First Place Auto Products is a specialty manufacturer of select automobile parts and primarily serves the restoration marketplace. By combining the best of today's technology with tried and true craft methods of days gone by, we recreate and return long discontinued parts to the market. And in some cases, we create unique new parts as well.
Many of our parts are manufactured under licensing programs administered by the original manufacturers: Ford Motor Company's "Official Licensed Products" and Chrysler LLC's "Mopar Authentic Restoration Products." Parts so designated are duplicates of originals and your assurance of quality is backed by such parts having been inspected and validated by these original automobile makers through these licensing programs. We are especially proud to be the licenseholder in the product categories we choose to serve. You can be assured that such products are positively the premiere products available bar none.
Our historical focus was on various Dodge and Plymouth automobiles from the late 1960s to the early 1970s-the heyday of the American Muscle Car. However, we have expanded to manufacture parts for a wide range of American vehicles from the 1950s to Current including nameplates such as AMC, Chrysler, Dodge & Dodge Truck, Ford, Jeep, Mercury and Plymouth and the list keeps growing. Our product categories includes an extensive selection of the 'Window Weather Strip' brand of belt weatherstrip, front & rear spoilers, hood & side scoops, heater and vent cables, and many other select reproduction items-especially those made of rubber, plastic, and metal. Our parts are stocked by retailers large and small.
First Place Auto Products traces its roots to a sideline business started by Fritz Wurgler in the early 1980s. Fritz was working in engineering and sales capacities around the Akron, Ohio area serving the worldwide tire and rubber industry. As these 'day jobs' offered no opportunity for equity, Fritz looked beyond to fulfill his ambition. Learning from an old friend of the shortage of quality rubber products available to restorers of Mopar muscle cars, Fritz leveraged his knowledge of the rubber manufacturing industry and began what is now known as First Place Auto Products. Though it wasn't serving his favored marquee of the time, the Chevrolet Corvette, Fritz believed that any old car is worthy of his attention. By the late 1990s, the company was no longer a sideline; it had grown to be Fritz's full time responsibility.
Greg Wurgler, Fritz' eldest son and the one who identified most strongly with the business has also been active in the company since inception. Greg's professional background lies in sales of specialty electrical components and wiring harnesses for the worldwide OEM appliance, vehicle, and industrial equipment manufacturers. With a grandfather who owned a GMC dealership (Ray Yoder, Ray A Yoder GMC Sales, Steubenville, OH) and an uncle who owned an Oldsmobile dealership (Russell Yoder, Yoder Oldsmobile, Louisville, OH) it was natural that Greg's fondness for all things automotive would blossom through involvement in the family business, First Place Auto Products.
On December 13 2013, Fritz Wurgler, owner and longtime friend among Mopar enthusiasts, passed away. In January 2014, Trim Parts Holdings Corporation (TPH), parent company of Trim Parts, Inc. and Parts Unlimited (PUI) acquired the assets of First Place Auto Products (FPAP). Trim Parts felt the best way to honor Fritz’ passion for Mopar products was to purchase the assets and continue with the First Place Auto Products brand. FPAP manufactures a high quality product and is known as one of the top brands in the Mopar Market so it was a strong fit for Trim Parts Holdings. Customers of FPAP shouldn’t notice any difference as we will continue with the high quality FPAP is known for and the great personal service that Fritz was known for.