Car-restoration shop Klassic Rides recently broke ground on an expansion to its Denver facility, a move necessitated by the bumper-to-bumper line of classic vehicles taking up its current space.
“We were completely out of room,” owner Floyd West told the Times-News on Monday.
West started the business in 2005 with his son, Billy, after working at R-Anell Homes for 25 years. Billy, a mechanical engineer, had always had a knack for car repairs, first showing his chops at around 14 years old when he did 80 percent of the work to restore a 1968 Chevelle.
“He can figure things out in a heartbeat,” West added.
After putting everything he had into the business seven years ago, West said it has managed to grow on an annual basis ever since, despite the recession. Given that the services he offers are “not a need,” that feat is all the more remarkable.
“Restoration isn’t cheap when done right,” he said.
Klassic Rides, which often has between 30 and 35 classic cars in the shop at any given time, performs a variety of restoration and repair work in-house on any make and model.
Interested customers are typically able to get their vehicles in the shop within 45 days, with a full restoration taking between eight and nine months to complete.
West has even had to pull customers’ cars out of other shops who he said were in over their heads or unable to do the work they promised.
He credits his own shop’s success to its focus on customers, many of whom have returned to have additional cars worked on.
As a demonstration of his commitment to customers, West personally picks cars up himself to transfer to and from the shop. With roughly 70 percent of his clientele coming from outside North Carolina, this has resulted in him trucking cars back from various states.
It has also led to him working on cars that were once featured in the television show “Lost” and the movie “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.”
Most of his in-state customers come from either the Raleigh or Charlotte areas, including some players for the Carolina Panthers.
Additionally, a majority of the cars he works on are what he calls “sentimental cars,” meaning they may have been a customer’s first car, or belonged to a customer’s father or grandfather. They come with “a lot of stories,” he noted.
West also believes that word-of-mouth and the Klassic Rides website, which he updates weekly regarding the statuses of customers’ cars, have helped to boost his business, allowing him to bring money into Lincoln County.
The new 7,200-square-foot addition, behind the existing building, will not only give him more storage space for his growing business, but it will also enable him to complete a full restoration with all the necessary parts together in one location.
West hopes work on the expansion will be completed by the end of September or early October.
Along with the physical expansion, he’s also recently hired four new staff members, with plans for additional hiring down the road.
“I’m hoping it will grow and flourish,” West added.