Celebrating over 35 years in the business of manufacturing and retailing GM restoration parts and accessories, Original Parts Group, Inc. (OPGI) once again made its presence known at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show held each November in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After several very successful decades as a displaying manufacturer, OPGI marked this year’s attendance with an all-new, upgraded presence for 2016 and beyond. OPGI returned to Las Vegas this year with hundreds of the most popular General Motors restoration parts, including dozens of new entries from OPGI’s RESTOPARTS® proprietary line of ultra-high quality restoration parts. Specifically engineered to meet the growing demands of the automotive restoration market, the RESTOPARTS entries included numerous high-demand interior and exterior components as well as a selection of emblems, mirrors, door handles and other hard-to-find, factory accurate reproduction parts sought by vintage GM enthusiasts.
As befitting the premier retailer and manufacturer of General Motors restoration parts, OPGI showed up in style at this year’s Show with a distinctive 1,200 square foot, two-story display booth in the Main Hall. The display highlighted both the new products and existing inventory inside OPGI’s ten different Restoration and High-Performance Parts and Accessories catalogs that cover everything needed to restore a classic Chevelle, El Camino, Monte Carlo, GTO, Grand Prix, Cutlass, Skylark, Riviera, Grand National, or Cadillac.
Following a long-standing tradition, OPGI always brings along a couple of newly restored classic GM cars to display at the annual Show. All of OPGI’s display cars are known for their extensive use of OPGI parts and they are always completely restored to the highest degree of original authenticity. This year did not disappoint, and an ultra-clean 1968 Cadillac Coupe De Ville and an immaculate 1970 Chevelle SS shared space in the booth.
While the long, Baroque Gold ’68 Coupe De Ville on display was a straight-up, 100% factory-stock restoration, the ’70 Chevelle departed from that formula with a dose of modern performance, power and handling under the skin through the use of aftermarket performance products and accessories from the OPGI catalog. Dubbed “The Executive,” the Chevelle SS was built as a tribute to a similar Chevelle that OPGI CEO Dave Leonard used to drive years ago.
OPGI Product Sourcing Team specialist Tony Giroux was on hand at the Show to guide visitors through the many features of the stunning red SS car. Watch Tony as he discusses the finer points of the Executive Chevelle with Genevieve Chappell of Power Automedia:
OPGI also hosted two celebrity guests at the SEMA Show this year. The host of Velocity TV’s Lou Santiago, along with Jack “Fast Jack” Beckman, a professional drag racer who currently drives a NHRA Fuel Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, both spent time in the OPGI booth to meet and greet fans at the Show. In addition to his Funny Car racer, Jack Beckman also drives a 1968 Chevy El Camino that he is currently restoring with the help of OPGI-sponsored parts.
Beckman’s father purchased this 1968 SS 396 El Camino back in 1979. Jack says “I learned nearly everything I know about mechanics around this machine, and began my racing career with a very unremarkable run of 15.06 seconds at 93 mph (Lubbock Raceway, 1986) in it.” Jack then raced his SS El Camino for a few more years before retiring it to the garage in order to concentrate on his Super Comp Funny Car program. The El Camino sat in storage for more than 20 years until 2016 when Jack decided to “Make it a nice, solid street rod that I can cruise in.” OPGI got involved in the project this year too, and has been pleased to sponsor many of the parts necessary to bring the old Chevy back to life.
Lou Santiago met with fans and signed autographs at the OPGI booth before filming a brief interview with OPGI CEO and founder Dave Leonard wherein the pair discussed the origins of the “Executive Chevelle” project as well as a bit of OPGI history and the business of manufacturing restoration parts. Watch Lou’s interview with Dave Leonard here:
Shop for restoration parts at www.opgi.com.
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