Jason Grijalva wants to put the shine back on a longtime Medford company that has lost some of its luster.

Jason Grijalva wants to put the shine back on a longtime Medford company that has lost some of its luster.

Medford Plating, which traces its history back to 1967, was the go-to shop for chrome work for a couple of generations. It built a reputation among the region's car buffs, who had restoration projects in their garages or barns, and bikers trying to outshine the competition.

"There aren't too many like it right now," said Grijalva, who acquired the company in July. "It's really the only chrome shop between Sacramento and Portland. There are a few other job shops in between, but not too many, because it's been a dying breed."

Therein lies the opportunity. Demand for chrome plating, nickel plating and general metal polishing remains, but much of the work has been shipped out of the region in recent years.

The new owner has a veteran, three-man staff of fabricators, and the goal is to keep work here and attract it from other locations. "Just having a base along I-5, where things can be shipped pretty easily, is helpful in that respect," Grijalva said.

The late Clancy Johnson founded the firm in 1967, and his son-in-law Tom Glover ran the operation for another decade before Steve McGhehey of Sisters purchased the company. Grijalva was a production and service manager during a 13-year tenure with ALSCO before moving into the insurance business, where he remains an agent with American Family Insurance. "Back in the day, it was mainly a bumper shop, and accessories were made from scratch to put on cars," Grijalva said. "Now restoration is the big thing — or any manufacturing with zinc plating. We even do chrome plating for refrigerators or antique vending machines."

Grijalva favors using a copper base before applying the nickel and chrome.

"It's a lot more expensive — there are more DEQ regulations and chemicals that go into it — but it gives a deeper shine," he said. "Getting the permits to start something like that now would have been pretty impossible (financially) unless it had been grandfathered in."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness.