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American Aimers (Hoppy)

In the late 1940s E.L. Hopkins (Hoppy) and his brother Gene began designing and manufacturing tools for the body shop trade. The first tool was a pneumatic pick hammer for removing dents in automobile panels. During the early 1950s the Hopkins brothers joined the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and became involved with automotive forward lighting by designing a method and a tool to mechanically align headlamps properly. To provide a method to use these tools, three aiming pads or nibs were located on the surface of the headlamp lens. These pads were recommended by SAE and mandated by the Federal government for Hoppy aimers.

At the time there were several variations of headlamps, large, small, round and square. However in the early 1980’s, SAE and the Federal government began to allow aerodynamic styling to headlamps and styling engineers as well as optical headlamp engineers began promoting the removal of those ugly aim pads. During this time Federal Regulations were modified to allow automotive engineers and stylist to design any shape or size of headlamp as long as it met the Federal photometric beam pattern requirements. Federal law was again modified to allow headlamp manufactures to design headlamps without aim pads as long as there was a fiduciary method to aim the lamp.

Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation became the first company to design and supply sophisticated high speed optical aiming equipment to many of the automotive assembly plants throughout the United States and Canada . This image based technology was adapted for use in the aftermarket with the design and marketing of the Vision 1 and several generations later is still in use today.

With the advent of these modern headlamps and the increased removal of the aim pads the Mechanical Aimer market continues to decline. With this new technology and innovation this dictated additional optical units and the Vision 100 and the VA25 evolved. These units became the new standard of the industry in the aftermarket.

In November of 2005 Dale Wall , the General Manager of Hopkins Manufacturing Headlamp Aimer division purchased the business and the rights to the trade name “Hoppy”. On May 15, 2008 American Aimers, Inc. purchased the assets of Wall Industries, LLC. American Aimers, Inc., will continue to expand the horizons with a new Vision of headlamp aiming and automotive products in the automotive aftermarket.

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