2019 Outstanding Automotive Builder

Congratulations to Goertsma's Fabrication, Spokane WA

Rich was born in Grangeville Idaho and moved to Spokane Washington with his family at the age of sixteen. While in Grangeville Idaho Rich learned how to drive grain trucks at the age of fifteen. Rich and his family moved to Spokane and  he attended Rogers High School and graduated in nineteen sixty-nine.


Rich went to work for Norm Bonnett Concrete as a form setter; then in nineteen seventy-four he went to work for Jim Tipke Enterprises and built Pedi Cabs for Expo 74 and then Cabs were made for worldwide use. After Expo 74 Rich was a framing contractor for two years, then in nineteen seventy-five construction funding became unavailable, so Rich started building spec homes. Rich then went to work for Clark Hegel Reality and worked for Clark Hegel Reality from nineteen seventy-five through nineteen eighty-one and built ten to thirteen houses per year.


Rich got involved in drag racing in the late seventies and was racing and building dragsters in his back yard shop.  Then in nineteen eighty-five through nineteen ninety Rich  ran his first shop called Performance Chassis where he built race cars, dragsters and super comp dragsters. The shop was a SFI certified chassis shop.


In nineteen eighty-nine Performance chassis had built three of the top ten comp dragsters in NHRA competition. 


Rich worked for Spokane Diesel and traveled with the Spokane Diesel top fuel dragster for two years.


In nineteen ninety-two Rich built his first hot rod which was a nineteen thirty-six Chevrolet two door sedan in his home garage.


In nineteen ninety-nine Rich bought a building and along with his two sons opened Power Plus Inc. and built only hot rods.


Rich built seven nineteen-thirty rat rods and one of the rat rods was built for Garth Hannaford and is in Sidney Australia.


Rich was featured in an article in  January two thousand – two in the Spokesman- Review called “Spokane Guy builds hot, Custom Rods” as well as on TV program in July two thousand- nine called Northwest Profile titled “Hot Rods”. 


Some of the cars and trucks Rich built are:


·        1932 Chevrolet “Jolly Rancher” wheel stander Fire Truck for Ed Jones.

·        1986 Chevrolet “One Night Stand” wheel stander for Rick Markham.

·        “Danny Boy Apples”  land/speed Streamliner built in the eighty’s.

·        Al Pharness’s 1932 Ford Vicky.

·        Bob Tully’s 1932 Ford Vicky.

·        Jim Burke’s 1940 Ford Coupe.

·        Monte Curwen’s 1937 Lincoln Zephyr.

·        Galen Pavliska’s 1939 Buick Coupe.

·        Roger Domini’s 1932 Ford 2 door sedan.

·        Ronny Corkrum’s 1932 Ford Roadster. 

·        Ben Carpenter’s 1940 Ford Pickup, 1948 Coupe, 1953 Mercury.

·        Stan Canter’s 1928 Ford Woodie and 1932 Ford Cabriolet.

·        Doug McComb’s Diesel powered salt flats truck (now in the Smithsonian Institute).

·        Bill Holeves “alien” jet powered dragster.


Rich currently has a shop called Gortsema’s Fabrication; and he currently owns, built and upholstered a nineteen thirty-six Ford Coupe, a nineteen sixty-six Chevrolet Nova and a nineteen seventy-two dropped Suburban. Rich has been married to Nadine for forty- five years and they have two grown sons, one grown daughter, and four grand children and they live on the north side of Spokane.


Rich is a member of the Dukes Car Club, member of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church and a Spokane Chiefs Hockey Team Booster.