THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business - July '15

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July 2015 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 53 Jim: You know, I would agree with that. He's right. Everybody, by the time they get to the interior is out of money. Especially this build (Recoil) and in several of our other ones, we've actually spent a lot of time and paid a lot of atten- tion during the early stages of the build on what the interior was going to be and had already started funneling the money into the inside of the car before we really ever got to the outside of the car to make sure that the budget was going around like it should. Otherwise, you get to the end, the owner is frustrated, you're out of money, you're out of gas like he said and it suffers. Mike: Let's face it, everything's pretty well been done on the outside of a car. The inside's a whole new world. 2. How early in the design process do you plan a vehicle's interior? Do you consult with an upholsterer or come up with the ideas all on your own? Jim: We've got a guy, Steve Pearson (of Upholstery Unlimited in Clinton, Iowa). He's phenomenal. The guy is very, very creative. He's an impeccable sewer, he can do anything. He, through all of our builds, has been a big part of our interiors and he's very clever and very creative. Let's face it, as builders, not paying attention up front and relying on the back side, it's good to have somebody that's cre- ative and is covering your back, because you get tired on these builds and you get worn down. Steve's been a big part of it and this Chevelle that we have out here today, we spent a lot of time early on know- ing we were going to burn the candle at both ends. The problem most of the time with interior shops is that you don't give them enough time to do what they need to do. Mike: Nor money. It kills me that a builder will just send a car to an upholstery shop, which is very common, and say, "Do what you think." We talk (to our upholsterer) every day. Hopefully I don't drive him crazy, but we just want to be involved in the interior. We don't mark up the interior because, honestly, we are so proud of the cars we do. We can't afford to mark up and take at the end that money out of an interior's pocket. That's the truth. We've never marked up anything on an interior job. Because we are a builder, but we do consult and stay involved through the whole process for no fee, but just because it's such a big part of who we are. 3. We've seen you guys do body work, mechanical work and metal fabrication. Can you do upholstery? Have either of you ever tried sewing? Jim: You know, it's funny you say that. We had hired a young guy named Jeremiah to just help around the shop. You know, clean up, things like that. He had men- tioned that his mom was doing upholstery work for couches and other stuff. It didn't work out and they had these sewing machines, so I said, "You know what? I have always thought about trying to figure out if I could sew," so I ended up buying one of those sewing machines. I can tell you one thing, I can't sew straight. I gave it a shot. I'd play around a little bit, but… The center console connects to the package tray and splits the back cabin down the center to create the impression of bucket seats.

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