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A place for Klassic Rides to go

Billy West remembers his first car at age 16: a 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle.
“My dad, Floyd, and I restored the paint, engine and interior,” said Billy. “It took a couple of years but now it’s completely restored.”
The love for older cars and restoring older cars between father and son led Floyd and Billy to leave solid careers with R-Anell Homes and start their own automotive restoration business called Klassic Rides.
“We used to restore the cars at our home in Denver,” said Floyd. “I left R-Anell after over 20 years and opened the shop in April.”
According to Floyd, he was looking for a brighter future not only for Billy but for his two other sons as well. Floyd affectionately refers to his sons as “his own pit crew.”
“I wanted to have something for Billy, his 16-year old brother Andrew and his 8-year old brother Steven,” said Floyd.
Floyd West added that what really kicked having their own business into high gear was a deal on a paint booth.
“I needed someplace to put it and I couldn’t put it in the house,” said Billy.
The focus of Klassic Rides is on older cars.
“We saw a need for a place for people who are driving the more classic autos, cars that have been in families for many years,” said Floyd.
The West’s call people who drive older automobiles daily drivers or people who own a local show car and drive that vehicle on a regular basis.
“These are people who take pride in their cars,” said Floyd West. “They don’t, however, want to sink a lot of money into their ride.”
Case in point, Westport resident Jim Novak took his 1964 GMC Pickup to Klassic Rides to be restored.
Attempts to reach Novak were unsuccessful.
According to Floyd West, Klassic Rides’ demographic is people who have had a car in their family for many years.
“We want to be a place where people can feel safe at leaving their classic auto,” he said. “You’re not going to leave a classic automobile with just anybody.”
Billy and Floyd are preparing to restore a 1969 Datsun 2000 that came from a family in the eastern North Carolina town of Havelock.
“This car has been in that family for over 30 years,” said Floyd. “It’s sit still for five years, and the family wants it restored to give to their college-aged daughter.”
He added that he went to the coast to get the car and bring it back to Denver.
Floyd and Billy both don’t consider Klassic Rides a “local” business.
“We know our name goes on everything that goes out the door,” said Floyd. “We want everything to be perfect.”
Perfect in not only the finished product, but perfect in the tools used to achieve that finished product.
For example, Billy – now 26-years old – is a certified PPG (Pittsburgh Paint Group) technician.
“Pittsburgh paints are user-friendly,” said Billy. “It’s the kind of paint that lays and covers well and has a good color match. That’s important when you’re restoring classic cars.”
Since April, the Wests estimate they’ve done 33 total jobs, with six of them being major repair and paint.
“The major jobs take well over a month,” said Billy. He added that Novak’s GMC took between two and three months.
“We put in a new wooden bed and painted the inside, among other things,” said Floyd West.
They also estimated the job on the 1969 Datsun will take six-to-eight months.
“The length of time and investment all depends on the car,” said Floyd.
Between Floyd, Billy and two other staff members, there’s over 80 years experience in classic automobile restoration.
“We’ve had a good first year,” said Floyd. “It was a jump, but we had a very good year.”

Klassic Rides is located in Denver off N.C. 16 on Burnwood Trail. The shop is opened from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays.
From Lincolnton, take N.C. 150 east to N.C. 16. Turn right and take a right onto Burnwood. Klassic Rides is the second building on the left.
For more information on Klassic Rides, call (704) 483-4826.

by Jon Mayhew

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