From its humble beginnings as a two-car garage in Santa Ana, California 30 years ago, the Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI) has always been a major player in the GM restoration parts business. Originally called “Chevelle Classics”, founder Dave Leonard began manufacturing high quality restoration parts for Chevy Chevelles. By 1993, a long list of cool GTO parts was added thus the company became OPGI. Three decades later, its modern and efficient 130,000 square foot facility in Seal Beach, CA. has over 100 employees and an ever expanding and comprehensive product line that comprises over 75,000 parts. It’s no wonder that OPGI is an industry leader for all things Chevy, Buick, Oldsmobile and PontiacA-Body platform cars.
What drove founder and current owner Dave Leonard to start OPGI in 1982 was the need to supply GM enthusiasts Chevelle and El Camino parts. It was during this “dark era” in the car hobby that the factory was discontinuing thousands of replacement parts such as exterior and interior trim parts, sheetmetal and other much-needed accessories which owners of 1964-1972 Chevelles and El Caminos would need to restore their prized rides.
Not only did the interest in and value of these classic Chevy musclecars increase, so did that of their GTO, 442 and Skylark GS cousins. Soon OPGI was offering high-quality parts for everything from 1960s and 70s GM Supercars to Monte Carlos, Rivieras, Grand Prixs and Cadillacs. For any GM enthusiast, this was a blessing, as it saved time hunting down parts from various companies and made OPGI their one-stop shopping destination.
The folks at OPGI are also on the look out for new products for their GM car lines and also manufacturing new GM restoration parts. Recently, they have begun manufactured several mirrors, door handles and headlight bezels for 1960s Cadillacs. With the 2012 SEMA show coming this fall, they’re in high gear restoring a 1965 Chevelle SS convertible that will take center stage in their already impressive display.
OPGI is also run by enthusiasts, and like us, they embrace the hobby and classic car culture. This is why we are proud to have them as a presenting sponsor at the upcoming Super Chevy Show at Maple Grove Raceway. They have a loyal following of customers around the country but it’s the East Coast enthusiasts that really support OPGI and therefore it makes sense for them to be an active partner this weekend’s show. So the next time you see a restored 1970 Chevelle SS454, know that it probably has parts from OPGI on it.
The late Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins was not only a master engine builder and drag racing legend, but he also helped build the Chevrolet brand as one to beat in motorsports.
Jenkins, who died in March at 81, was scheduled to take part in this year’s Super Chevy Show on July 20-22 at Maple Grove Raceway as a special car show judge. He was going to pick his top 25 picks from the hundreds of entries.
However, his spirit will be present through the weekend. A special “Jenkins Competition” award will be presented after time trials Saturday, July 21, to the door/body car that has the lowest elapsed time during the second round of time trials.
And at the car show Jenkins Competition will be represented by company general manager Jake Barbato, and former NHRA world champion Larry Lombardo who drove for Jenkins in the 70s. The two will make the top 25 picks on Saturday.
The Super Chevy Show gets underway on Friday, July 20 with a 7 a.m. opening and time trials from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gates open Saturday at 7 a.m. with racing beginning at 8:30 and the car show going through the day until awards are presented at 3:30 p.m. Feature shows, with jet cars are at 1 and 4 p.m.
Sunday’s gates open at 8 a.m. with racing continuing at 9:30 and feature shows at 1, 2:30 and 4:30. Car show awards are at 4 p.m.
For more information, call Maple Grove Raceway at (610) 856-9210 or visit www.maplegroveraceway.com.
NORTHEAST OUTLAW PRO MODS AT MAPLE GROVE SUPER CHEVY SHOW PRESENTED BY CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE AND ORIGINAL PARTS GROUP
For over 50 years, Maple Grove Raceway has been a hotbed of drag racing action in the Northeast. With the Super Chevy Show coming up the weekend of July 20-22, that tradition continues as the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association will be tearing it up with their 240 mph sub five second passes down the quarter-mile.
Maple Grove’s stop has historically been the largest of all Super Chevy Shows on the tour in both attendance and participation and this year’s season is bound to be a record-breaker.
“Maple Grove is very proud to host the largest show on the national tour. The event has been well supported each and every year with over 650 race entries, 425 car show entries and over 250 swap meet entries,” said Maple Grove Raceway vice president and general manager Lex Dudas. “2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Maple Grove Raceway and the 26th time we have held a Super Chevy Show. We know the support we receive from our loyal Super Chevy customers has played a very large part in making Maple Grove Raceway what it is today.”
The Original Parts Group Inc. will be the presenting Sponsor of Maple Grove’s Super Chevy Show and is also celebrating a milestone this year, as it’s their 30th Anniversary of providing high-quality restoration parts for iconic GM musclecars. Their sponsorship will include a special car show plaque during the Class Awards ceremony for the Best “Chevy A-Body” Restoration of the Show.