Just Cars, Just The Facts

Automotive locksmithing has become quite challenging in the last few years. As car manufacturers incorporate new electronic and lock security systems to deter theft, a byproduct is that automotive locksmithing also gets more complicated. Many companies have developed new tools and procedures for automotive key fitting and servicing. The problem now for locksmiths is to decide which of these tools is best suited for their particular needs.

Jim Broadhurst is a locksmith in Salem, NH.. Approximately five years ago he realized that car key servicing was becoming a problem and decided to do something about it.
Jim got the ball rolling by contacting several ‘automotive’ people in the industry starting with Jim Hetchler in Texas.

Jim Broadhurst proposed bringing a large group of automotive aftermarket tool and key blank suppliers together for an event he called “Just Cars.”  (The name came from a store in his area which was called “Just Pizza.”)  “Just Cars” proved to be a winning title and several manufacturers agreed to participate.

The first Just Cars event was held at the 2003 Yankee Convention. Subsequent events have been held approximately twice yearly in places such as Londonderry, NH, San Antonio, TX, Ontario, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Hayward, CA, Norfolk, NY and Daytona, FL.

The philosophy of Just Cars has always been to promote fellowship and understanding among locksmiths. Competition among manufacturers attending the events is set aside in the spirit of sharing information.  Locksmith Ledger was invited to attend the latest Just Cars event in Milwaukee, WI. The show was held at the Strattec factory. Attendance is always purposely held to 100 people so every locksmith can be close enough to each instructor, ask questions and even practice what he or she has learned. 

Ten different classes were scheduled during Friday evening and all day Saturday. Classes included automotive high security lock theory, introduction to transponders, impressioning, transponder programming, replacing old transponders into new key blanks, EZZ Readers, ignition repairs, Determinators, high security Determinators and high security auto lock servicing, Classes generally lasted two hours so locksmiths could attend almost every class sometime during the weekend.

Trainers and exhibitors represented companies such as Strattec, Hata, HPC, Kaba-Ilco, Bianchi, Keyless Ride, National Auto Lock, Advanced Diagnostics, Laser Security Products, H.L. Flake, A E Tools and the Locksmith Store. Knowledgeable automotive people such as Michael Hyde, Randy Mize, Vera Latus and Tom Tusing added their information to Just Cars regulars such as Greg Brandt, Jim Hetchler, Stacy Hetchler, Steve Myslik and Jim Broadhurst. 
Strattec Security Corp. sponsored the Milwaukee meeting and provided a plant tour on Friday plus breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Every locksmith we talked to was enthusiastic and completely satisfied with their learning experience.

Cost of attending the Just Cars event is currently $120. The attendance charge helps defray costs for instructor travel and hotel expenses. Jim Broadhurst informed us that all profit from Just Cars events is donated to needy locksmiths around the country. This is truly a winning event for all concerned. Watch the Locksmith Ledger Calendar of Events for future Just Car presentations.