An Interesting Week Spent with Classic Car Flippers

Well they’d probably give me a bit of grief for referring to them as classic car flippers and subsequently limiting their offering to one segment of the car customisation and restoration market, but I’m not going to be mentioning them by name in any case (no free marketing here) so it’s okay I guess…

Anyway, I spent a rather interesting week with a car customisation and restoration operation which started out of a small garage on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Today they’ve grown so much that they’ve moved closer to the iconic casino strip, albeit right in the heart of the residential area and you can spot one of their cars from a mile away (one of the cars they’ve done some work on). It’s not so much about any branding or anything like that, like a signature of sorts, but rather about the signature look. You just know it was Mike who did the very distinctive paintjob and any artwork on the vehicle’s body when you see it and there’s just nothing quite like what they’re capable of as a unit.

The restoration jobs they do are of particular interest to me because of just how much consummate skill goes into restoring a classic that has seen better days. I witnessed the complete transformation of what was essentially just the body of a 1967 Chevrolet Impala – in fact, it was more like the bringing back to life of this iconic beast. A brand new engine was custom built to mint-condition specifications, so it might as well have been like it was 1967 all over again.

Mike, the paint guy didn’t go all creative this time around with the paintjob, choosing rather to leave the body black, except he just added a good sheen to it, citing his belief that some cars should be of a certain colour and shouldn’t be modded with any artwork or anything like that.

I also bore witness to the technical modding of a classic ‘Stang, with this technical modification adding a couple hundred horsepower to what was already a very powerful classic machine. It’s interesting to note just how much custom work goes into something like that – no two jobs ever seem to be the same, even though they’re basically doing the same thing with the same overall outcome in mind.

The most interesting part of the week however was cruising the streets with the prospectors tasked with identifying cars to buy, possibly fix up if required and then flip for profit. Apparently they regularly get tip-offs from a hit and run accident lawyer as to where to find car owners who are willing to sell and although I’m not quite sure how to feel about this approach to sourcing some prospective sellers, at the end of the day they are prospective sellers after all, which means they’re eager to sell and be part of the process of their cars assuming a brand new life, post-modification and a whole lot of love given to them.