Glenn Classen made a big move from South Africa to the US to expand his market for shock absorbers – almost 20 years in, he’s continued to grow and develop Radflo for the off-road market. Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.
3:46 – as a kid, being aware of anything socially or politically about how the country ran you weren’t aware of until much later
11:44 – let’s fire this thing back up, we made parts and started selling shocks
13:01 – in any business, there’s massive swings of good luck and bad
16:11 – that’s how I sold it to my wife, we’d come over to the US for two years and then go home
23:04 – I came over here and very quickly realized that this was a massive pond and I was a very small fish
33:23 – we are just a shock manufacturer
38:44 – we make shocks to suit the different lift kit manufacturers, we don’t do generic
[00:01:39.930] – Big Rich Klein
On this episode of Conversations, I will be talking with Radflo Shock Technology owner, Glenn Classen. Glenn, am I saying the last name correctly?
[00:01:51.130] – Glenn Classen
Yeah, Classen. You’re close enough.
[00:01:52.910] – Big Rich Klein
Okay, excellent. Glenn, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us this evening so we can find out more about you.
[00:02:03.920] – Glenn Classen
Thanks, Rich. I appreciate you having me on.
[00:02:06.500] – Big Rich Klein
Let’s jump right in and start at the very beginning. I know that you were born in South Africa, but tell us more about it. Where in South Africa?
[00:02:16.210] – Glenn Classen
I was born in a relatively small town just south of Johannesburg in South Africa. It’s a place called Tareinachan, which in translation means Association. It was a big steel town. My dad ran the Krasler dealership there. We moved to Johannesburg 1969 or so, and my dad was in the motor trade all his life. That’s where I grew up for the rest of my time in South Africa. I was in Johannesburg. I went to school there, primary and high school. I went to boarding school for four years. I went to university there, and I got my first job working at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange there as a Stock Exchange dealer.
[00:03:08.140] – Big Rich Klein
Okay. What was school like? I have these visions of South Africa besides the wildlife. We had a daughter that spent a week or two there doing a dance and singing thing that they went around doing with the school that she was in performing. I’ve got a couple other friends that have come from South Africa to the United States, but I don’t know anything about what the education system was like there. I’m only familiar with the United States. So can you enlighten us?
[00:03:46.380] – Glenn Classen
Yeah. I mean, the education system, first of all, I need to point out that I grew up in a country where black and white people were separated with Apartheid. And growing up as a small kid, you’re not aware of that stuff until you become aware in high school and then you realize that there’s a problem going on. But there’s not much you can do about it. But my education was fantastic. I went to a great primary school and high school. We had a first class education. There was no doubt about it. I would say we were privileged to be able to have that. In South Africa, when I was growing up, there were middle-class people like my family, and then there were lots of poor white people. At the same time, there were lots of poor black people and everybody was separated by law. You never really ran into anybody else except people in your neighborhood. But going to school was similar to going to school here. You had all your friends and you played sports and all the parents got involved with all the different activities. But not being aware of anything socially or politically about how the country ran or that we should be aware of until much later when I was older. READ MORE