GM High-Tech Performance Blogs
35 years of Corvette parts sales
Zip Corvette is celebrating its 35th anniversary as a leader and innovator in the Corvette parts industry. Since its humble beginnings in 1977, Zip has steadily risen to the top as a trusted supplier of Corvette parts and accessories to enthusiasts all over the world.
The history of Zip Corvette has all the markings of the American Dream. Wayne Walker, a Corvette owner and enthusiast, needed a gas line for his 1961 Corvette. A friend showed him how to bend steel tubing for the line and Walker's handiwork with a flaring tool was quickly noticed by other Corvette friends who began requesting that he make fuel lines for them. Virtually overnight, Zip Products was in business.
What began as a part-time hobby headquartered in Walker's garage quickly grew into a thriving business. Hitting the road to attend every swap meet and Corvette show possible, Walker placed himself - and his products - directly in front of his customer base. During the first 10 years, Zip's single page list of inventory grew into a 128-page full color catalog. The Corvette aftermarket was taking its first steps and Zip was leading the way.
Along the way, Walker's passion for - and knowledge of - Corvettes steadily grew as he personally restored some of the rarest Corvettes ever produced: a 1963 Z06 Big Tank Coupe, a 1967 L88 Convertible, a 1969 427 ZL1 and a host of fuel-injection, 396 and 427 Corvettes. As he set out to find the parts he needed to restore his own Corvettes, Walker was committed to making those parts widely available for other restorers, placing Zip at the forefront of the Corvette restoration hobby.
A brick and mortar address with walk-in and mail order capabilities was the next logical step, and Zip eventually found it's home at 8067 Fast Lane in Mechanicsville, Virginia, nestled right outside of the Richmond city limits. In 1994, David Walker, Wayne's son, gained the reigns of leadership and set about building the company into one of the industry's leading purveyors of Corvette parts and performance accessories.
Today, Zip's warehouse includes more than 25,000 of the newest-available and best-quality Corvette parts to be had. Zip's inventory is showcased in six different, generation-specific catalogs that often find a shelf life right alongside the manuals and guidebooks in a Corvette owner's garage. From early model restorers to sixth generation racers, fans of America's Sports Car rely on Zip to keep their beloved Corvettes on the open road.
One thing that hasn't changed over the course of the last 35 years is Zip's commitment to customer service. "We understand that the key to success in the Corvette parts industry is a customer base that trusts us and knows that we're here for the long run," said David Walker. Zip's sales staff boasts more than 100 years of collective Corvette knowledge and many of those employees have been with Zip for decades. "The industry has seen too many Internet start-ups come and go over the past few years," said Walker, "but Zip has stood the test of time. We really are passionate about Corvettes around here - we're real people, selling real parts, in real time. That's what sets Zip above the competition."