Like a lot of high school kids, Curt Strohacker worked in a service station to earn some spending money, but he also repaired cars in his free time, buying and selling countless vehicles, and learning valuable lessons about restoration. As the market for automotive refurbishing began to take off in the 1970s, Curt realized that proper tools and techniques could save enthusiasts like him time and money. So in the fall of 1978, Curt launched a business to better serve the burgeoning market of auto restoration and customization hobbyists, and he called it Eastwood. The first Eastwood catalog was eight black-and-white pages of metal-finishing tools and equipment, and with continued success in the early ’80s, Curt took the catalog’s operation into a professional list house, and 5,000 copies of the catalog were distributed annually. In addition to catalog marketing, Eastwood also sold its line of products directly to restorers at select car shows. In August 1983, both the Mercedes and BMW car clubs unexpectedly endorsed an Eastwood Car Wash Brush—sales multiplied and the staff soon doubled. The development of the Eastwood Spot-Weld Gun, a tool which duplicates the industrial spot-welds found on virtually every metal-bodied car, proved even more fortunate for the growing retailer. At that time, most of Eastwood’s new business came from magazine ads in about a dozen publications. By the end of 1985, company advertisements appeared in over 50 magazines, including Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Popular Mechanics. In light of this, the catalog prospered as well, comprising 96 pages with a four-color cover in its 1986 iteration, which reached over 100,000 auto restorers bimonthly. As the company prepared to move into the new decade, Eastwood’s customer file quickly grew to over a half-million auto restoration and customization enthusiasts.