In the late 1970s, a young man from Atlanta by the name of Len Athanasiades had a car, and a problem. His car was a 1969 Firebird, and his problem was that he couldn’t find the parts and information he needed to breathe a little life back into his Pontiac. You see, what Len really wanted was a 1969 Firebird Trans Am, but those particular cars were, and are still, exceedingly rare.


So Len decided to transform his Firebird into a Trans Am by adding the equipment unique to the model. As he soon learned, however, finding out exactly what equipment was needed, and how to get it, was nearly as difficult as finding an original car. But Len was persistent, and it wasn’t long before he found himself knee-deep in a treasure hunt for the parts and information he needed.


In time, and through no small amount of effort, Len’s treasure hunt began to bear fruit. Slowly he became aware of what he needed and where to find it. As his project rolled on, Len continued to meet knowledgeable people and find rare parts. It wasn’t long before Len began to receive more calls than he made. He became known around the country as a primary source for parts location and technical information on 1969 Trans Ams.


In 1981, Len realized that what most enthusiasts were looking for was a single source for both parts and information. So, in the basement of his parent’s home, he began what is now known as Year One. The name itself comes from the fact that Len specialized in 1969 Trans Ams, the first year the vaunted model was offered – hence the name Year One.


As the fledgling muscle car hobby began to gain popularity through the early 1980s, the breadth of Year One products and vehicle coverage grew also. When interest in muscle cars exploded in the mid-’80s, it actually became economically feasible for companies like Year One to produce the most rare, hard-to-find, less durable pieces the cars needed. With this, the era of reproduction parts (those parts that are produced by non-factory sources for the specific purpose of exactly replacing original equipment) was born. Reproduction parts are now the mainstay of the muscle car parts supply industry.


Although the market speculation and profiteering that took hold of the muscle car hobby through the mid- and late-’80s made it difficult for the average enthusiast to acquire the muscle car of his dreams, it did serve to solidify the muscle car parts supply and restoration industry. As some sense of normalcy returned to the marketplace in the early ’90s, hobbyists were left with strong and thriving sources for parts, information, and restoration work.


The turn of the century finds muscle car enthusiasts enjoying a period of unparalleled growth and stability. There are more high quality parts and services, more information, and more enthusiasm for these special automobiles than ever before. In fact, the state of the hobby as it exists now must surely be more sound than anyone dared dream all those years ago.


We tell you our history for a reason. Our company was founded on the desire to preserve and enjoy special automobiles, and to provide like-minded people with a single source for products and information. And, after more than two decades in business, we think it’s important to pause and remember why it is that we do what we do. The philosophy and work ethic that created Year One in the basement of the Athanasiades’ family home is still here, and still works. Treat every customer as a friend, supply the best parts available, and always remember that it’s the people in the garages and driveways working on these very special cars that form the backbone of the automobile hobby.


Even though Year One is now housed in a large warehouse, and offers thousands of parts, services and accessories for GM, Ford and Chrysler vehicles, our commitment to the enthusiasts that make up this hobby is stronger than ever. We may no longer be in a basement selling used parts to friends and neighbors, but hopefully you will never know that by talking to us.

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