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Feature Segment[caption id="attachment_2592" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Rick Schmidt of National Parts Depot. Image: Ocala.com"][/caption]
Rick Schmidt has a job that many of us would trade our dog for. He's the President of National Parts Depot, which is a massive restoration parts company based in Ocala, Florida. By day he manages the operations of the company that provides parts for many of the muscle cars we love including Camaro, Mustang, Chevelle, El Camino, Firebird, Trans Am, and Thunderbird. By night he is responsible for exercising each and every car in the company's massive eclectic car collection that features a lot of the rarest Fords, Oldsmobiles, Chevy's and the like. All of the cars run and drive, and Rick knows that the only way to keep the cars happy is to keep them on the road. I like him already.
National Parts Depot was founded by his father Jim Schmidt, but it wasn't always called National Parts Depot, and it wasn't always the huge source of muscle car parts that it is today. Jim Schmidt originally started a company to provide all of the little nuts and bolts required to do a correct restoration on a Model A. Why? Because that's what he was restoring....while in HIGH SCHOOL! The business took off, but always remained on the side. In the '70's things transitioned so he sold the Model A parts company and founded National Parts Depot, and it was a mail order catalog business for 1955-1957 T-Birds.
As time passed by a Mustang lineup of parts was added in and then in 1985 the first GM parts line was added for The Camaro. As the business grew in revenue it grew physically as well and they now have 4 warehouses all across the country to ensure that when parts are ordered that they arrive fast. In 1987 Rick took a hiatus from college to come help with some issues National Parts Depot was having, and the next thing he know he had come to the conclusion that learning things in business school versus doing them were two different things. He's been at National Parts Depot ever since.
NPD will have a product lineup coming soon for the Pontiac Tempest, Le Mans, and GTO. They'll also be launching their new company website at the end of January, and have become the co-sponsor of this podcast show as of January 1, 2011. They've been doing things right for a long time, and I'm looking forward to see what they do next.
The only thing else that I want to know is, which car is Rick going to drive home tonight?======================= Robert Kibbe | TheMuscleCarPlace.com