Performance cooling is the foundation of Flex-a-lite. In 1962, Eddy Davis founded this company with the original “flex fan” concept. He developed the first flexible fan out of hand-cut fiberglass roofing material. The concept was to create a lightweight fan that would flatten out at high engine rpm. This would reduce the drag or load on the engine, increasing horsepower to the wheels. Fifty years later, his Granddaughter, Lisa Chissus leads the company with the same innovative spirit that continuously looks for new ways to provide performance cooling solutions.
That’s three generations of innovation at the helm of Flex-a-lite. Eddy patented his flex fan design, establishing and building the company. His son-in-law, Rainer Willingham invented and patented the first electric fan for Flex-a-lite in 1978 and led the company from 1976 through 2003. His daughter, Lisa, invented the now patented Flex-a-fit radiator sidetank design, and has led the company since 2003.
Today, Flex-a-lite manufactures a full line of belt-driven fans, electric fans, transmission and oil coolers, Flex-a-fit aluminum radiator and related components. The company takes pride in the components they make, and they’re still makin’ it in the USA. Fife, Washington, to be exact, in a 75,000 square foot facility that includes manufacturing, engineering, and product testing labs. But Flex-a-lite is more than a building and a line of products. It’s at team of people committed to innovation and quality. The team designs and engineers products, does injection molding and vacuum forming of its products, stamps and forms metal for shrouds, brackets and radiators and does all of the final assembly. There’s a lot of pride and care that goes into every Flex-a-lite product.
The original “flex fan” has grown into a family that includes 7-blade fans, low-profile race versions and a nylon model for light weight, as well as a host of other belt-driven fans. Flex-a-lite introduced its first electric fan 34 years ago. This removes the load from the engine altogether, providing even more power and fuel economy. Now the company offers more than 80 electric fans, including nearly 30 direct-fit applications to make swapping to a performance electric fan an easy endeavor. In 2006, they introduced a completely new idea in aluminum radiators. So innovative, in fact, that Flex-a-lite hold a patent on the sidetank technology that delivers 135 percent better heat transfer. Now that’s performance cooling! The company's latest product, Flex-a-Chill, is a natural extension of the product. They developed it to protect aluminum radiators and other cooling components from corrosion while providing up to a 20-degree drop in engine-coolant temperature.
And Flex-a-lite is not about to stop. It is their vision to continue to develop performance cooling products that provide improvements to the vehicle's performance. They have more ideas for new products than there’s time to develop. But before the company makes a product, they want to make sure they can offer a true performance cooling solution. Flex-a-lite is an original, not a copy-cat. And after they engineer a new product, you can bet that the company will be makin’ it in the USA.