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Lee Hunter and Hunter Engineering

After serving in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Ordnance Corps during World War II, Lee Hunter returns home to St. Louis in 1946 to open Hunter Engineering Company on Hunter Avenue in Ladue, Missouri.

1940 - 1960

Tune-In Balancer


The Tune-In balancer, Hunter Engineering's debut product, is a revoluntionary on-the-car balancer and Lee Hunter invention

1947

The Tune-In balancer, Hunter Engineering's debut product, is a revoluntionary on-the-car balancer and Lee Hunter invention

1949

Form 8-T, produced in June of 1949, is the company’s first product brochure.

1950

In the 1950s, Lee Hunter began assembling what would later become the largest dedicated sales and service team in the tire service equipment industry.

1952

Sales Representatives become a driving force behind Hunter Engineering’s growth. Sales meetings and group photos, like this one in 1952, become a Hunter tradition.

1953

In late 1953, General Motors opens a plant in St. Louis to build the Corvette. This custom installation ensures every Corvette wheel is balanced by Hunter.

1955

In 1955, Hunter Engineering develops a wheel alignment system. Named the Lite-A-Line, it soon becomes the industry standard.

Hunter develops multiple configurations of the Lite-A-Line system.

1960 - 1970

Hunter Moves To Larger Area!


Hunter outgrows its original facility and purchases a 23-acre campus in Bridgeton, Missouri.

1960

At the start of the 1960s, Hunter Engineering has a small but growing staff. Pictured here, the Engineering, Advertising, and Inspection departments all work side-by-side.

1962

“Happy Hunter” was a staple in early Hunter advertising and training films.

The 1962 Annual Sales Convention held in St. Louis.

1964

Hunter outgrows its original facility and purchases a 23-acre campus in Bridgeton, Missouri.

After rigorous testing, Ford Motor Company names Hunter its sole supplier of alignment and balancing equipment.

1967

By 1967, Hunter alignment systems expand to cover heavy-duty applications.

Hunter continues to expand its presence at top industry trade shows in the United States and Canada.

1969

The F-60 and F-70 Compute-A-Line systems were the industries first dynamic service aligners. Adjustments could be made without moving the vehicle and while the wheels are turning.

1970 - 1980

Hunter opens a manufacturing facility in Durant, Mississippi


In 1976, Hunter opens a manufacturing facility in Durant, Mississippi, to accommodate demand for a growing product line. The area bordered in red shows the layout of the original 1976 facility.

1973

The Bridgeton Training Center opens in 1973 adjacent to the company headquarters.

1974

In 1974, Hunter introduces the Rapid Series balancers, signaling the dawn of dynamic, off-car wheel balancing.

Hunter’s Ride Perfection Center in operation. The RPC relieved portions of the sidewall to reduce radial force variation.

1975

In 1975, the original Lite-A-Line system (left) is joined by the S5 Electron-A-Line, Tune-A-Line II, Autron-A-Line, and the Lite-A-Line II. Advanced Wheel Alignment systems become Hunter’s core focus.

1976

In 1976, Hunter opens a manufacturing facility in Durant, Mississippi, to accommodate demand for a growing product line. The area bordered in red shows the layout of the original 1976 facility.

1977

S6 Electron-A-Line brochure from 1977. The S6 featured electronic camber, caster and toe measurements.

1979

In 1979, Hunter’s S7 Electron-A-Line introduces the thrust-line principle to wheel alignment which becomes the foundation of modern four-wheel alignment technology.

1980 - 1990

Stephen F. Brauer appointed President!


Stephen F. Brauer appointed President, marking the first leadership change since Lee Hunter founded Hunter Engineering. Brauer guides the company into a period of rapid growth with the integration of new computer technology.

1981

Stephen F. Brauer appointed President, marking the first leadership change since Lee Hunter founded Hunter Engineering. Brauer guides the company into a period of rapid growth with the integration of new computer technology.

1982

Each aligner is hand calibrated to maintain superior quality control.

1983

A growing field organization attends the 1983 National Sales and Service Meeting from September 21-24.

1984

Construction begins on the new production facility in Raymond, MS, which opens the following year.

1985

The C111 starts its production run in January 1985 with the aid of a little “Old Forester” — the traditional blessing of a new product.

1986

Lee Hunter meets with Hunter’s Japanese distributor, Iyasaka Ltd., maintaining a strong partnership that began almost a quarter-century before, in the 1960s.

1987

This first wheel-mounted sensor (a predecessor of the future DSP series sensors) proves to provide fast, accurate alignment readings.

1988

The RL rack featured fully floating rear slipplates, air line kit, retractable work steps and built-in turnplate pockets.

1989

The B400 computerized brake tester measures brake performance with a 4-minute drive-through process.

1990 - 2000

Lee Hunter inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame


Lee Hunter inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame where he shares the spotlight with industry giants such as Henry Ford, Louis Chevrolet, Walter P. Chrysler and Soichiro Honda.

1990

The Hunter Super Service Center opens and serves as the main distribution center for replacement parts in the U.S.

1992

WinAlign® recognized as the first Windows®-based vehicle alignment system.

Lee Hunter inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame where he shares the spotlight with industry giants such as Henry Ford, Louis Chevrolet, Walter P. Chrysler and Soichiro Honda.

1993

The DSP9000 balancer is the first to use digital signal processing for unparalleled accuracy.

The Truck Safety Center expands research, product development and technician training for heavy-duty vehicles.

1994

The P211 is the first PC-based alignment machine, featuring Windows®-based WinAlign® software and DSP200 series sensors.

1995

The TCX325 features Hunter exclusive “tulip” clamping system, ergonomic design and three-point articulated mounting arm – features found on many Hunter tire changers to this day.

The DSP200 and DSP250 series wheel alignment sensors become the industry standard, featuring infrared beams that link together to produce accurate alignment measurements.

1996

The BL500 is the first brake lathe to offer Digi-Cal technology which instantly measures drum or rotor dimensions to help technicians determine total indicated runout.

1997

The 411 Series Alignment System features industry-leading technology including the most advanced personal computing hardware.

The GSP9700 offers a simulated road test to diagnose and solve non-balance related wheel vibration issues, transforming this wheel balancer into a wheel diagnostic center.

1998

DSP400 digital imaging sensors feature durable, easy-to-handle reflective targets. Four cameras in the aligner tower measure the position and orientation of each wheel-mounted target which instantly provide initial wheel alignment measurements.

Introduced in 1998, the TC3250 features a tilted ergonomic design. With the addition of the “Plus” device, this versatile machine becomes Hunter’s most popular EMT approved tire changer.

1999

The innovative design of the RM lift rack allows easy service access through its split front design.

2000 - 2010

Hunter Deutschland GmbH


Hunter Deutschland GmbH opens. The office and training facility near Munich offers German car manufacturers the same engineering support available to U.S. manufacturers.

2001

L421 (14,000 lb.) and L424 (16,000 lb.) alignment racks are introduced featuring longer slipplates than previous generations.

The RX9 alignment rack offers several popular features including an open front and rear design for easy service access, extra-wide 24" runways, integrated air line kits, and the option to mount the rack flush with the floor.

2002

Hunter Chairman, Steve Brauer, leads the traditional christening for the first GSP9712. The revolutionary tire balancing system features industry firsts such as StraightTrak® which measures and corrects tire pull issues.

Hunter Deutschland GmbH opens. The office and training facility near Munich offers German car manufacturers the same engineering support available to U.S. manufacturers.

2003

The 811 aligner, combined with DSP600 digital imaging sensors and WinAlign® 7.0, features increased productivity, profitability and value. This system leads the industry for five years.

2004

Designed specifically for heavy-duty applications, the DSP500T series alignment sensors offer measurement accuracy and repeatability never before seen in the heavy-duty industry.

Hunter Engineering’s state-of-the-art digital imaging alignment systems gain approval by BMW, Daimler Chrysler and the Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG). Hunter remains the only alignment supplier with all three German automaker approvals.

2005

Revolutionary SmartWeight® Balancing Technology is introduced. This patented balancing method improves wheel balancing results while minimizing the amount of corrective weight applied by the operator.

2006

The GSP9200 balancer is introduced. Though intended as a compact model, it is packed with advanced features including SmartWeight® laser line weight placement, auto double Dataset® arms, Spindle-Lok®, rim scan and Quick-Thread®.

Durant, Mississippi, reaches a milestone and celebrates 30 years of fabricating and assembling Hunter lift racks.

2007

The third generation GSP9700 improves on Hunter’s most popular model by featuring improvements such as a Linux operating system, color LCD monitor, thumb drive data port and the ability to have a custom logo on the welcome screen.

Using the new WinAlign® 10.0 software, the HawkEye® high definition digital imaging wheel alignment system is introduced with smaller, lighter sensors designed for speed and efficiency.

2008

The Auto34 introduces a new level of control to tire changing with a simple control panel. Technicians are able to perform all operations without the traditional lever.

2009

Hunter formally introduces the SmartWeight® Balancer — a highly productive balancer designed for every shop. Fully-integrated with SmartWeight® Balancing Technology it also features many powerful options including a wheel lift, AutoClamp, a top dead center laser system, and a printer.

The L441 and L444 four-post lift racks provide 18,000 lbs of lifting capacity and the option of an open or closed front designs.

2010 - 2020

Quick Check Drive®


Quick Check Drive® provides unmanned alignment audit results with no stopping or labor required. Additional cameras can capture 40+ images per vehicle, protecting shops against mistaken damage claims. 

2010

WinAlign® 11.1 features improvements such as new CodeLink® printouts and support for the DSP700 sensors. The TouchRemote® app for the iPhone® adds a new dynamic to WinAlign®.

The TCX500 family of tire changers are introduced. This group of table top tire changer offers coverage for passenger car to medium duty vehicles. This line of changers will go on to become an industry staple and Hunter best selling series.

2011

HE421 HawkEye Elite with TD targets introduced. True three dimensional targets that eliminate metal to metal contact as well as the need to carefully center the target. This system proves faster, lighter, more durable and changes the way shops align vehicles.

Hunter China opens a wholly owned subsidiary off ice in Beijing China. The Chinese market is in a period of rapid growth and expansion.

2012

Hunters Quick Check® system offers fast and accurate alignment checks right from the service drive. This system becomes one of Hunter Engineerings best sellers and in record time.

The RX series of racks expands with the introduction of the RX16. The surface mount version sits at only 9” when lowered but with the innovative Power-Up feature, the rack changes it lifting point allowing it to maximize capacity.

2013

Beau Brauer named Executive Vice President, responsible for domestic and international sales and marketing.

DSP700T sensors are introduced to the Heavy-Duty market. These sensors allow for all three axles to be measured at the same time. Designed to mimic the accuracy and convince of the passenger car system, the Heavy-Duty world now has a lightweight, fast and accurate equivalent.

2014

The Revolution is the industry's first reliable, computerized and automatic tire changer. The Revolution uses an automated process for all tire and wheel combinations which turns all technicians into experts. It has the distinction of being the worlds first UL Listed tire changer and was completely designed and built in the USA.

With the tremendous growth in the Canadian market Hunter Canada moves into its new facility. The building features state conference rooms as well as a complete Power Bay modeled after the St. Louis, MO facility.

2015

Tire health took center stage in 2015 with the introduction of Quick Tread®. The system scans all four tire in seconds and creates a 3-D model. The imaging from the model provides a true tire health report for customers.

Hunters long standing commitment to quality and innovation has its roots in the family oriented business. While an industry leader, the company remains flexible and responsive to always meet and exceed the expectations of its customer for generations to come.

2016

Hunter Engineering became the largest non-OE exhibitor at the SEMA Show with a 7,000 square foot booth staffed by over 100 HQ employees and members of Hunter's field organization. 

2017

The Road Force® Elite, uses patented Hunter vision technology to automatically determine wheel dimensions and wheel runout measurements. GM announces the Road Force® Elite as essential equipment for use in service facilities in the U.S.

The AutoComp Elite® introduced patented Automatic Compensation technology and an intuitive touchscreen interface. It also gained OE approval at an unprecendented rate.

2018

The Revolution WalkAway allows for 80-second autonomous operation during the bead breaking and demounting process, and offers time saving of 25% or more when paired with wheel balancing.

2019

Quick Check Drive® provides unmanned alignment audit results with no stopping or labor required. Additional cameras can capture 40+ images per vehicle, protecting shops against mistaken damage claims. 

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