Dave Whitley built bumpers, sliders, EXO cages, and would do solid axle swaps in his (at home) fabrication shop, for years. He used Oliver's for drive shafts, so when the business came up for sale it seemed like a no-brainer to buy it. That’s the WAY short version of the story, but on September 1, 2009, he took on custom drive shafts, car parts, and accessories. Dave has a lot on this plate, including a new shop, so we're glad he took a few minutes to tell us how he got into four wheeling, both for fun and for his day job.
How did you first become involved with off-roading?
"I started wheeling with buddies who had the same interests. My first rig was a beat up '88 F150 with a 3” body lift and 35” ground hawgs. We wheeled in creek beds and on some small rocks on private land. That for sure lit my fire to always have something 4wd. After that it was on."
What's your trail rig?
"An EOR 321 Buggy, with a built 6 liter, TH400, Atlas 4sp, on 43sx’s and Racelines."
What part of the job do you find most satisfying?
"Without question, Helping people fix their problems."
Dave stands behind all of his work, which includes gearing and repair, and sponsors several ECORS race rigs. Dave spent some time behind the wheel, himself, in 2010.
What would you suggest to someone interested in getting into the business?
"Don’t quit your day job and don’t plan on getting rich. It’s a tough business, even when the economy is not crap."
What has been your favorite project?
"This Business is my full time project. Trying to build it and make it known just how much more we do besides drive shafts. The former owner despised off-roaders, so I have been fighting that too."
What projects are you currently working on?
How is the new shop?
"Love, Love, Love, the new shop. It’s leaps and bounds better than the sh!t hole we were in. The problem with the move is getting our customers to us. We were at the other place for 45 years!"
What does Oliver's have planned for 2013?
"We are going to continue to reach out to people and try to build this place into a one-stop for all things drive train related."
Oliver's is sponsoring the #66 Snappy Motorsports YJ for 2013. Chris Brower, aka Snappy, says, "Dave has reworked the shafts several times due to rig changes/upgrades, in less than one day turnaround. Never have had a drive line failure with their product! Dave even set up my gears and they have been spot on."
Two-time ECORS season champion Brad Carrier said of Dave's shop, "Oliver's also does a lot of gearing rear end repair for my car lot as well as my race rig. He stands behind all of his work!"
Oliver's sells Spicer, Neapco, Corbeau, PSC, Advanced Adaptors, Currie, Reid Racing, PRP, Crow, SOLID, RCV Performance, Mud Pro, Warrior Welding bumpers, and more. He's trying to save the world, one drive shaft at a time.