As Crane Cams, Daytona Beach, celebrates its 60th anniversary, the camshaft and valvetrain company remains a leader in the industry it helped found.
Harvey Crane Jr. went into business in 1953 after experimenting with camshafts to “soup-up” his flathead Ford hot rod. Starting in the corner of his father’s machine shop under the name Crane Engineering Co., Crane’s desire was to produce a superior performing, quality camshaft with a high level for workmanship and repeatable tolerances.
According to a company press release, Crane Cams was responsible for many industry firsts such as the original Gold Race roller tip, needle bearing, aluminum rocker arms; the fully digital ignition; the optical trigger design that was eventually upgraded to the industry’s only fiber optic trigger signal; and the first full line of Retrofit Hydraulic Roller lifters and camshafts for early-model engines.
The company also pioneered the science of using computers for designing camshaft profiles with the eventual introduction of the CompuCam series of lobes.