Meet The Man Behind It All : Chip Lofton
How it all started
Strutmasters was founded by Chip Lofton in 1999. Since then, dozens of dealerships, parts and service chains nationwide, and tens of thousands of individual drivers like you have installed our kits. Well known companies that have purchased and used our product are: Midas, Meineke, Monroe, Ford, Walker Auto Stores, Kirks Management Co., and we have even done a conversion kit for the C.I.A.!
After leaving a successful career in the corporate world, Strutmasters’ founder, Chip Lofton, purchased a 55 acre goat dairy farm. His farm was soon the largest gourmet cheese operation in North Carolina. This renaissance background eventually led Chip to success in the suspension kits market. Strutmasters was born to fill a need providing affordable alternatives to air suspension repairs.
The word spread to other people facing the same suspension system problems. The calls kept coming in.
The Lincoln That Started It All!
In 1999, Chip purchased a 1989 Lincoln Continental. It was a beautiful car but shortly after his purchase, the car required several costly repairs.
While on vacation, the car’s suspension system failed. Determined to find a way to repair his beloved Lincoln, Chip called salvage yards looking for used air struts without any luck. To his surprise, Chip found a wrecked Lincoln with a regular set of struts on it. After figuring out where to drill holes in the body and make adjustments to the height, he was up and running. The conversion was complete.
The Word Soon Spread About Suspension System Solutions
The word spread to other people facing the same suspension system problems. The calls kept coming in. Chip started listing the parts on Ebay. After great success on Ebay, Chip decided it was time for a website. Next the website was expanded to include a few pictures. In just a few months, there were over 90,000 hits.
From The Barn To Strutmasters’ New 75,000 Square Foot Building!
By the end of the first year, the business had grown. The 1,500 square foot goat barn was not large enough. Chip found a 15,000 square foot building in town. After adding other automobile models to the line, the business doubled. Another move brought the business to an old 220,000 square foot textile mill. Soon, Strutmasters had become a household name in the world of suspension and had begun it’s career in auto racing. Once again Strutmasters moved to an even larger (556,000 sq ft) building so that we could run the race team in-house. When Matt Lofton (Chip’s son) grew out of the race shop we had in house, Strutmasters began looking for something a bit more modern, finally deciding on a new 75,000 sq ft building with state of the art facilities. Strutmasters has now taken it a step further and added an automotive repair shop with all the newest and best tools and equipment. Strutmasters is currently run by Chip’s son, Matthew and continues to put the customer’s interests first.
In just a few months, there were over 90,000 hits.