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R.A. and F.D. Stranahan are essentially the founders of Champion Spark Plug Company. Sort of. At the very least, they ended up with the patent on the Champion name which they legally and wisely used to eventually create the largest spark plug manufacturing company in the world. But it certainly didn’t start out that way. More than 20 thousand dollars in debt, and with a company that was fledgling along at best, the brothers had little choice but to move to Toledo when Willys-Overland Motor Company offered R.A. and F.D. a contract under which Champion would become the exclusive spark plug of automobiles manufactured at Willys-Overland. The deal came with the stipulation that the Stranahans must make Toledo their home, the same city Willys-Overland called home. About two years later, Ford Motor Company, under the direction of its founder Henry Ford, offered up a similar contract. In no time, R.A. and F.D. paid off their debt and eventually made a fortune beyond their wildest dreams. But there’s more to the story, which is why we’re going to back up to 1905 when French track bicycle racer Albert Champion incorporated the Albert Champion Company in Boston to make porcelain spark plugs with his name on them. His partners were, you guessed it, R.A. and F.D. Stranahan. From here it gets a little fuzzy. Whether Champion was forced out or left on his own accord, Champion left the company while the Stranahan brothers retained ownership of the Champion patent/name. It wasn’t until 1922 that Albert Champion changed to AC Spark Plug Company, named after his initials (AC), after settling out of court with the Stranahans, his original partners in the Albert Champion Company. In other words, Champion could not legally use his own name going forward, which is why he opted for his initials while R.A. and F.D. marched off in the sunset with the Champion brand.
Like all our designs, this one is treated with our signature ‘relic-ing’ process which includes our own secret recipe of hand-painted chipping, cracking, fading, and just the right touch of yellowing to ensure that it looks the part of a true vintage imprint.** We lay these works of art down on premium Bella+Canvas 3001 Unisex Jersey Short Sleeve Tees, one of the softest, best-wearing t-shirts available today, via state of the art direct to garment (DTG) printing which allows us to create a vintage effect that simply can’t be accomplished with other printing methods. In short, these shirts are everything you’ve dreamed of and more – it feels soft and lightweight with just the right amount of stretch making it comfortable and flattering for both men and women.
Not sure what size is your best fit? We recommend taking one of your current t-shirts, laying it flat and measuring it. The measurements in the chart below are taken with the shirt laying on a flat surface. To get the length, measure from the high shoulder point down to the bottom of the shirt. To get the width, measure approximately 1-inch below the armhole, across the chest, from seam to seam. While our tees are all made using premium, pre-shrunk, ring-spun cotton, there can be some shrinkage depending on your personal wash and dry cycles. With that said, if you’re on the fence, we always suggest going up a size.
All sizes are provided in inches!
*Heather colors are 52% combed and ring-spun cotton/48% polyester. Athletic and Black Heather is 90% combed and ring-spun cotton/10% polyester. Ash color is 99% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton and 1% poly. **Due to the nature of the printing process and different sizes of shirts offered, imprint position and scale may vary slightly from the product images, but we do our best to be as accurate as possible.