Long time muscle car parts retailer The Paddock has apparently closed its doors for good? The retailer closed April 30th and had been closed for well over a month. Vendors to the company have noted that things have been amiss for sometime, and that the company had been slow to pay. The Paddock had been supplying restoration parts and accessories since 1965 for Mustang, Camaro, Dodge Charger, Chevelle, MOPAR, Challenger, Ford trucks, and Chevrolet truck.
The following article appeared in the local Knightstown newspaper on Mat 2nd.
KNIGHTSTOWN – Rumors circulated Knightstown this week after a handwritten “closed” sign was placed on the door of The Paddock.
The muscle car part distribution center has been a Knightstown mainstay since 1965. This week, though, multiple Paddock employees said the business has closed.
Calls seeking confirmation to Paddock Owner Wes Watts’ listed home phone number were not answered.
On Thursday, a handwritten sign on the front door said “Sorry we are closed” but did not indicate a reason, or if the closure was permanent.
Inside the dark showroom, a long row of tables was covered in open boxes. The doors were locked, and the parking lot was deserted during normal business hours.
Two customers came to the door and were surprised to find it closed. One man said he’d stopped by the building around the same time in the past and it had always been open.
Phone calls to The Paddock went straight to what seemed to be the normal after-hours message.
County Councilman Mike Thalls said people who lived in the area of The Paddock told him the business had closed. But on Friday, he said, he was unable to reach a business official.
If the business is closed for good, though, it’s a surprise to Thalls. He said The Paddock was granted a $1.9 million tax abatement on its Ind. 109 building. It was a 10-year abatement, he said, with two years left.
Each year the business must file a compliance form saying it has the amount of employees it’s supposed to have. Thalls said The Paddock has been one of the first businesses to turn in its form each year.
If it’s closed the business is required to report to the council. That hadn’t happened as of Friday, Thalls said.
“As far as we knew there wasn’t anything bad going on,” he said. “Then all of the sudden, this happens.”
According to The Paddock’s website, the business started as a small shop where founder Jim O’Neil restored muscle cars. Eventually Mustang restoration parts became the focus, the website states.
The business was incorporated in 1979, and O’Neil started manufacturing steel patch panels. A small Mustang catalog was printed, followed by a Camaro catalog in 1980, according to the website.
The company grew by word of mouth, and finally outgrew the small facility. So it was moved to a larger location on Main Street.
O’Neil decided to pursue other interests in 1998, the website states, and Wes Watts, who started working for The Paddock in 1980, became the owner.
Finally it was moved to the current facility just outside of town on Ind. 109.
Amy Blackwell, president of the Knightstown Chamber of Commerce, said The Paddock sold automobile parts throughout the nation. It was known throughout the country, she said, and it was a hub of sorts for specialty car parts.
“It’s a great loss,” she said.