UPI aims to be Muscle Car ‘One-Stop Shop’

Tucked away near the airport in Long Beach, California, United Pacific Industries resides in an unassuming, large industrial building. Within it, UPI houses inventory for its catalog, currently composed of over 20,000 different parts.

The company’s foundation was set over 30-years ago with heavy-duty truck parts and accessories. The owner added a division to the company and entered Deuce Coupe territory to start developing steel bodies for 1932 Ford 3- and 5-window coupes. From there, the vision evolved and UPI set its sights on becoming a leading manufacturer of classic muscle car parts and accessories.

Research and Development for the antique applications

Currently the classic muscle car division of UPI develops products for select Chevrolet, Ford, and Volkswagen models in addition to the occasional one-off car. UPI supplies enthusiasts with interior components for the dashboard and steering, doors, windows, mirrors, pedals, floor, and shifter parts as well as other various interior accessories.

Exterior parts offered by UPI include body panels, mirrors and accessories, horns, moldings, emblems, windshield, and hood parts.

UPI furthers its authority as a one-stop resource by also offering various body components and panels, engine and chassis parts, headlights and other electrical and lighting elements, wheels, and polishing products and tools.

Reproduction Chevrolet parts

According to Jai Baek, marketing manager for UPI, parts produced for muscle cars and steel-body coupes are tested to the same standard as parts produced for the big rigs. This offers muscle car fans piece of mind that the reproduction parts are made to a high standard and will prove durable and reliable over the years to come.

“We try to make the products better than when they were first made without taking away the essence of the original component,” Jai said.

He added that UPI announces approximately five new products a month. Each product takes a year to develop or longer, and is an exact copy of the original part. To that end, Jai says that many of the products they offer are officially licensed by Ford and General Motors.

Inside UPI facility

The facility UPI occupies boasts over 135,000 square-feet with seemingly endless rows stacked with products in brown boxes adorning a recently updated logo. If you look closely while touring the facility, you will likely catch a glimpse of recognizable parts, such as their newest line of replacement and reproduction 1967-1968 Ford Mustang body parts.

Among the new offerings, UPI offers an Eleanor-style, extended “all-steel” hood and fiberglass front valance. Also offered are Shelby-style components such as the fastback Shelby Quarter Panel Side Scoops.

All of the steel products offered by UPI come electrophoretic deposition painted, or EDP coated / powder coated, and are ready to be painted to match the rest of the vehicle. Jai shared that they test all of the products on original Mustang and Shelby Mustang configurations to ensure proper fitment.

1967-1968 Eleanor and Shelby Mustang parts

The Eleanor-style valance is constructed from high-quality fiberglass and is an accurate reconstruction with all of the contour details and cutouts from the iconic car. As for the Shelby-style scoops, they are are die-stamped from high-quality sheet metal and feature accurate contour details. The set includes the proper mounting studs for easy installation.

Jai noted other Mustang parts are in development as well as parts for the Ford Bronco. They also foresee adding C10 components to their catalog as the truck grows in popularity.

“Our goal is to be the Amazon of muscle car restoration products, if you will,” said Jai. He added that all of the products are developed in the United States and some are done in-house.

Those few assembled in-house can be seen at the various workstations within the building. UPI heavily uses automation and robotics throughout the process, but their installation didn’t omit any jobs, instead it allows workers to be more efficient (with fewer errors) and helps ensure same-day or next-day shipping.

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About the author

Nicole Ellan James

As an automotive journalist and avid car enthusiast, Nicole Ellan James has a passion for automotive that is reflected in every aspect of her lifestyle. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @nicoleeellan
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