From the time Joe Saitta Jr. bought his first Mustang, at age 16, he was hooked. The vehicle became his passion and inspiration for his future career.
“I loved working on that car,” he recalled.
In the process of restoring the same 1967 coupe, Saitta Jr. found ways to get rid of the extra used parts.
“I started selling parts out of my home around 1985,” he added.
A year later Saitta Jr. opened his first store. He bought what he described as a “little, bitty building.” It measured only about 2,000 square feet, but served as the foundation for something far bigger.
Now, with an 18,00-square-foot warehouse, Mustang Plus Enterprises, LLC is a family-owned enterprise where Saitta Jr. is joined by his father, Joe Saitta Sr. The business (MustangRestoParts.com), located in Kansas City, Mo., specializes in muscle cars, and has more than 10,000 items in stock.
“When I first started out, I carried only Mustang parts,” said Saitta Jr. “But over the years I expanded to meet the needs of my customers. Especially [during] the last five to six years, I’ve tried stocking many different types of items - such as fiberglass body parts - to stay competitive.”
Both Old And New
Some items available at Mustang Plus Enterprises include sheet metal, upholstery carpets, and a complete line of aftermarket chrome, wheels and tires. The business is a vendor for more than 50 companies, and most products carry 30-day warranties.
“The market has [grown] from where we used to sell used parts because they weren’t available new,” Saitta Jr. said. “Now you can buy a brand new part that is a reproduction of the old part. We sell all the components, the trick stuff, to turn your older car into a newer one.”
Saitta Jr. also noted he stocks an “Eleanor” kit, inspired by the movie, “Gone in Sixty Seconds.” The kit is used to upgrade a Mustang to a classic style.
“I spent over two years on research and development of this product,” he said. “I’ve tooled and retooled items to make sure they have the proper fit.”
Saitta Jr. advertises in the yellow pages and on his web site. He also donates to car clubs and sponsors two cruise nights in Kansas City to help spread the word about his business.
“There are lots of places where people can buy the same product,” he acknowledges. “I think having the product already on the shelves is a huge advantage. We also go the extra mile in customer service. I tell my customers I appreciate them coming in.”
The majority of Mustang Plus Enterprises’ customers are of the retail variety. They primarily come from Missouri and its surrounding states - Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Saitta Jr. said he handles a lot of business over the phone, and sees a substantial amount of walk-in traffic as well.
“We’ve become a destination for Mustang collectors and fans,” he explained “A lot of guys will come in to visit while they’re in town on business, or on vacation. We get people from as far away as Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and Germany to look around and chat about Mustang.”
Saitta Jr. said he sold the first classic convertible he restored, but his love for Mustang remains. He now owns a 1965 Fastback, 2005 GT and two Cobra convertibles.
“I love cars; coming to work and talking to people about [them],” he said. “Anytime you can do something you love; do it. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Owners: Joe Saitta Jr.
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Years In Business: 24