Go Back to All Blog posts

Block A Chip Celebrates 20 Years with XPEL as Ohio’s Most Experienced PPF Installer

20 Years in Business - with XPEL

The number 20 holds a lot of value in our society. It can mean the start of a good day when you find a 20 in an old pair of jeans or a pair of face cards at a blackjack table. More importantly, it's a testament to endurance, devotion, and dedication when celebrating 20 years of marriage. For Albert Helcberger, the number 20 represents a milestone of success in his business, Block A Chip (BAC).

Block A Chip Owner and founder Albert Helcberger started the business in 2003. Since then, we've seen four presidents and ten Fast and Furious movies come and go while Block A Chip continues to grow, with XPEL supporting them in every vehicle they service. It holds the title of the most experienced PPF installer in the great state of Ohio.

We reached out to Albert to ask how this journey got started as he celebrates 20 years in business with XPEL.

A Business Born Out of Necessity

Getting a new car is one of the best luxuries in modern life. Being engulfed in the smell of a new car, spotless upholstery, vibrant plastics, flawless gleaming paint, and a double-digit odometer. But, like a fresh haircut, it's challenging to maintain that level of pristine quality the minute you walk, or in this case drive, out into the world. Albert knew this when he acquired his 2003 Corvette C5 50th Anniversary Edition with his family at the National Corvette Museum. As any motoring enthusiast will tell you, it's not just a car. He had a personal desire to protect his LS-powered pride and joy.

Before owning the C5, Albert drove a C4 Corvette and had a terrible experience with a vinyl "bra" he installed to protect the front end. After a few weeks, he discovered that the protective vinyl cover had stained the paint underneath and was riddled with scratches. He did not want to repeat that mistake with his new Corvette, so he hunted for a better solution. The idea of a transparent film providing out-of-sight peace of mind protection sounded like the perfect solution.

In the early 2000s, the internet was a forum paradise. It was the year MySpace launched, and YouTube was still two years away. People were still saying "W-W-W" before a website's name. Information on PPF was shrouded in mystery and here-say. Some people saw it as a snake oil gimmick, while others saw it as covering your vehicle in the same plastic grandma used on her couch.

Finding quality information on paint protection film involved considerable forum snooping. Finding someone who could install the product was impossible, so it became a DIY project. After a substantial struggle, the PPF on his Corvette was on, crudely but functional. The product worked.

One of the First XPEL Certified PPF Installers in Ohio

The best businesses fulfill a need, which motivated Albert to create Block A Chip in 2003. In 2004, he signed up for XPEL's PPF training program at our headquarters, which, at the time, was a small office and workspace based in San Antonio, Texas. Albert was the only one in the class. Nevertheless, he learned the art of PPF application and returned to Ohio as a certified installer.

The early years of the business were mobile with Albert visiting clients at their homes to install PPF on specific areas like luggage racks or partial fronts. His marketing strategy involved taking the C5 Corvette to car shows and letting people see the product in person. Word of mouth spread like a grapevine, and it didn't take long for him to start receiving service calls with out of state area codes. He became known as the "Block a chip guy".

It was a side business that grew into a full-time operation. Now, BAC offers a variety of services like ceramic coating, paint correction, new dry Ice blast cleaning, race livery and paint wrap application, bolt-on roll cage installation, and aftermarket wheels and exhaust systems. But all of this started with XPEL Paint Protection Film.

Growing with XPEL

Block A Chip is in a unique position because it had the opportunity to grow alongside XPEL. In 2003, XPEL Inc. was still a relatively new company, starting in 1997, making BAC one of the first businesses to partner with XPEL as a certified dealer.

Growing side by side with XPEL allowed Albert to witness the leadership and product evolution over the years. "There's a real company behind the product," Albert said. The quality and predictability of the product instill confidence in dealers and shop owners like Albert when they say, "We use XPEL because it's the best product available."

Albert still owns the C5 Corvette and uses it to demonstrate the latest XPEL products at the shop. When asked if he had any advice for new upcoming shop owners, dealers, and installers, he said, "Develop a desire to make the customer happy. Because a happy customer is the best marketing tool you will have in any business." In addition to being prepared for the ups and downs of owning a business. You must get through the low points to enjoy the view at the high points.

Here's to Another 20 Years!

We want to congratulate Albert and Block A Chip on their 20 years in business. We sincerely appreciate his partnership and trust in the XPEL brand. We strive to uphold the qualities in our product and customer service to see through the next 20 years.