Lowell, MI – A 44-year-old slot car manufacturer in West Michigan is changing hands.
Dan and Cheryl DeBella decided to sell Lowell-based Pro Slot, Ltd. and retire.
Purchasing the company from the DeBellas is another West Michigan couple, John and Angela Miller of Hartford.
"I've been a slot car fan and enthusiast for most of my life," John Miller said. "Turning my hobby into a profession for me and my wife is a dream come true."
But exactly what is a slot car, you may ask.
The hobby of slot car racing centers around powered miniature model cars, guided around a track by a "slot" that also provides the charge necessary to power the cars' electric motors.
The Lowell company, which will soon relocate its operations about 90 miles southwest to Hartford, manufacturers parts that power the hobby, including armatures, chassis, and motor parts. Those parts are sold across the country and around the world.
There are three employees in addition to the new owners.
The Millers have retained 20-year employees Joe and Roger Chiechi, credited by the owners for playing an "integral role" in the manufacturing process and company's success in general. The DeBellas also plan to mentor the new owners throughout the transition period.
"We are pleased that Pro Slot will be in great hands," Dan DeBella said. "It is comforting knowing our business will continue to be run by people as enthusiastic about slot cars as Cheryl and I."
Miller said they are committed to maintaining the same principles and manufacturing practices seen under the former owners.
"We want to assure our distributors that Pro Slot products will have the same superior quality they have come to expect," he said.