When I was growing up, I was always out in the garage creating something. So I like to say I have been "Having Fun In My Garage" since I was 5 years old. The earliest project was putting Sandy Koufax's baseball card in my bicycle spokes so it sounded like a motorcycle... or maybe it was painting a thin red stripe on my tires to make it look like the Pontiac GTO's! The garage project list was long. I put wheels on my Estes rockets and created the first "rocket car" in the neighborhood... which led to trying my hand at welding up my own go cart frame. By the time I left for college, the garage had seen 3 automotive paint jobs, (complete with massive overspray over everything) one engine pulling that nearly brought down the rafters (a 2x4 brace fixed that), brake jobs (got it right the second time after the brakes failed), roll bar installation (safety first), and tune-up jobs on my friends cars. (My friends were all thumbs and thought a wrench was something you chased in Disney's Pirates of The Caribbean). My parents were saints and very understanding of all this and only had to take me to the emergency room once. They let me create, live and learn a craft.
Griot's Garage started out, quite conveniently, in my garage back in 1988. Being frustrated at the lack of high quality products to set up the perfect garage, whether that included the finest car care to take care of my vehicles, or a concrete floor paint that didn't lift up when you drove over it, no one was offering it. Two years went by and I said, "I can't believe no one else is entering this market! Everyone seems to be excluding the guy that eats, sleeps and squanders his hard earned cash on cars... and there is no one there to offer high quality products to fan the flames of his passion!!!
So here we were, in 1990, selling everything an automotive enthusiast would want and items that they didn't even know existed! So in October 1990, we introduced to the catalog buying world, the first padded lay-down creeper. You probably find this hard to believe, but 23 years ago uncomfortable wooden creepers, with steel wheels that wouldn't roll over anything, was the norm! We also offer non-lifting garage floor paint, environmentally friendly car care, and unique, quality tools from Europe that were unavailable here in the States.
From the very beginning, we focused on quality. We had a lifetime guarantee on everything we sold so everything, and I mean everything, had to be well made. If the idea was good, but fell short on the quality, we would ask the manufacturer to make improvements to the product. When it came to our car care products I decided early on that we would make our own. That decision continues today from product development through bottling. That is how we control the quality of our car care that arrives in your garage.
This constant "strive for perfection" came from my father. I remember he gave me a clipping as I was putting together my very first catalog with a quote on it. The quote was from Sir Henry Royce, co-founder of the Rolls Royce Motor Company. "Take the best that exists and make it better. If it doesn't exist, create it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough." This quote has appeared in every handbook we have ever produced. This is the Griot's Garage character and mindset of everyone that works here, too. It set our compass towards running a successful business as we strive for perfection in everything that we do.
For years our customers and associates have heard many "isms" about Griot's Garage. Our name, pronounced Gree-oh's Garage has lended itself to be used in what we've come to call 'Griotisms'. Here is a list of the most common we hear. Enjoy.
Griotesque (Gree-oh-esk) Adjective. Stemming from the phenomena of Griot's Garage. Very modern looking, either red, black or white in color, high quality, capable of lasting an entire lifetime and is efficient.
Griotage (Gree-ahge) Adjective. Meaning a Garage designed and styled after that of the Griot's
Grionnoyance (Gree-oh-noy-ence) Verb. Being anally picky, insanely attentive to detail, almost
to the point of annoyance to your car guy friends and/or spouse.
Griother Half (Gree-uther Haf) Noun. The spouse of a car crazy Griot's Garage customer.
Griotual (Gree-oh-choo-al) Noun. A ritual performed customarily or automatically that only a
Griot's Garage customer would embrace. Example: To wash and squeegee ones garage floor on a regular
basis is a griotual.
Grecessive Compulsive (Gree-ses-iv Compuls-iv) Adjective. Specifically obsessive about the finish
of ones automobile paint.
Griotcratic (Gree-oh-cratic) Adjective. Neither DEMOcratic nor Republican and mostly a car crazy
guy interested in the politics of the automobile industry. The Griotcratic drinks motor oil for breakfast
and breaths exhaust fumes from the time they wake up until the time they retire for the night. And then,
they dream about racing.
Grioted (Gree-ohd) Adjective. Someone devoted to the use of Griot's products.
Griotllucinate (Gree-oh-loos-en-ate) Verb. To envision Griot's Garage products in your garage.
Griotfeit (Gree-oh-fit) Noun. Cheap copies of Griot's Garage products. Fake. False. Phony. Usually
Griotation (Gree-oh-ta-shun) Noun. The life cycle of washing the auto, washing the wheels, drying,
claying, polishing, waxing, detailing the undercarriage, interior, and the engine bay. One full cycle is
a Griotation. For the most thorough of Griotations, the wheels are removed, detailed and remounted for
true text book results.
Griotus Interuptus (Gree-oh-tus In-te-rupt-us) Adjective. Someone with multiple kids and a million things to do on any given weekend. They must always plan for the "Griotus Interuptus" or having to drop everything and tend to some other 'more urgent' matter. Griother Halves just don't get it sometimes!
Cargoyle (Kahr-goil) Noun. An automotive spin on a non-water draining gargoyle found as decoration on buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries. You'll find Cargoyles featuring the car in our logo around our new flagship store and corporate headquarters.