Just about an hour outside of Memphis, Tennessee in a beautiful town of Southaven, Mississippi is Grip Royal HQ. The shop operates daily, putting out some of the most well-known products for drift cars and show cars in the United States. They are known specifically for steering wheels and accessories and shift knobs. What separates these guys from their competitors is their attention to detail and high-quality craftsmanship as they are still producing by hand. The shift knobs are produced one by one completely custom. A template is used, however each one you get is hand poured for color and depth, then shaped to perfection by a true artist on the lathe. The steering wheels are either in specific model or also custom made. These are custom etched, hand painted, and beautiful in design. Truly, there are very few companies with this much detail in their work. This company truly does it right!
Thanks to the owner, Scott (@Griproyal_scott), we hung out for a day and checked out the shop, cars, and products. The company was started in the Scott’s childhood house creating products for their own cars, friends’ cars, and eventually to new customers. Their very first custom steering wheel was painted the odd color I chose for my track car steering wheel, neon yellow. After gaining local popularity they moved on to a bigger shop near their hometown in order to keep close and still work together. To this day the people behind this project are still friends.
Mike (@griproyal_mike), a close friend to Scott, started working with him from the very beginning and to this day still creates new products with his friend in the shop, now just on a larger scale. He truly makes the most outstanding shift knobs I have ever seen. He demonstrated the durability and quality of one by taking one and throwing it across the shop to show me how much abuse these things can take without cracking, chipping, or deforming in any way. Chris (@chrisbanderson), in charge of design and development runs the programing and designing new concepts, also a great friend to Scott and Mike. All of these guys are truly too kind. Truly good people, highly intelligent, and incredibly hard working. As much success as they have, they are still really humble and grateful for their community and customers. They not only work together, they also race together.
In the shop, walking through the 3,000sqft facility, you will see projects cars, full on drift cars, and their daily projects. While there, Scott introduced me to a few of their current projects, one of which caught my eye, their brand-new Grip Royal Drift S13 chassis. Everyone got together and decided to create this team project to be able to be vendors and drivers at all the events that they attend. A car to show off their build ability and of course their product line. Beyond this build, they also took a chassis that a friend gave to them and began building it to become an off road S13 for rally cross. Two amazing projects that I cannot wait to see in action.
These guys are truly family and leaders in this industry, setting the standard for similar product lines, but most of all they are family and it shows. They take care of their friends, and make sure that everyone benefits from this work. I got a chance to travel to a separate secret facility where Scott does all of the paint work on the steering wheels where we picked up one of their friends BMW’s to mount new rims/tires to, and throw on some BC Racing Coilovers on.
Just talking to the guys you can see that they are passionate and most of all, still enjoying this work. They seem to love what they do and that is what makes their company so successful. Walking through the shop you can see how far their products have reached across the world. In the final packaging office, there is a scratch off map hanging, representing how far their products have traveled. It seems like almost every country in the world has been touched. Their hallway leading to the shop floor is full of Gridlife art, photos of professional teams representing their products, and small collectibles from various events. My favorite part of the facility happened to be a bathroom…. In the hangout room is a small bathroom completely covered in posters from events, trading cards, photos from drifting, childhood favorites, rims were on the floor, and parts from a few builds proudly displayed. This is definitely the room I seemed to admire most.
If you have a car and you want to put a high-quality steering wheel or shift knob in it, Grip Royal has you covered. Professionals trust it, and currently I have one on the way myself. Thank you to Scott, Mike, and Chris for letting me tour the facility, hang out for the day, and experience the piece of magic in Southaven.