here.

This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Sep/Oct 2021 issue, Vol. 10, No. 5.

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