It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that Super Shops helped get me to where I am today.
The weekend I turned 16 and got my license, I drove to the Super Shops on Federal Boulevard here in Colorado, just to look around. And about a year later, when my Dad replaced my Camaro’s inline-six with a Chevy small-block, I became a regular.
During high school, my friends and I spent much of our free time and practically all of our extra cash there. I can still remember the ubiquitous radio jingle that went something like dah da-da-da duh di dah, (it sounds better in my head!). Heck, I even thought their yellow, brown and red corporate colors looked good together!
The thing about our local Super Shops was that it wasn’t just a store, it was an experience. From the smell of the tires to the parts hanging on the wall, the place had a certain exciting quality, at least for teenage boys who loved their cars.
And the guys who worked there didn’t care if you just came in to look around. They’d still answer your questions and give you extra stickers, most likely because they knew you’d be back as soon as you got your next paycheck. And we always were.
Even I was surprised today when I started making a list of all the things I remember buying-or receiving as gifts for Christmases or birthdays-at Super Shops. American Racing wheels and B.F. Goodrich tires, an aluminum intake, a Weiand air cleaner, B&M shifter, aluminum valve covers, headers, plug wires, traction bars, a chrome differential cover, gauges, flex fan-there’s too much to count.
I was as surprised as anyone when I heard our local Super Shops went out of business in the early ’90s. The place was always busy, and being fresh out of college I had anticipated spending a lot more money there now that I had a full-time job.
Over the years the memories faded, until about a year ago, when a group in California contacted the magazine and said they were bringing back the Super Shops name. A few months later I was talking with my colleague Jim Maxwell, an automotive journalist and former Super Shops employee, who had also heard the name was being revived and pitched an article on the company, then and now.
I have to say his completed articles are an interesting read, to say the least. The “Then” portion on the history of the company is fascinating, and the “Now” story on the new Super Shops team is inspiring.
Have you ever had visions of your own shop growing like Super Shops did? Regardless, some of the company’s original ideas-from add-on sales techniques to sponsorship programs and car giveaways to supplier relationships-helped shape the industry and how it operates today.
Do you have your own Super Shops thoughts or experiences you’d like to share? If so, I’d love to hear them. Now, if I could just get that jingle out of my head …