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Where It Started—CJ Pony Parts

Posted By: Evan J. Smith

Where It StartedCJ Pony Parts


Written by Ainsley Jacobs

Photography courtesy of CJ Pony Parts


Nearly 40 years ago two friends tried their luck by going into business together to sell performance pieces for first-generation Ford Mustangs. Today their company CJ Pony Parts expanded into a comprehensive parts supplier with multiple locations stocking a massive catalog of components.


In high school, Jay [Zeigler] had a 1968 Mustang that he was trying to fix up so he could have something cool to drive and pick up girls and whatnot,” laughed Bill Tumas, CJs official Brad Ambassador for nearly two decades and star of the brands YouTube channel. Together with his friend, Creed Stammel, Zeigler began restoring the pony car but the only things available at the time were either junkyard relics or parts cars. He bought a bunch, but had pieces left over, so they went up to the Ford Carlisle Nationals swap meet and here we are!”


The men made their company official in 1985 and used their combined initials, CJ, as the base of the CJ Pony Parts moniker. They made their first dollar selling Mustang parts and many more quickly followed. They bought more and more cars and set up shop in Creeds fathers barn in Pennsylvania,” Tumas explained of the unconventional location.


Surrounded by cows and chickens, the Mustangs — albeit a different kind of pony from what the structure typically housed — were right at home in the stable. A sign went up outside to advertise the business, and the men operated out of the family farm for years.


Growth ultimately necessitated CJ Pony Parts be relocated several times, and a property in the heart of Allentown was purchased. In 1999 construction began on a 25,000-square-foot space with a warehouse out back and a showroom up front. There was a salvage yard and a shop, too,” noted Tumas. We outgrew that by 2008 and built another 50,000-square-foot building on the same property next door, and both are still being used. We have about 150 employees right now.”


Thanks to the growing classic-car market and increasing interest in vintage Mustang parts and accessories, CJ opened an additional warehouse location in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2017. Its a hair under 100,000 square feet and we expanded to the West Coast specifically so that we can ship to anywhere in the country within two days,” Tumas shared.


In 2010, however, Stammel was looking to retire so Zeigler bought out his portion of the company and became the sole owner. Then, in 2021, CJ Pony Parts sold to a private equity firm, Century Park Capital Partners, for a recapitalization of the organization while Ziegler did remain involved with the overall operations.


Today, CJ Pony Parts is still going strong and still staying true to its founders’ original vision: supporting the love of the automotive restoration and performance hobby. Customer service remains a core value of that vision, and the CJPP staff is committed to ensuring customers receive quality parts at fair prices.


CJs customer service initiatives extend well outside of the office, as the enthusiast-based group’s employees regularly attend the same races, shows, and events as their customers. Were part of the Mustang community, and were stepping up to support the truck community, too,” added Tumas, who helped bring CJ Pony Parts on board as the new NMRA Truck & Lightning class sponsor for 2023 after the idea was suggested by longtime class competitor and CJPP-sponsored racer, Bob Cochran.


With approximately 70,000 different parts available through CJPPs catalog, their largest market classic Mustangs, of course. However, CJPPs classic truck, modern Ford Bronco, and off-road markets are all rapidly developing. Additionally, CJPP has also developed several of its private-label brands, such as CJ Classics, to offer everything from previously discontinued components to customized wheels, body panels, and more.


Whether its a Cobra Jet CJ” a Jeep CJ,” or a wide variety of vehicles in between, CJ Pony Parts has a plethora of parts and pieces to help restore, revive, and refresh classic or late-odel rides. 

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