THE SHOP

Aug/Sept '15

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84 The Shop August/september 2015 W hen William "Bill" Kilpatrick Sr.'s nine-year-old restoration company, B&C Auto Restora- tion & Paint Inc., set out to create its first project, the company was little more than 1,000 square feet at the end of a warehouse and a DBA designation, to serve as a legal entity and allow him to open a business bank account. Yet it didn't take long for the Ontario, New York-based company to start making a very real impact on customers and associates. "Our first job was for a 19-year-old boy who wanted to give his grandfather back his 1963 Buick, restored as a Christmas gift," Kilpatrick says. "That was a complete frame-off restoration in that small space. The gift was completed on time and was delivered with a DVD of the pictures as it was being restored, formatted in a slide show with his favorite music. "We got the phone call with tears from his grandfather and we have been friends ever since," he adds. "That 19-year-old is now 27 and just got married. In this busi- ness we build more than just cars; we build friendships." Expansion Within the next years, the growing business outgrew a number of shop spaces. In the first year, it moved to a larger, 2,500-square- foot space in the same building. Then less than two years later, into a 7,500-square- foot standalone space, but one that was still rented. "We needed to grow and be in a cleaner environment," he says. "This one was a much better facility and we started having open house and hot rod events every year to show off our space and work." Even that larger space didn't accommo- date B&C's rapid growth for long, though, and the company finally decided it was time to purchase something permanent. Kilpatrick's enthusiasm about the progress is undeniable. "It was time to buy our own building and we made the move last year!" he exclaims. "We now have open house and hot rod events with live bands, food, rods, classics, pinstripers—and it's all free!" The events feature between 300-400 cars and more than 500 attendees who roam around the sprawling 10,000-square-foot facility, spread across 1.5 acres. The space features three buildings under one shared roof with full walls and overhead doors separating each shop (mechanical, body and paint), so customer vehicles never have to feel the outside elements. And expansion still remains in the com- pany's immediate future, says Kilpatrick with delight. "We are completely out of space and looking to buy the building in front of us," he beams, noting that he is looking to purchase another building so that he can start a training center for welding and body work, helping locals get certified and B&C find employable help. REputation is King To what does Kilpatrick attribute this remarkably steady growth over just nine years in business? Building a great reputa- tion with customers. hoT Rod & CuSTomizaTion building CaRS moRe Than new York's b&C Auto restoration knows that projects can lead to lasting friendships. By Jake Rishavy Bill Kilpatrick and wife Tricia Ruffino (the shop's office manager). "I really get to do what I love and love what I do!" says Kilpatrick. The shop specializes in media blasting, full-line body work and start-to-finish show- quality paint jobs.

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