Krystal Coach - 1993-present - Brea, California

    Krystal Enterprises - Brea, California - 1993-present

Krystal Enterprises is proud to introduce our exceptional product lines. As the world's largest manufacturer of stretch limousines, and top producer of professional vehicles and mid-size luxury buses, Krystal remains steadfast in meeting our number one goal - Quality and Customer Satisfaction. Krystal produces over 2000 vehicles each year.

Our state of the art facility in Brea, California utilizes hi-tech systems and the highest quality workmanship to produce the finest specialty vehicles available in the market today. Armed with a serious reputation as an innovation leader in occupant safety, Krystal Enterprises will remain the solid force in the transportation industry.

In 1983, Krystal Enterprises set out to build a higher quality, innovative limousine with a manufacturing approach based on the principles of continuous improvement and quality control. Today, Krystal Enterprises operates out of an ultra-modern 200,000 square foot facility in Brea, California. Our facility houses three separate production assembly lines, six manufacturing operations, office and sales staff, a service department, parts warehouse, and a beautiful showroom.

Krystal's reputation as the premiere coach builder in the world is no accident. It is the result of our painstaking commitment to engineering and building the finest, safest luxury vehicles in the world. Krystal is one of the original Qualified Vehicle Modifiers for Ford (QVM) and among the first to attain Cadillac Master Coachbuilder status. We are the first coach builder to implement independent crash tests on it's vehicles and continue to lead the industry in occupant safety. This reputation, success and vision also helped Ed Grech earn the 1995 Orange Country Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

  • In order to verify the safety of its new line of Lincoln Town Car limousines, Krystal Enterprises completed an extensive series of tests at an independent qualified lab north of Los Angeles. The Krystal vehicle was qualified to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) concerned with front impacts, rear impacts, fuel system integrity, side impacts, roof strength, and windshield retention. Every aspect of Krystal's design met the FMVSS requirements.
  • Krystal is the first builder to independently crash test the new Lincoln limousine. Ford Motor Company had previously conducted tests on a representative 120" Town Car extension for industry-wide use, but Krystal elected to both repeat and expand upon that program with a production 'Krystal' fresh off the assembly line. "We feel the design variations from builder to builder are significant," says Ed Grech, President/CEO. "Even though most builders work within QVM guidelines, the differences are critical enough to warrant independent testing".
  • According to Greg Beck, Director of Engineering for Krystal, "Safety is the leading factor in all of our designs. There are differences between our production-run 98's and the limousine tested by Ford that we felt were too important to ignore."
  • The tests, which represent a major expenditure, are sure to pay off in the long run, both for Krystal Enterprises, and for the industry as a whole. The importance of independent testing is especially highlighted when one considers that the fact that Krystal Enterprises will produce more limousines on the new Town Car chassis than any other builder on any chassis in the history of the industry. At this continuing production rate, there is little room for uncertainty. "We decided to eliminate the possibility of any safety issues early in the program, once design changes had been solidified," remarks Grech.
  • The tests were performed by Karco Engineering, an independent entity having no affiliation with Krystal, Ford, or the limousine industry. Karco specializes in automotive testing for a variety of clients, including the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)."

Construction of each one of our vehicles begins in the Welding Department, where the vehicle is first stripped, then cut and separated into two halves. Next, the framework is extended and metal structures added and welded into place. Special alignment fixtures ensure consistent, uniform structure of the chassis. In the Mechanical Department, highly trained mechanics modify the drive shaft, suspension systems and add wiring to OEM specifications.

Next, vehicles move to the Body and Paint Department, where all parts are prepped, painted and baked in the spray rooms to an ultra-smooth gloss finish. Electricians in our Electrical Department install our patented charging system, route all wiring and insert vehicle fixtures, such as the standard bar, mood and opera lights, before sending the vehicle to the Heavy Duty Upholstery Department, where our limos are equipped with the superior quality upholstery and carefully sealed vinyl tops.

All vehicles undergo a demanding "water check" during which they are sprayed heavily and constantly with water to ensure that windows, sunroofs and door seals are free of leaks. Only after passing this exam, does a vehicle move on to the Interior Assembly Department, where technicians expertly install the comfortable, luxurious interiors.

To complete the conversion process, each vehicle must pass the Detail and Final Inspection department, where it is thoroughly cleaned to a mirror-like shine and put through a rigorous 225-point inspection, as well as road test and undercarriage inspection.

Krystal Enterprises


Ed Grech once made an idle comment to his workers about what would happen if that fire-damaged Cadillac Seville over there were cut in half and stretched into a limousine. Grech started work in the automotive busi­ness as a teenager and had worked his way up to shop manager and owner. After lunch that day, he returned to find the Cadillac lying in two pieces on the shop floor. From putting that car back together, albeit a bit longer than originally intended, Grech went on to build one of the largest limousine manufacturing business in the history of the limousine. In 2000, Krystal's limou­sine production ran at about 100 Lincoln Town Car stretch limousines a month, and its facilities have the capacity to treble that number on a single shift. The highest annual production numbers of the Cadillac Series 75's were approximately 2,000 units in 1969, and that between the sedan and formal limousine. Outside of that peak, the Series 75 generally ran at a cumulative produc­tion rate of l,000 to 1,500 cars a year. Every one of Krystal's limousines is formal, and every one of them is stretched.

Similar to most suc­cesses, Krystal's is based on a simple con­cept that is not so easy to master: continual improvement, or, in the language of the MBA, "total quality manage­ment." Krystal's direc­tor of engineering, Greg Beck, credits the suc­cess of the company to the simple notion of always trying to find a better way. Every few weeks, Grech is provided with a "demo" limousine. Aside from the unusual perk of having a dozen or more new limou­sines a year, Grech plays the joyous role of chief road v

tester. "The demo cars are trying something out that we're not already doing, perhaps a new canvas top or some other aspect of a new model. And he wants to show it off," says Beck.

Even the most custom of Custom Era coachbuilders strived for a product that could be reproduced in quan­tity, as Judkins and Fleetwood managed, without los­ing the prestige and quality of their work. LeBaron's incorporation into the less glamorous albeit big-ticket body assembly company, Briggs, was a twofold coup for both companies. The higher volume meant greater resources and profits for LeBaron, and the customiz­ing skills of LeBaron meant more prestige and craftsmanship for Briggs. Krystal has found that balance, but without Edsel Ford's patronage. Beck says there is a "constant battle between sales and production: sales wants everything different, while production wants it all the same." Beck explains the benefits of the mass production techniques of the company-and the resources necessary to achieve it:

When you can afford the tooling. the machinery, the positive effect doubles itself. The more you sell, the more you can do. We can develop conversions ahead of time more than ever before. Because of the vol­ume, the tooling, the metal stamping dies, the plas­tic molds, it makes it easier to build consistent quality.

What Krystal has uniquely achieved in the industry is the transition from body shop to production line. "This company has gone from a large custom facility to an auto manufacturing plant," Beck says. In 1989, "things got real competitive," he explains. The theory of con­stant improvement looks for advantage in such situa­tions. Similar to the Chinese character for "crisis," a combination of symbols for danger and opportunity, Krystal faced a problem and came out the better for it. "That's when we came into our own," Beck says of the industry downturn. "That's when we grew from a one car at a time shop in '85 to the biggest volume manu­facturer." Krystal emerged with ever greater efficien­cies and quality, the foundation upon which the company has built its tremendous success.


    For more information please read:

The Professional Car (Quarterly Journal of the Professional Car Society)

Gregg D. Merksamer - Professional Cars: Ambulances, Funeral Cars and Flower Cars

Thomas A. McPherson - American Funeral Cars & Ambulances Since 1900

Carriage Museum of America - Horse-Drawn Funeral Vehicles: 19th Century Funerals

Carriage Museum of America -  Horse Drawn - Military, Civilian, Veterinary - Ambulances

Gunter-Michael Koch - Bestattungswagen im Wandel der Zeit

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Ambulances 1900-1979: Photo Archive

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Funeral Vehicles 1900-1980 Photo Archive

Walter M. P. McCall - The American Ambulance 1900-2002

Walter M.P. McCall - American Funeral Vehicles 1883-2003

Michael L. Bromley & Tom Mazza - Stretching It: The Story of the Limousine

Richard J. Conjalka - Classic American Limousines: 1955 Through 2000 Photo Archive

Richard J. Conjalka - Stretch Limousines 1928-2001 Photo Archive

Thomas A. McPherson - Eureka: The Eureka Company: a complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Superior: The complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Flxible: The Complete History

Thomas A. McPherson - Miller-Meteor: The Complete History

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

Hearses - Automobile Quarterly Vol 36 No 3

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Automobile Manufacturers Worldwide Registry

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999


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