His nickname comes from a character in the legendary comic strip Gasoline Alley, but the incoming chairman of the Specialty Equipment Market Association is serious about his business and goals for the trade group representing aftermarket parts makers.
It was Joseph Corky Cokers love for vintage cars that started him down the road toward the leadership of SEMA. Coker, 49, was a founder of the Automotive Restoration Market Organization a council within
SEMA that promotes restoring vintage autos and fights efforts at getting them off the road via scrappage programs. Vintage cars are at the heart of Cokers day job as president of Coker Tire Co. of Chattanooga, Tenn. The 45-year-old business distributes vintage tire designs from B.F. Goodrich, Firestone, US Royal and Michelin.
Coker, who began his two-year term as chairman of the 5,000-member trade group in July, was interviewed by Senior Writer Dale Jewett.