July 24, 2008

Unique Business Venture Lands Walker Motors in National Limelight

The combination of an autobody shop and a motor sports racing business was a logical choice for business owner Brent Walker. But the recent decision has gained the Memphis company some national attention.

Walker, who owns Walker Motors Collision Repair and Art’s RaceMart, was recently featured in the national collision coverage trade publication Fender Bender.

The local businesses were highlighted in a three-page spread by Sara Aase entitled “The Race is On.”

The article centers on the business owner’s decision to expand his business interests to include race car parts, an obvious interest to body shop owners across the United States who also may be looking for unique opportunities to expand their bottom lines.

Walker explains in the article that the decision was made much easier by the fact that he is a long-time customer of the business that he was purchasing. As an avid race fan and member of a highly successful modified race car team, he knows the in and outs of motor sports parts.

The transition went as smoothly as possible thanks in part to the aid of former owner Randy Harrison, who Walker points out has been a great aid in the start of Art’s RaceMart.

Then of course there is the Art of Art’s RaceMart, Art Jeffries. He brings more than 30 years of racing experience to the sales position, insuring that not only does RaceMart offer the best parts for the racer, but also the knowledge behind how to use the equipment to the fullest.

“The guy has 20 years of driving experience so he is an invaluable resource for drivers when it comes to getting the right parts to insure the best set ups for their cars,” Walker said.

The store owner is no slouch when it comes to that category as well. His expertise in the shock industry has made him highly sought after by race teams seeking the perfect suspension set up for handling the turns on dirt and hard surface tracks.

While Walker Motors has expanded to cover car and truck owners across the tri-state area, Art’s RaceMart already can boast a far larger customer base.

“In just a few months, we have already made sales across the United States as well as internationally” Walker said. “We have shipped parts to Hawaii, Australia and Venezuela. One of our better customers is in Oregon.”

That national and international coverage is made possible largely by the company’s internet presence, with first-time buyers aiding to spread the word about the company.

And the convergence of area race car drivers and their team members hasn’t hurt the autobody business either as Walker notes in the magazine article, he has picked up several new customers on that side of the aisle courtesy of RaceMart.

The media coverage also offered another local entity a business opportunity. The Memphis Democrat was hired to provide photography work for the magazine spread.

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