Presented by Centric Parts and its StopTech performance and racing division

October 28, 2014

Centric Parts Employee Spotlight: Gregg Murphy

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. We’ve all heard that expression before, but when it comes to discarded brake parts, who could possibly see them as treasure? Gregg Murphy can, that’s who. Gregg is one of our Centric employees who works at the Hebron, Kentucky Qualis Automotive facility in Quality Assurance. While most people would see these items as scrap metal, he sees the occasional rejected item and thinks, “That would make a terrific planter!” So rather than scrapping these rejected parts, Gregg started making treasures out of the trash soon after he joined the company in 2004.

As you can see in the photos, he’s been busy – making planters, bookends, clocks, and door stops out of brake drums and rotors among other things. His art has gained quite a following and has even attracted attention from a well-known car guy – Mr. Jay Leno. Gregg sent him a set of rotor bookends a while back and was repaid with an invitation to visit Jay’s garage.

For those who don’t know, Jay’s “garage” is a very well-known but very difficult to get into cluster of warehouses near the Burbank airport. In these massive anonymous buildings Jay keeps and maintains a fleet of over 200 vehicles. They are some of the rarest and most sought-after cars in the world and for any car-lover it is a truly special privilege to be able to see them in person. And now thanks to Gregg, future visitors to the garage will not only see a bunch of legendary automobiles, but they will also get to see the rare and beautiful Qualis bookends that Gregg made for Jay right there among the Porsches, Ferraris, Bugattis and McLarens. And we hear that those bookends will soon be joined by a set of Gregg’s planters too.

But Gregg’s artistic talents are not limited to just discarded brake parts. He also works in paper and plastic from time to time. In fact, Gregg’s latest creation is a set of semi-truck PEZ dispensers with our corporate logos on them. Because you can’t just go out and buy a set of trucks with our logos on them, Gregg purchased several with Ace Hardware logos on them and got to work. He was able to remove the old logos and replace them with our logos before carefully returning the trucks to their boxes and sealing them back up. The result is a set of Centric Parts and Qualis PEZ dispensers that look like they were purchased that way. They’re also a good match for Gregg’s previous truck project, a scale model tractor and triple trailer.

“I’m working on my next project for display here in the QA Lab,” added Gregg, “but it’s a couple months away from completion. When I complete it I’ll send you photos.”

Well done. Gregg! It’s always fun to shine a spotlight on hidden talents within our Centric Parts family. Keep up the great work and let us know when your next creation is ready. In the meantime, we’ll be looking at our trash a lot differently from now on.

October 23, 2014

Look for Pink Calipers to Support Brakes for Breasts in October

Centric Parts Sales Rep, Shane Brown, came to us with a rather unusual request a few weeks ago. He wanted a dozen brake calipers… painted pink. While we were tickled pink to help him out, we just had to know the whole story behind the request. It turns out it’s a great story about an even better cause.

Shane ordered the pink calipers to help support Brakes for Breasts, a movement that has been supporting The Cleveland Clinic Breast CancerVaccine Research Fund since 2011. Dr. Vincent Touhy and his team of researchers at The Cleveland Clinic have successfully tested a breast cancer prevention vaccine in their lab and are working to move the testing to human trials soon. They hope that the vaccine will “Put the brakes on breast cancer.” And it’s easy for all of us to help.

All October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, participating auto repair shops are offering free brake pads during every brake service, with customers only paying for the labor and associated parts. It’s a pretty good deal for customers but also for the Clinic, because 10% of those brake service fees go straight to Dr. Touhy and his team.

To help promote the program, Shane is holding clinics at several Centric customers in his region and loaning out the pink calipers to display at 7 different locations. But the promotion isn't limited to just a few shops in that area. There are hundreds of shops and stores participating in the program across the country. And just like almost everything else…there’s an app for that. Just search for Brakes for Breasts in the AppleApp Store or on GooglePlay and you’ll find the free app. It will give you some background information on the program and how to donate, plus a directory of participating shops and stores in 28 states.

With Winter approaching, it’s probably a good time to have your brakes checked, and Brakes for Breasts makes it an even better proposition in October, so get out there and help support this great cause.