National Parts Depot had been in restoration parts industry for nearly two decades by the time I started purchasing parts for my first car back in 1997. That 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle was my introduction to NPD, and despite being just a college student with a limited budget at the time, I spent several hours thumbing through catalogs with ideas of how to better my car. A mutual friend I met at a cruise-in while living in Gainesville, Florida informed me that a job opportunity became available with NPD just over a year later. And what I thought would be a job I'd only...
...have as I finished up college, has turned into a career over a fifteen year period. There are times when the line between work and hobby has been blurred, but considering I grew up around cars, I can't think of a better way to earn a living.
Looking back at my beginnings with the company made me take a closer look at the company itself. It's amazing to think that it all started in NPD President Jim Schmidt's basement. "The UPS guy used to walk down the driveway every afternoon, and haul the outgoing boxes up the driveway with a wheel cart," son Rick remembers. The Vice President of the company, I met Rick at a car show a few years earlier (I see a theme developing here). His car knowledge that day immediately squashed any notions that NPD was just another parts business that doesn't eat and breathe the hobby we enjoy, and it's a big part of the reason I've continued to stay with NPD.
I've heard that by looking at where you started, you will better see your future path. With that in mind, I dove into the catalog archives and pulled out the earliest Chevelle catalog we had, a 1990 edition. That first offering had 56 pages in mostly black and white, while the latest version sports over 200 pages in full-color. This tells me one thing: the restoration industry is a great place to be. National Parts Depot continues to grow, and the website will do exactly the same thing. This first entry will be complimented in the coming weeks with new product highlights, as well as video clips on various subjects. Feedback is always welcomed at NPDLink Feedback; let us know how we're doing!