EFFINGHAM, IL - One young man's infatuation with the Corvette started it all. What he created from his passion for "America's Sports Car" in 1974 has grown into not only an astonishing business story, but a lasting legacy to legions of car lovers worldwide.
Dedicated car enthusiasts dream about turning their automotive passion into a profitable business. Mike Yager lives the dream.
His company, Mid America Motorworks, Inc., has been a labor of love since 1974, when he started the business with a $500 loan and a collection of Corvette parts and accessories he sold from the trunk of a borrowed car. Today, Yager, refuses to use titles like "president" or "founder." His title is "Chief Cheerleader" because he believes his primary responsibility is to lead and motivate his employees who have enabled Mid America Motorworks to grow and become so successful.
"Our company slogan is 'Pursue your passion here' and 'here' can be the pages of our catalog, our website, or, coming to Mid America Motorworks to enjoy your car," said Yager.
"We're always learning about our customer's needs, which constantly change," he says. "At Mid America we take personal pride in the products we create and stand behind them with an iron-clad guarantee. We analyze the marketplace and constantly research trends. The key ingredient to the successful expansion of our business is never losing sight of customer satisfaction."
"We never look at our bottom line," says Yager. "We focus on our customer. The key to our success is built upon a simple principle: treat people fairly. Dealing honestly and personably with each customer as an individual, not only makes good business sense but allows a greater sense of community and overall satisfaction with life. If we treat each customer right, we're going to make money."
Mid America Motorworks
Today the multi-million dollar enterprise is dedicated to the automotive enthusiasts. Through full-color mail order catalogs and the Internet, it offers thousands of parts and accessories for Corvettes and Air-Cooled Volkswagens. Still solely owned by Yager, the company now employs more than 150 people, manufactures a growing line of its own quality house products under the Performance Choice® brand name, and fills thousands of square feet of office, distribution, warehouse, manufacturing, and retail showroom space at its expansive corporate campus in Effingham, Illinois.
Customers can order from Mid America Motorworks by calling 866-350-4540.
Mid America Motorworks, with a customer base of nearly 1 million Corvette enthusiasts, is the world's largest supplier of Corvette parts and accessories. The company's catalog includes parts, accessories, and lifestyle products for all Corvettes from the 1953 to the new C6. Mid America Motorworks has been providing the Corvette community with quality parts and service since 1974. Despite its size and success, sales and profits are never the primary goal of Mid America Motorworks.
In 1998, Mid America Motorworks branched out from its Corvette base by adding a product line for Air-Cooled Volkswagens. Mid America Motorworks now provides quality parts and accessories for the 1950-1979 Air-Cooled VW Beetle, Karmann Ghia, Type 3, and Air-Cooled VW Bus models.
"We knew that there was a resurgence of enthusiasm for Volkswagen when it introduced its New Beetle, and that owners of older Air-Cooled VWs would start modifying and upgrading their cars," says Yager. "The result is a line of parts that fits the needs of these owners, competitively priced and all in one user-friendly catalog."
In 1995, to ensure customer satisfaction, Mid America Motorworks developed its own, in-house brand of high quality products to compete with trademarked products. Under its Performance Choice brand, Mid America Motorworks manufactures a wide range of merchandise, including a thriving automotive interior products operation.
"Vertical integration, with Performance Choice as our manufacturing operation, enables us to improve quality control and better manage our inventory. Those are the keys to continually improving our high level of Customer Care and taking our business to the next level," said Yager.
Click Here to View the Performance Choice Website
MY Garage Museum & Retail Store
Passing through Illinois? It's now more exciting than ever to visit MY Garage Museum & Retail Store. Mid America Motorworks has combined MY Garage Museum and our Retail Store, to create a place where our catalog comes to life! Now all under one roof, you can purchase any product available in our catalog, while viewing our dynamic collection of unique and historically significant Corvettes and Volkswagens.
Not sure what to buy? Need some advice on your restoration project? Our experienced Sales Staff is here and ready to assist you with any questions you might have. Can't take your parts with you? No problem- we are happy to ship anything to your home or business.
MY Garage Museum & Retail Store is located on our headquarters campus in Effingham, IL. We are conveniently nestled at the merger of Interstates 57 and 70. Take Exit 162 off Interstate 57, head north on to IL Route 45. We are located one mile down the highway. When you see our Drive-in Movie Sign, make a right turn, and another right toward MY Garage. Contact us at 866-350-4543 if you have any questions or problems. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Another of Mid America's impressive projects is its annual Funfest events. Begun in 1994 as a Corvette customer appreciation day, the celebrations are staged at the company's Effingham World Headquarters and have grown steadily each year. In 2008, Corvette Funfest set an attendance record with more than 15,000 Corvettes and over 45,000 enthusiasts taking part in the festivities. Corvette Funfest has become so popular, it was expanded to a three-day event.
Funfest for Air-Cooled VWs, which began in 1999, had an estimated 8,000 enthusiasts and 1,300 Air-Cooled VWs on display in 2008.
In 2004, Mid America Motorworks brought back an old time enthusiast tradition that seemed to have fallen by the way side an old fashioned swap meet for car enthusiasts. Two Swapfests are held each year, one on the first Saturday in May and one on the 2nd Saturday in October. Commercial exhibiters are not permitted at Swapfest. Only car enthusiasts and car clubs are allowed to display and sell products. All automotive brands are welcome.
Swapfest has become more than a successful event. It is a "must attend" day for enthusiasts to enjoy the fun of walking the displays, talking to other enthusiasts, and hunting for the perfect bargain or that hard to find part needed to complete a project car.