G. BABINEAU METALSMITH
BECAUSE YOU CAN'T LOUVER FIBERGLASS!
Babineau Metalworks LLC.
Lou Fray sitting in a Novi recreation that I built for Brock Yates - 2009
Sadly we lost Lou in 2013... My childhood hero... Could he drive a midget... Awesome driver, Great Guy!!!
Gary actually built cars since he was five,.. Starting with model cars that is. Here Gary presents a midget model race car to his childhood hero and N.E.M.A. Champion (North Eastern Midget Association) driver Lou Fray. Gary presented this car to Lou on the front straightaway at Stafford Springs Speedway in 1970 right before the feature race that Louie went on to win. I wanted to be just like him!!! and other NEMA drivers like Dutch Schafer, Lenny Thrall, Len Duncan,.. these guys were so brave My Hero Lou Fray in 2009
Gary saw his first automobile race in 1963 at age 5 and has been hooked on open wheel racing ever since. This love of racing goes back 3 generations in the Babineau family. Gary's Dad Richard Babineau and his Father went to big car races in the 30's and 40's. "The first race car I ever saw was a midget, Offy powered with no roll bars and were they ever fast" adds Gary.
Gary's road travels with Bridgeport led him to many major cities and end user but none tugged at his heart more than Indianapolis. there at a trade show convention Gary was approached by another machine tool builder of high tech machining centers, Hurco Manufacturing.
Gary came into Hurco at the executive management level and rose to be in charge of all customer Applications testing, training and evaluations. Being heavily involved with the testing of new software and products. Gary was the guy who taught the end users how to make parts and run their machining centers Cad cam systems and everything in between,
At Hurco I saw an application for one of our products in racing. the D.X.,F file translator was an awesome fit for the racing Industry. So I contacted several race teams in the area and arranged a demonstration. Before you knew It I had 4 Hurco BMC 30 machining centers in race shops across Indianapolis.
In my career I have been involved with the manufacturing of parts for aircraft, ordnance, artificial limbs, all aspects of industry and everyday life. From the molds for ice cream cones to the space telescope all products that touch our hands come form machines. Some people get hired into racing teams and then are exposed to manufacturing... Others work in a job shop and only see one methodology of thought in the manufacturing process. I was fortunate to see many aspects of the process by those who are on the leading edge of manufacturing technologies.
During my Industrial employment my love of cars never wavered. Having scratch built over 30 different cars... I got bored with street rodding . For those of us who searched wrecking yards for parts and built our own suspension and frames. I wanted to do something more. Today all a guy needs is a phone and a credit card and a craftsman tool set... That's when I knew it was time to do something else.
Gary about to go on track in his Johnny Boyd re creation at the "Millers at Milwaukee" meet on the Milwaukee mile.
Gary was then approached by another famous East Coast machine builder. Bridgeport machines. Yes that famous mill that everyone has in their race shop Gary worked for them also. Gary was hired in as an C.N.C. Applications engineer. Having been involved at Bullard and More extensively with Computerized machine tools Gary adapted and rose quickly at Bridgeport and was assigned tasks such as Product development software evaluation, testing feasibility studies not to mention supporting trade shows, customer training all this on a National and International level.
After Bullard closed in 1983 Gary was sought out by another high tech manufacturer Moore Special tool in Bridgeport Ct. Here precision beyond belief was the daily Norm. Moore makes a variety of high tech ultra precise jig grinders, aspheric generators and even makes measuring machines for the National Bureau of standards. Tolerances to 10 millionths of an inch were every day accomplishments. Here we even measured past angstroms and used the light ray spectrum and measured rotary accuracy to arc seconds. Some of our machines used laser inferometer feedback, keeping in mind this was in 1986. Moore machines were used in the making of the Hubbel space telescope and various Military and high tech applications. Gary was promoted at Moore into the Applications and training department. Where he worked on customer machine Applications.
Bullard was a producer of machines on a giant scale. We made a variety of machines the biggest of which was a 100 horsepower vertical turret lathe. Capable of throwing chips that weighed 9 pounds each. That is some serious metal removal. I was into everything from programming to designing innovative solutions to working with the engineering department, customer liaison and supervising our traveling service team.
Bullard wasn't just any shop it was E. P. Bullard's Multi-Matic machine that gave Henry Ford the capability to mass produce consistent parts in 1914. Thus enabling the mass production of the Model T. Without the Bullard Multi-matic machine tools there would have been no assembly line. Gary's Talent was obvious to those around him before he even finished his degree Gary was promoted at Bullard's into the Customer Service department. An internal position in the company Gary was in charge of three different product lines and supervised service personnel around the country and globe.
Gary built his first car at age 18 a T bucket roadster. No kit car here welding his own frame and building the entire car himself. At this time Gary was going to college and working days as an apprentice machinist at not just any shop but none other than the Bullard Company in Bridgeport Connecticut. Gary talked his foreman at the time into letting him build a supercharger drive for his Hot Rod during his lunch breaks.. Machining the sealed bearing drive and cutting the teeth manually on a Bridgeport mill and a dividing head.