We recently got a chance to stop by Brenthel Industries new 10,000 sq ft facility in Anaheim Ca. Brenthel is owned by brothers Jonathan and Jordan Brenthel. Brenthel Industries was started in 2004 out of the garage of a rented house building XR50 swingarms before moving into their first real shop in Santa Ana, at 800 sq ft. The new shop was not huge but it was a step up from the garage at home. The Santa Ana shop was a night time venture for the brothers. Jonathan would drive to San Diego in the day to work at SPD, and Jordan was driving to Hesperia to work at Damon Jefferies shop HMS. Jonathan and Jordan in any free time they could find they took classes at OCC college, everything from business, marketing, welding, and design.
The first cars built by Brenthel were two a-arms four seat buggies. One of the buggies was sold to a customer out of Las Vegas by the name of Scott. Scott raced the car a few times and came back to buy a newer redesigned Recon four seater. By the time the Recon was being built they were located in a bigger shop in Newport and had their first employee.
As Brenthel expanded and became busier over the last five years the brothers knew they needed to started racing. Racing was not just to go have fun and get out of the shop, it allowed them to test what they sold. They would test and come back to the shop and make changes and go back out and test. They are constantly improving the vehicles and are never content with how they are. They have enlisted the help of some big name racers to come out and provide feedback to also help improve the vehicles. Never wanting to stop making changes Brenthel has a new computer designed body on the way for their 6100 trucks designed in house. Computer designed vehicles and kits along with all the testing/racing allows Brenthel to put out the best product they can.
Brenthel is one of the only shops that we had heard of that would take trade-ins and allow someone that bought a four seater, prerunner truck, or 7200 and trade it towards a newer vehicle after they realized they wanted to go faster. This concept was intriguing so we had to ask how it all started, Jordan stated that its Jonathans domain and from an early age he set up a little desk in the closet of his room and was bartering everything he could, once buying a snake and turning around and trading it for an RC car. Jonathan enjoys it and just took it to a much higher level with the cars they built.
Brenthel Industries has two companies under one roof, Brenthel Race Cars, and Baja Kits. Baja Kits in a full line of suspension kits for Fords and Chevys. The kits range from upper arms, mid travel kits to full blown long travel kits. All kits also designed and built in house.
Brenthel Race Cars produces everything from the four seat Recon prerunner, 10 cars, 6100 trucks, Trophy Trucks, luxury TT prerunners, and long travel prerunner trucks. 54 cars have been ordered/built/bought to this day. They have 11 new cars that have not even hit the chassis tables. During our visit they had two Luxury TT prerunners in bays that had been started, the upper portion of two 6100 chassis, two Recon four seaters on the tables, one of the Long travel prerunners, which is basically a new truck from the dealer that they cage, back-half for four link, and a long travel Baja kit. This is a popular option for people not wanting to spend half a million dollars plus on the full tube chassis luxury prerunner.
Brenthel races cars have won championships in different organizations. The 6100 truck won the Score International Baja 500 last year. The 7200 truck of Jon Lee won a SNORE championship. Jordan Brenthel is currently in second place in SCORE Trophy Spec standings going into the 2015 Baja 500 working towards a class championship.
We would like to thank Jordan and Jonathan for allowing us to come down and disrupt the shop for a few hours for the shoot and all the shop guys for not caring we got in their way while trying to work. We look forward to seeing what the future brings for this thriving company.