ABOUT US | History | Parts | Inventory
OUR MISSION: "The Parts You Need, When You Need Them! "
We are committed to delivering knowledgeable, friendly, and professional customer service, and to providing our customers with quality parts at a fair price!
FACTORY WAREHOUSE DISTRIBUTION:
We are proud to be the Southern California factory warehouse for ACL, Ajusa, Durabond, Exedy, Hastings, King Bearing, Microsleeve, PCI, Safety Auto Parts, SBI, US Tool, UEM and VSA.
ENGINE PARTS INVENTORY:
To complement our factory lines, we stock products from over 80 suppliers of internal engine parts, performance parts, and shop supplies to service our customers, fulfilling stock orders to WDs, PERs, and Jobbers as well as master kits built-to-order for the engine rebuilders.
OUR COMPANY HISTORY:
1952 - 1976
Our story begins with our founder Don Gross, who repaired and rebuilt airplane engines during WWII. After the war, Don began his career in the automotive aftermarket when, in 1952, he acquired a sales position with Vellumoid Gaskets of Worcester, MA to call on parts distributors and engine rebuilders in 11 western states. His ability to build and bridge customer trust into mutually productive relationships and sales growth led to new opportunities. In 1966 he begin also representing Timing Gear Corp (Cylent Timing), and in 1968, partnered with Roger Klump to form Sterling Sales, representing Sterling Bearings, Sterling Pistons, and RMC valves. After several successful years Roger moved on to Martin Wells while Don went on to found Don Gross Sales. Don knew that good customer service meant bringing brick-and-mortar store availability to Los Angeles, so in 1973 Don and his family bought Steven Motor Parts on Olympic Blvd., and his wife Eleanor and his son Dan joined him in business to handle the purchasing, bookkeeping, and working the parts store counter.
As Don built relationships within the local engine rebuilding community, his dedication and loyalty gained the confidence of parts of the community and manufacturers alike. A relationship pivotal to our foundation formed when Don began to represent U.S. Tool in 1973. Another key opportunity came in 1974 when Don took on the Ertel’s Nylen brand. Starting with just under $4,000 per month in sales, the brand was virtually unknown, but Don grew the line rapidly. Within six years Don Gross Sales had garnered enough rebuilder support to total over 1 million in annual sales for Nylen Products alone. In 1976 the Ertels and the Grosses agreed a local factory warehouse would be instrumental to customer service and growth, but Steven Motor Parts had run out of shelf space. To make room for the future, the company bought a warehouse space and Eleanor ran this new factory warehouse operation, Don Gross Warehouse, while Dan continued to work the parts store until it sold and he could join Eleanor at the new location.
Eleanor would soon make industry history as the first woman ever to be honored with the Ertel’s “Warehouseman of the Year” award, prompting an award title change, which the Ertel’s were pleased arrange. Cylent Timing and US Tool quickly joined forces with Don Gross Warehouse, stepping up our local inventory, and began to put our factory warehouse on a path which would expand to meet the full range of product needs for our WD, PER, Jobber, and Engine Rebuilder customers.
In 1980 Don found a sales apprentice in Oscar Scott, and together with Dan, Eleanor, and the engine parts community which gave them their trust, worked to make Don Gross Warehouse the largest warehouse distributor in Southern California; for the lines they represented, the largest single location in the country.
Don Gross Warehouse opened a second location in San Diego in 1982 and we named our combined operations “Piston Engine Parts, Inc.”. Business was strong, but our sales department was complaining about the sparse order fill with Cylent Timing. Don and Dan started a search for a line that could fill our customer’s orders, eventually contacting Dynagear, an as-yet unknown manufacturer supplying brands who were repackaging their product. Don proposed to do with the Dynagear brand what he had done in Los Angeles for the Nylen brand, and was given the opportunity to become their first sales agency, covering California, Arizona, and Nevada as well as Baja, Mexico. The relationship was a great mutual success, and together we quickly grew Dynagear into the largest brand of timing products in the Western United States.
In 1984, Don Gross Warehouse developed a key factory warehouse and sales agency relationship with Safety Auto Parts, a manufacturer of OE import parts for the aftermarket, bringing our range of offerings to a full line of aftermarket hard parts and shop supplies for domestic and import vehicles, and able to service the area same-day; fulfilling stock orders as well as master kits built-to-order.
In 1996 Don’s granddaughter Tiffany joined the company, putting away stock and pulling orders, learning warehouse management from Dan and Eleanor, and customer service philosophy from Don and Oscar. Slowly, Don and Eleanor began to retire. The years that followed would bring new challenges and focused team work as massive industry changes, mergers, and investment company buyouts which would put the automotive aftermarket in a constant state of flux which many businesses across the spectrum did not survive.
To meet the challenges we continued building new industry relationships, focused on exhaustive market analysis, upgraded our technology, doubled-down on our service-oriented approach, and continued to hire quality people from other industry companies, several of whom have worked in machine shops, all ready to help with technical issues, assist with parts lookup, and provide customer support. We believe the professionalism and experience our employees are a big part of what has allowed us to become and remain successful. Many of our employees have now been part of our team for more than 20 years.
Our customers can count on us. It is our founding focus on customer service which drives our knowledgeable, dedicated team of people and our impressive inventory of parts, providing our customers with trusted and premiere brands as well as the option of one-stop shopping. We aim to fill orders from our brick-and-mortar inventory in order to save our customers from needing to search far and wide to get what they need to complete their jobs quickly.
In 1998 we became a member of Engine Parts Group, a nationwide cooperative of independent distributors. The Engine Parts Group co-op ushered in an expansion of new line offerings, enabling our customers to choose their preferred brands, and expanding our ability to source hard-to-find parts as a nationwide network.
We printed our first engine kit catalog in 1988. By 2000 a major effort to streamline our extensive inventory into an updated engine-kit program was underway. We are able to do what many of our competitors do not - we offer our customers engine kits that are both competitively priced and completely flexible to include the brands they prefer.
In 2003, Piston Engine Parts decided to expand its reach into the performance market by adding new performance lines to complete and complement the performance offerings we had been selling in Hastings, SBI, and ACL. To meet this demand, Piston Engine Parts now carries a full range of performance internal engine parts as well as electronics, distributors, ignition, carburetors, manifolds, harmonic balancers, flexplates, clutches, and hardware kits. Among the performance lines we feature are ARP, Comp Cams, Dart, Engine Pro, Total Seal, JE Pistons, Mahle Motorsports, Speed Pro, Keith Black, Ferrea, Scat, Professional Products, ProComp, Holley and MSD.
Today our company operates out of a 26,000 square foot warehouse in Los Angeles, an 12,000 square foot warehouse in San Diego, and a 9,000 square foot warehouse in Riverside. We feature lines such as Hastings rings, SBI valvetrain, King bearings, Engine Pro timing and camshafts, Melling oil pumps, Silvolite and Sealed Power pistons, and full-line import and late model domestic applications from Safety Auto Parts.
In 2017 we are making our extensive parts and kits catalog available exclusively to our customers online, with user-friendly lookup and ordering capabilities and fully updated to include add-ons, upgrades, complete performance engine and rotating assembly kits, performance diesel kits, industrial kits, and parts for all the latest model applications.
We at Don Gross Sales and Warehouse continue to pursue new market niches, including heavy duty performance. Our company’s vision is to constantly seek improvement and to be ahead of the curve as we strive to support the businesses which fix the cars that the people love and drive. Our goal in everything we do is to help our customers grow and remain strong.