When Brett was 15 years old, his grandfather, Don, bought him a 1989 Jeep Cherokee (that over the course of 17 years would go from a stock XJ to a rock buggy). R.I.P The Joncho 1989 – 2019.
Brett started off small with a fresh coat of competition yellow paint and a 4″ inch lift. Brett and his friends would go to the local off-road park, Windrock, every weekend to test the trails the park offered. Brett would spend many weekends back in his grandfather’s automotive shop fixing and modifying his jeep in order to make it to school and work the following Monday. While he was in school, he took auto mechanics every semester that he was able and worked after school and on weekends to afford his love of wheeling.
At this point in his life, Brett was no stranger to anything that had an engine and was very interested in Jeeps, old Fords and was ready to take on more mods to his rig. Brett decided to install a Dana 44 and 9 inch, and also, install a transfer case out of a Bronco in his jeep. Luckily, this set up came in handy when he received a call one night for help. A group of his friends had gotten stranded at Windrock when their only accessible path out of the trail had been blocked . Brett took his rig and recovery equipment and came to the aid of his friends. One of those friends happened to be his now wife, Ashley.
Little did he know that this event would end up helping reconnect them later on. Brett continued to attend wheeling events, belonged to several clubs and wheeled at events in Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina, and more! As Brett was graduating from high school, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. He applied and was accepted into NASCAR Technical University where we was one of only 3 to receive the prestigious Randy Dorton Scholarship.
Brett worked the entire time he was in school detailing cars. Brett graduated top of his class with a 4.0, had perfect attendance and earned 4 Top of Class Student of Course Awards. Brett Graduated in 2006 from NASCAR Technical University with several job offers from auto manufacturers and a few high end motor sports shops, but the Tennessee mountains were calling him home. Brett accepted a production manager position at a Bronco products company and helped them move to Knoxville, TN. While there, Brett used his knowledge and skills he had learned to design and fabricate several new and innovative products selling today. Brett was now back in his home town and ready to get back to some wheeling and reconnecting with old friends.
Brett and Ashley soon started dating, and an accident left her Bronco II totaled. Brett knew she needed something to drive, so he found and purchased a white project Bronco II that they built together. Brett and Ashley both soon decided they could work great together, and wanted to start their own company. They took their last paychecks from their jobs, some direction from their parents, and started Hard Knox Fab Works in 2008 in Brett’s grandfather’s automotive shop.
Originally, Brett and Ashley started Hard Knox Fab Works as a Ford Bronco restoration company. With a new business and a new home, Brett decided it was time to make this story last forever and Brett and Ashley were married in 2009. Equipped with knowledge and excited about this new venture in life, Brett and Ashley both worked in the shop, welding, building custom Bronco and Jeep parts, and completing mechanic work for their customers.
They wheeled and attended many races and shows together while building their company before starting their own family. They welcomed a daughter who they appropriately named Shelby in 2011. It did not end there. Over the next 6 years, the couple went on to build three homes, take care of several dogs and added 3 more children to their family (Sterling, Tesla, and Tucker), all named after cars. They have been busy growing their family and building homes all while working and growing their small, family-owned business. Brett and Ashley involve their children safely in their work and are bringing them up to have an appreciation for the automobile trade. HK FAB continues to be a family owned and operated business, constantly growing and evolving to meet the custom designs and high quality needs of their customers. We sincerely THANK YOU for considering our products and services.