By Bill Bish – RideOn Magazine
Chuck and Klaus Grm (the “Brothers Grm”) grew up in the upholstery business that their father owned, and are carrying on a family tradition; though Dad did furniture and young Chuck was more interested in cars and bikes. In fact, in the late sixties as a teen he started customizing bicycle seats, cutting, reshaping and rebuilding them to widen and lower them “for a custom fit.”
“I’ve been doing this since I was thirteen,” he told Ridin’ On, and it didn’t take long for him to build a reputation on the car and motorcycle scene. He’s won numerous awards over the years for his interior work on prize-winning show-stoppers; including a ’32 High Boy roadster featured by Rod & Custom magazine on their Christmas card, and numerous classics created by renowned builder Barry Penfound of Penfound Designs in Elyria, Ohio.
By the mid-seventies much of his work was on display at custom car shows across the country, and his craftsmanship graced the pages and covers of custom car magazines — and he even earned the “Best Interior in a Van” award at the ’76 Auto-Rama for a van he built to look like a stagecoach.
In 1982, he packed up his ’77 shovelhead Harley and headed west to Los Angeles where he did a complete conversion on a Silver Eagle tour bus for country star Waylon Jennings, including sound system, sleeping quarters and living area.
Today, Chuck owns Chuck’s Custom Design, Inc. and operates the car and motorcycle upholstery business out of the same shop he’s run for almost twenty years at 45920 Middle Ridge Road in Amherst (440-985-1660 or www.ChucksCustomDesign.com).
He still loves doing classic and collectible car seats and complete interiors, and he and his brother Klaus have found themselves doing more and more motorcycle seats, bags and leather trimmings.
Klaus retired two years ago from the restaurant and bar business, and big brother asked him to come help out at the shop. Before long, Klaus began hand-tooling leather seats and soon found his niche when he discovered he had some real talent at stamping leather.
According to Klaus he “came back to the roots, since this all started with family,” and he loves doing his art and listening to his brother’s stories; “He’s such an interesting guy, and he’s done so much in this business.”
Between the two of them, there’s lots of stories yet to be told, and we’ll look forward to hearing them as they continue to impact the custom car and motorcycle industry, or maybe just make an OEM seat for you, or anything mild to wild your tastes desire.