Gene Benson founded Flat-o Products, Inc. in the mid 1980’s He has been in the transmission business all his life. Gene’s dad Ray Benson founded Automatic Transmission Specialties in 1961. At that time Gene was 5 years old. Like most young kids whose dad’s are in the automotive business, he grew up involved in it.
In the early years, Gene’s responsibilities were to fill the pop machine and keep the floors swept. Gradually he started doing service work on transmissions. Before he had his driver’s license he was overhauling a variety of transmissions. He continued to work in the shop while going to high school. After graduation from high school, he went to community college, earning his associate in science degree.
In 1976 Gene and his dad were looking forward to working together, but two weeks after Gene’s graduation from college Ray Benson died. Gene and his mom Shirley who also worked at the shop picked up the ball and continued on. Gene also loved to work on the strange and different projects whenever possible usually revolving around hot rods and racecars.
Around 1980 Gene started to develop the Flat-o Matic kit. By 1982 he was in full production and hasn’t looked back. After the Flat-o Matic kit he developed the Shorty C-4; the Chevord Y Block open drive. (That’s a C-4 to Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Buick, and Cadillac) His to do list is quiet long, with other new things to develop.
In June of 1999 Gene looked around and decided to concentrate solely on Flat-o Products, Inc. and the adapters, so Automatic Transmission Specialties was closed after 38 years of operation. Says Gene; “There’s no enough hours in the day to do it all. Our goal at Flat-o Products, Inc. is to provide great parts at reasonable prices for your hotrod projects.”
REAL HOT RODS DON’T HAVE VALVE COVERS