The History of CJ Pony Parts
CJ Pony Parts is one of the oldest Mustang parts retailers in the world. Founded in 1985 by two friends who wanted to expand on their automotive hobby, CJ's has remained dedicated to helping enthusiasts find quality parts for their Ford Mustangs and other performance and collector vehicles.
Over the years, CJ's has grown from a small operation in a barn to a 100+ employee company. Take a walk down memory lane with us as we relive some of CJ's biggest milestones.
1984 - The Start of a Dream
- On April 1st, 1984, Jay Zeigler purchases a $400 1968 coupe. With help from family and friends, they restore the car and the dream begins…
1985 - CJ Pony Parts Is Born
- While restoring a 1967 and 1968 coupe, Jay and Creed realize there's a high demand for early model Mustang parts in Central PA. CJ Pony Parts is founded in Harrisburg, PA in a 10’ x 10’ barn space.
1989 - Go Big or Go Home
- Jay and Creed quit their full-time jobs and purchase a brand new F-250 and a 30-foot enclosed trailer to take the show on the road. CJ's visits 26 car shows along the East Coast to promote the new business.
1992 - We Need New Space
- CJ Pony Parts moves to a 1,000 square foot location in Mechanicsburg, PA, and the first full-time employee joins CJ's.
1996 - Time to Grow Again
- CJ Pony Parts moves to a large 5,000 square foot location in Harrisburg, PA, and the employee count grows to five.
1997 - Welcome to the Digital Age
- The CJPonyParts.com website is officially established.
1999 - The Big Move
- The company buys a Harrisburg, PA property at 7461 Allentown Blvd. and builds a 19,000 square foot office and warehouse facility. It houses a total of 6 employees and features a 4,000 square foot showroom and a restoration facility.
- CJ Pony Parts begins selling late model Mustang parts.
2000 - Time to Celebrate
- CJPonyParts.com receives its first online order! The website is now able to accommodate online ordering 24 hours a day.
- CJ Pony Parts begins to offer on-site car restorations in the new garage.
2001 - Thanking Our Customers
- CJ Pony Parts holds its first ever Customer Appreciation Day (CAD). This event is a way to say thanks by giving back to loyal customers. It includes a people’s choice car show, free giveaways, door prizes, and facility tours. A donation is also made to a local nonprofit organization to help children and families in need.
2007 - Continuing to Grow
- We build a new 44,000 square foot office and warehouse space on the neighboring property to accommodate our continued growth and expansion.
- We launch the CJ Pony Parts YouTube channel. CJ's becomes one of the first automotive parts companies to feature their own restoration and installation videos.
2013 - Industry Firsts
- CJPonyParts.com becomes one of the first responsive ecommerce websites on the internet.
- CJ Pony Parts’ YouTube channel hits 1 million views.
- We add Ford Focus ST/RS and Fiesta ST categories to the site.
2014 - Our SEMA Debut
- We build our first SEMA Show car, the Ford Mustang 50/30. The 1965 Mustang goes on display in TMI Products’ booth at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- We launch the Ford F-150 truck category on the website.
2015 - 30 Years and Counting
- CJ Pony Parts turns 30 years old!
- The main warehouse at the Harrisburg, PA facility gets a new, automated shipping line. It greatly increases the output of shipping and productivity.
- We launch the Ford Bronco category on the website.
2016 - CJ Off-Road Is Born
- We launch the CJ Off-Road brand to better serve truck and off-road enthusiasts.
- CJ's adds the Ford F-100 classic truck category to the site.
2017 - Hello, Las Vegas!
- A 100,000 square foot facility is built at 2730 N. Lamb Blvd. in Las Vegas, Nevada. It houses more office space and extra warehouse storage for automotive parts. More importantly, it opens up faster shipping to the West Coast.
- We add the Jeep Wrangler category for our CJ Off-Road brand.
2018 - Time for a Change
- CJ's buys an 1880’s farmhouse in Hummelstown, PA to accommodate the entire video department. It provides the extra garage and office space the department needs.
- CJ Pony Parts adds its 100,000th part to the website!
- We add the Chevy C10 classic truck category to the site.
2021 - Another First
- CJ's adds 3D product images to the website. This makes us one of the first automotive parts websites to have 3D and augmented reality capabilities.
1968 Mustang Coupe
Jay bought this Mustang for $400 as a fixer upper in 1984. Jay, along with his friend Creed, began tearing the Mustang apart and replacing everything they could afford at the time. This project, along with work they were doing on Creed's ’67 coupe, launched them into the local Mustang community. It was there they began to notice how big the demand was for Mustang parts in the Central Pennsylvania area.
1965 Mustang Fastback “Project 50/30”
Originally named the “Forgotten Fastback,” this Mustang began its life as the last “usable” body shell from Jay’s salvage yard. As CJ’s first SEMA build, the goal was to give it a completely modern engine, the latest technology, and a fully-custom, CJ Pony Parts-inspired look. This project included a brand new “Coyote” 5.0L V8 engine with a Vortech supercharger, some custom TMI interior products, and much more! CJ Pony Parts partnered with many vendors to make this build happen. Nearly every one of the products installed needed to be customized to fit properly. This project was possibly the biggest build the CJ’s team has tackled to date. The car’s final name, "Project 50/30," commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Mustang and the 30th anniversary of CJ Pony Parts.
1966 Mustang Shelby GT350 "Midnight Confession"
Sold to Jay in 2000, this Mustang was originally purchased in 1966 as a drag car with 19,000 miles on it. The original owner’s wife grew so tired of the time and money spent on the car that she set it on fire, thus ending its racing days. Eventually, it ended up at a local farm where it was used for target practice. Its new owner showed up at CJ’s looking for parts to restore the Shelby, but he ended up selling it to Jay instead. In the early 2000s, Carol Shelby signed the fender and the roof of the "Midnight Confession."