POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2013) - Gus Camacho immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the early 1960s with about $40 in his pocket.
What wasn't visible when he crossed the border were the dreams he carried for his future family.
Those dreams can be seen today at four locations of Camacho Auto Sales in Southern California's Antelope Valley where his sons Gustavo, Cesar and Joe have run since the family patriarch retired in 1996.
Gustavo "Gus" Camacho, 40, the president and chief executive of the 33-year-old family business, has been at the helm since graduating with a business degree from Pepperdine University. He began working with his father when he was 5.
"Right after I graduated my dad took a one-month vacation, then the next one was for two months," he said. "I guess that's how my dad let me know I was taking over."
Camacho Auto Sales is the largest independent dealer of used cars in the Antelope Valley and ranks among the top 10 percent of independent dealerships in the country, Camacho said.
Already a successful business, Gus and his brothers continue to take it to higher levels but remain committed to selling quality, pre-owned vehicles that undergo a 101-point inspection.
And to ensure vehicles leaving their lots are of the highest quality, Camacho Auto Sales relies almost exclusively on NAPA AUTO PARTS. That's how Camacho can offer a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty and certify all vehicles that leave his lots.
"We need our vehicles to be high quality, and we take pride in our vehicles and use NAPA parts not just because of the quality of the parts but for the great service they offer and quick delivery.
"Getting parts fast is important because we have a three-day turnaround on conditioning our cars."
Camacho is one of NAPA's largest customers in the Los Angeles district and its loyalty and professionalism led to Gus being selected as the NAPA Honorary Crew Member for NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capp's NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T during Sunday's championship eliminations of the NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.
Gus, Cesar and friends were guests in NAPA's Club Nitro chalet adjacent to Don Schumacher Racing's pit area where they were within a few feet of the 320-mph Funny Car Capps drove to the championship round of the Winternationals.
The name "Gustavo "Gus" Camacho" adorned the sides of Capps' Dodge Charger R/T racecar. He also received a NAPA AUTO PARTS crew shirt, spent time with Capps and was able to ride along with the crew to retrieve Capps after his first-round victory.
"This is my second NHRA race and it's a great time," Camacho said. "I love speed, but never drag raced. I started to off-road race with my friend Ty Godde and we're going to race in this year's SCORE Baja 250, 500 and 1,000.
Camacho also has driven stock cars in the Richard Petty Driving Experience and took a ride with Mario Andretti in a special two-seat IndyCar.
His appreciation for speed and quality are reasons in why he is so loyal to NAPA AUTO PARTS.
Prince Baggett, NAPA's Los Angeles District Sales Manager, assigned Raul Flores to service Camacho.
"We want Raul out there to be with our customers, and he has built great relationships with people like Gus," Baggett said of Flores, who is this year's NAPA AUTO PARTS National Outside Salesperson of the Year.
"Raul spends a lot of time with Camacho," he said. "We have a family business and working with NAPA is like working with another family business. We have an incredible relationship.
"They take really good care of us."