The first thing you notice at Hooks Headers is the mailbox. Really, the mailbox. It is the neatest mailbox on the block!

The next thing you notice is that every car in the front lot is shiny, spotless, waxed and buffed.

Kooks has been in Statesville for three years, relocating from New York. The shop is 50,000 square feet, and houses 50 employees, who are on mandatory overtime. Business is good.

The header and exhaust business – what Chris Clark calls “bending pipe” – is going so well that Kooks wants to branch out into other industries that use bendable pipe.  Could be warehouse ladders, could be military.

The inventory is all computerized, and each project is updated electronically as it progresses through the shop.  In the custom area, folks who love their cars can bring them for special exhaust systems. There was a Camaro on a lift getting a new exhaust system (all customer’s cars are covered while being fitted) that had a $100,000 price tag.  At least.

Oh, and those cars in the front lot? Keeping them clean is mandatory too.

Corinne Economaki