HOW IT ALL STARTED by Tom Long, GMP President
It was 1991 and I was working as a manufacturer鈥檚 rep selling industrial fasteners and assembly equipment. My real interest has always been car related, especially racing. Of course, living in the South this meant stock car racing sprinkled with unlimited Saturday night short track action.
As NASCAR was exploding, so was the beginning of related collectibles including die cast. A good friend, Brian Thomas started Unique Designs Collectibles handling the die cast Matchbox, Revell, and other related merchandise. Sales were brisk. We noticed that the drivers of the Busch Series where not very well represented so I made a trip to Charlotte and started knocking on doors.
Before I knew it, I had a handful of agreements signed by teams to make 1:64 scale replicas of their transporters. I then made a deal with The Ertl Company to supply these models. Unfortunately it was later rescinded due to a conflict with another customer.
So there I was with good license and no supplier when I became acquainted with Mr. Stan Gill of RCI fame. Stan told me about a new mold they were opening and wanted to supply our new company, Peachstate Motorsports. This was early in 1992. In October of that year our first shipment of the Harry Gant/Mac Tools transporter replicas arrived.
Thanks to the good Lord, my wife Barbara, and many friends and collectors, this first release of 10,000 pieces sold out. As RCI/RCCA became Action Performance Companies, Peachstate decided to open our own molds in China thanks to the help of a great friend, Dick Nelson. Soon, we opened other molds like the 1:18 winged sprint and the vintage dirt car series. Then came the muscle cars like the Buick, Nova, and Pontiac. We now have three factories producing models from over forty different families of molds, some models with close to four hundred parts.
In December of 1992, we started Georgia Marketing & Promotions as a wholesale division. My brother Mark came on board and did a great job of establishing a dealer network that is still the core of our wholesale business today. Peachstate has since blended into Georgia Marketing & Promotions so we are now known simply as GMP.
We are still a small company of only nine dedicated employees (who are really more like family members) operating out of about 13,000 square feet in Winder, Georgia. Winder is about fifty miles north and east of downtown Atlanta. We are close to Road Atlanta, Lanier Raceway, and Atlanta International Raceway in Commerce.
We are constantly expanding our lines based on collector feedback. Our philosophy has always been to listen to the collector and do whatever it takes to make them happy. The best product in the world will sell for a little while, but true success comes from satisfied customers. Our plan for the future is to continue making collectors happy.