MoPar Restoration Shops - Central/Eastern US

Restoration

  1. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Super Genius

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    Moderators - sorry if this isn't the appropriate place for this post. Please move accordingly!

    I've spent time researching old and current posts regarding "best Mopar restoration shops" in the USA. Lots of opinions, experiences and advice in all those posts; which is great. Ultimately a person needs to make a choice on a shop. In my opinion, a person collects and gathers data from posts, opinions, comments and advice and then make a decision. Like hiring an employee - I think a person should interview restoration shops. Call them, visit them, talk about your project, your vision, goals, expectations, wants, needs, acceptable differences, etc. I live in Tennessee so I focused on compiling a list of restoration shops from Central US to the Eastern coast. This is my draft/notes that I'm asking for everyone's input to make sure it is as up-to-date as can be, so that I can post a Final List of Restoration Shops in Central/Eastern US. Also share your opinions, experiences, and advice so that others may learn. Thanks in advance for your input and help!

    Hodge Restorations

    RJ Cars, Inc.

    Muscle Car Restorations, Inc. (MCR)

    Jeff Lilly Restorations

    Precision Car Restoration

    Restorations by Julius

    Roger Gibson Auto Restorations (Tim Welborn’s guy) (Retiring / Closing)

    Kori Alexander (Show-N-Go Restorations)

    Frank Badalson

    Kohr’s Kustoms

    Legendary Motor Works

    Paul Jacobs

    Steve Been Hillsboro, MO

    Vance Cummins

    Aloha (Tommy White)

    Tommy White son’s opened a shop

    Aloha employees went to Perfection Autosport (Wisconsin)

    Rick Kreuzinger (RestoRick)

    Dickie Wolfe (West Virginia)

    CudaKen

    Paul Jacobs and Troy Angelley (PJs?) (T/A Restorations) Eldorado, IL.

    Ken Mosier / The Finer Details (Over-restorer?)

    SDJ MoPar Restoration Specialist

    Bob Villiger (Mountain Home, Arkansas)

    The R/T Garage

    USA East.png
     
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  2. 75LandYacht

    75LandYacht Yank Tank FCBO Gold Member

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    Appreciate your diligence sir. I too am in need of shop, so your list is a great start..
     
  3. polara71

    polara71 Old Man with a Hat

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    Is Totally Auto still around?
     
  4. tallzag

    tallzag Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Julius retired I believe.
     
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  5. bigmoparjeff

    bigmoparjeff Senior Member

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    Thankfully, for the customer's sake, they have closed down.

    The reason they closed is a somewhat sad one. The owner, Dave Ferro, got injured pretty bad in an accident while on the Hot Rod Power Tour, probably 10 years ago now.

    I'll elaborate more on why it's not bad that the shop closed up in a thread yet to be started.

    Jeff
     
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  6. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    Any ideas of who might take over/buy Roger Gibson's operation?

    Quality of the work is very important, BUT the hourly labor rate to get there, plus needed parts and potential fabrication/replacement of body panels is important too.

    Last year, before everything shut down, a car club I'm in toured a higher-end restoration shop in northern Fort Worth, TX. Labor rate was $100.00/hr and their rep claimed the average car took about 100 hours to complete. AND they had a waiting list! They did everything you might see on Saturday morning cable TV shows, plus some more involved items too.

    They also said they were looking for two more employees. They had very good benefits and sought to keep the good people that were working for them.

    By observation, many entities can claim to be "restoration shops" when they might not really be, so choice is important. As is a place that will be there to finish the work!

    Shop wisely and don't get sticker shock very easily.

    Enjoy!
    CBODY67
     
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  7. bigmoparjeff

    bigmoparjeff Senior Member

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    What vehicle are you looking to get the work done on and does it need significant metal repair?

    Many shops have been spoiled by the AMD and Goodmark parts, and are no longer interested in working on anything that they can't get reproduction sheet metal for.

    Jeff
     
  8. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    I'll tend to concur, but it might also depend upon how much sooner the shop might turn their jobs, too. Kind of like in the prior times, whether a body shop might repair a fender rather than putting a new one on. Which could depend upon how much labor the tech might get from repairing rather than replacing, although the cost to the customer would be highly similar.

    On the other hand, the availability of licensed sheet metal replacement items might make for a better job, then the shop might be able to charge for that, too? A couple of different side issues to explore in the interview with the shop.

    With a restoration shop, as with a normal body shop seeking to do body work, what might look decent on the surface could well have hidden issues underneath, which will affect the final outcomes and cost. Especially if some re-fab might be needed if no usable donor parts are available. Therefore, might consider pricing the body work separate from the refinish work in the initial estimate.

    Enjoy!
    CBODY67
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  9. FURYGT

    FURYGT Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    A friend of a friend has had cars restored by Hodges and speaks very highly of them.

    Creations by Gemza in Denver, NC is another shop to consider. They are a small MOPAR restoration shop. I have been in their shop and seen what they can do. Suggest that you contact them.

    Reflections Paint and Body Work in Iron Station, NC does both collision and restoration work. They do a lot of Jaguar XKE restorations as well as a lot of other cars. They fixed my truck and are worthy of your consideration.

    Lebreques in Connecticut is also a top notch restoration shop.

    I hope that this helps. Suggest going to car shows and asking the owners of perfect cars who did the paint & body work on their cars.
     
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  10. traintech55

    traintech55 Senior Member

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    Thank you for starting this list. It would be much better if you could include their locations.
     
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  11. 75LandYacht

    75LandYacht Yank Tank FCBO Gold Member

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    I thought the same, but then I just cut and paste from his list and Google will bring up their website and location.
     
  12. BigblueC

    BigblueC Senior Member

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    @FURYGT (or anyone looking for a good body shop in central NC) If your looking for a good custom restoration shop (not a collision repair shop) check out Steve's Custom Restorations in Reedy Creek, NC. He doesn't specialize in any particular cars/trucks, but does great body and restoration work. He's been doing it close to 60 years now.
     
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  13. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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  14. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Super Genius

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    Yes, I planned on making such a list and posting as the final product. I thought I'd wait a few days and see if member inputs sorted out a few shops that may no longer be in business, or to capture shops I didn't find during my research. I'm actually making that detailed list in draft now.
     
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  15. tallzag

    tallzag Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I run Rocket Restorations in Olympia, Washington but being on the West Coast doesn't really answer the question of the post.
     
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  16. polara71

    polara71 Old Man with a Hat

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    Wheres the best MOPAR engine builder in the North west?
    Who's the transmission guy?
     
  17. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Super Genius

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    When I get East Coast finished, I'll do one for West Coast!! Several of us local Mopar guys were talking at Cars and Coffee recently and everyone lamented that there isn't a single source that any of us knew of that listed the Mopar restoration shops. This is what started my quest to compile this list. I'll get the West Coast going soon and I'll be sure to include you! Thank you for posting.
     
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  18. SpaceWagon

    SpaceWagon Active Member

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    The "Finer Details" restoration shop has been under new management for the past several years.
    Ken Mosier is NOT associated with the shop in anyway.

    Regardless, the new owners and the Finer Details team are still delivering high quality mopar restorations.

    link to site: The Finer Details - World Class Muscle Car Restorations
     
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  19. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    When two of our Mopar Club members were getting their wing cars put back together (a '69 Daytona and a '70 Superbird), I learned a lot about how those cars were built and assembled. Which also means that a correct restoration has a few kinks and whinks to it rather than another Mopar, much less a car from GM or Ford. A key thing was that two other guys in our Mopar Club had the build sheet instructions for the wing cars, which was highly informative in doing one of those cars CORRECTLY.

    Anybody can restore a car like a GM car has been restored, but to do a Mopar product correctly, there CAN be some rougher edges and such, by comparison. Like the number or layers of overspray on the undercarriage of the wing cars, which has to be there for everything to be correct. Especially at a higher-level show as the Concours judging at Mopar Nationals.

    As over-restoration tends to be reampant in the GM ranks, especially with shiney black paint on the frame and underhood areas, in places that GM never did put or used shiney black paint. Then, the general public sees that and perceives it to be "the standard" (as it's all shiney and such) when it's not a universal standard EXCEPT in some types of shows where originality is not rewarded. BUT, such things tend to show better and some owners might like it that way. Basecoat/clearcoat rather than single-stage acrylic enamel paints tend to be in this mix, too. FWIW

    Just some thoughts and observations,
    CBODY67
     
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  20. 68_fury_ragtop

    68_fury_ragtop Member

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