204 East 15th Street
Eldon, Missouri 65026
The Carburetor Shop is a family business, wholly owned and operated by Jon and Sue Hardgrove, from beginning of the business to date. Other family members Hugh, Georgia, Pam, and Shawn and Alona have also participated in the business.
Jon rebuilt his first carburetor, a "haystack Holley" on his first car in 1959, really became interested in carburetors as a necessity in 1966, as owner of a 340 HP 1963 Corvette. The first problems encountered with the Corvette's fuel system caused Jon and Corvette to visit the local dealer, whose service personnel promptly escalated the problem. After the sixth dealer succeeded in destroying the factory aluminum manifold, Jon consulted a racer friend, who repaired the manifold, fixed the original problem, and suggested that if one were to drive high performance cars, one had better know how to fix them!
Jon continued with the old car hobby through 1968, when he was awarded an expense paid two-year vacation in Southeast Asia. Upon return from this "vacation", Jon continued to work on carburetors to help finance his interest in old cars. During this time, the inventories of a number of retiring carburetor workers/companies were acquired.
The Carburetor Shop became a reality in 1975 when Jon and Sue moved to their present location in Eldon, Missouri. Annual pilgramages to the Hershey fall show, and other antique car shows caused a large increase in both business and inventory. A modest machine shop was built to enable unavailable parts to be machined for our use in the restoration of carburetors.
In 1984, The Carburetor Shop purchased the inventory, tooling, and prints of the major supplier of carburetor rebuilding kits for older cars. This purchase changed the direction of The Carburetor Shop from sales and repair only; to manufacture of kits, sales, and repair. While much of the necessary manufacture is done in our own shop, we also sub-contract larger volume jobs (jets, fuel valves, etc.) to other U.S.A. firms. All components of all repair kits are made in the U.S.A. Also acquired was what is believed to be the most extensive existing inventory of blueprints, drawings, etc., for Carter, Kingston, and Stromberg carburetors. Documentation is essential for quality results!
In 1988, The Carburetor Shop added a racing collectibles division. A collector of racing memorabilia since the 1950's, Jon was unable to convince any of the local card shops that NASCAR collectibles would catch on! Baseball was king! Who wanted to see a bunch of noisy cars go round and round! The Carburetor Shop promptly established relations with a number of suppliers, and our racing collectibles division became a reality.
In 1990, while Sue and Jon were vending at a collectibles show, Sue found a large amount of customers were attracted to another vendor with collectible dolls. The show was the beginning of our collectible dolls division.
In 1995, both the Collectibles Division and the Collectible Dolls Division were discontinued due to the increased demand for carburetor items.
In 2003, the painful realization became quite obvious that the demand for carburetor services had grown beyond the time we could allot. Therefore the decision was regretfully made to discontinue the restoration of customers’ carburetors, and concentrate on the restoration and sale of existing inventory.
In 2011, another painful realization became obvious. The demand for quality 100 percent USA-made component rebuilding kits forced the discontinuance of any carburetor restoration. The Carburetor Shop still has a very large inventory of used, rebuilt by others, new old stock, and restored by The Carburetor Shop carburetors for sale.
Today, The Carburetor Shop is located on its original location in Eldon, Missouri. While a large selection of items is available, the personnel remain family only. As much of the restoration was labor intensive and the manufacture of quality kits requires caring individuals, the refusal to add non-family personnel sometimes causes backlogs, but ensures quality for our customers. We remain large enough to serve our customers’ needs, but small enough to personally serve each customer.
Additionally, the Hardgrove family has been caring for an abandoned cemetery in North Central Missouri, RICHARDSON CEMETERY. To aid geneologists in their quest for information, a list of the information copied from the stones is presented here.