The Lokar Story
1988, the year it all began – to date – a 34 year affair with manufacturing American Made hotrod parts. However, the heart of the company started well before that, when Skip Walls, a young teenager in the early 60’s was driving his first 1932 Ford 5-Window. Skip worked on, raced, and accumulated many cars through the years, until he met Debbie in 1980. Not long after, Skip went into business for himself and started Lokar as a machinery repair business (a trade he learned working with his father). The name, Lokar, easily associable to his desire to lower every vehicle as low as he could was an idea given to him by Debbie.
While in business servicing and repairing machinery, Skip would continue to work on his hotrods, buying parts, modifying each one to his liking. Skip became frustrated often, not being able to find products that were of high enough quality. Debbie recognized his desire to make these better quality products and in 1988 she helped Skip transition the business from a machinery service company to a manufacturer of quality products, Lokar Street Rod Parts. Eventually, the company became known as Lokar Performance Products to better represent the breadth of products offered.
The 30 year journey started with a garage attached to their house in Southern California and has since led to a 52,000 sq. ft. facility in Knoxville, Tennessee. The company grew with staple products for Lokar, such as the Spring Return Kit, designed by Skip to better mount the cables and a double spring for safety... something he is very passionate about. Later followed brackets for Kickdowns, then U-Cut-to-Fit Throttle Cables, and later Transmission and Engine Dipsticks.
It was in 1988 that a trip to the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, KY, found Skip and Debbie in pickup truck with a camper-shell, driving across country. They would drive through the day and build throttle cable assemblies at night in the hotel room, just trying to make sure “everything” was ready for the big show that would change everything for Lokar and the lives of Skip, Debbie, and their family. It was after the show, taking their time driving home, when they realized that they wanted to move to the southeast.
By 1989, Debbie had left her job as a legal secretary and committed herself full-time to Lokar. That same year, while visiting East Tennessee, Skip and Debbie, determined that Knoxville, Tennessee was their future home. The company wasn’t ready to move until late 1992, when the Walls family and Lokar had finally relocated. Going from just 1900 sq. ft. in Walnut, CA to a 6000 sq. ft. facility in Tennessee didn’t last long, as expansion happened just 3 years later as the company grew. After two more expansions, the facility was nearly 20,000 sq. ft. in 2000. The company began to reach outside the industry of hotrods, producing products for the performance aftermarket vehicles, muscle cars, and drag racing. With growth never waning, Lokar completed building their 52,000 sq. ft. facility in 2014 and moved the overly compacted facility down the road, yet still in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Lokar will continue to provide quality products, made in the U.S.A., backed with a Lifetime Warranty and unmatched customer service.