Shop tours are a lot of fun, especially in the summer. While on the tour it's a rolling car show, and at the stops you get to meet some people who are seriously good at what they do, and you can see where all the action actually happens.
When I was asked to join in on a tour with the Studebaker Driver's Club, and the Southern Ontario Classic Pickups, I was in! The tour was an effort to raise some money for the Studebaker National Museum, so really, we weren't doing this for ourselves, but for a good cause...right?
Meetup happened at Flamboro Speedway where the guys did a few parade laps to show off their rides for the go-kart racers (those rides looked like a lot of fun!). The racing series was the Waterloo Regional Kart Club, who welcome racers ages 7-70, and have different classes for the different ages. After everyone had their chance around the track, we all got together, and got familiar with the route to the next stop.
Vintage and Performance Restorations was the next on the list, and wow is it a cool place! John Miles started this shop and employs a few guys to help him put together some seriously cool stuff.
One of the first things that caught my eye when I walked into the shop was this crazy looking Mustang. It's like a stripped down mean-looking Elanor. Inside it's got all the gadgets Batman only dreamed about, and under the hood is not joke either!
John initially made a name for himself with Mustangs, but pulls in other work as well. His own truck is a bit of a filler project between client work, and this thing is amazing! The work he has put into the details of it will go unnoticed by 99% of people, me included, but all of it is so well thought out that it's going to be one of the prettiest ones out there!
There's some really cool stuff sitting in this shop, and I have no doubt that there will be cool stuff coming through here for years to come!
After things couldn't get any better, they did. A private collection and lunch! I'm going to have a difficult time putting this place into words, so I will just let the pictures do the talking.
After pulling ourselves out of the weeds, and back onto the road we made our way over to Hitman Hotrods, a Cambridge shop, doing everything from maintenance to fabrication on cool old vehicles. I know these guys pretty well already, but it's always good to see what they have on the go.
The construction and detours on the way to Guelph was a bit of a nusciance, but we all made it just fine, and wow was it worth it! Seeing the operation that Restoration Design has going was incredible! Restoration Design makes reproduction body panels, primarily for classic Porsches, but do some BMW stuff too, and were talking about starting on some Datsun panels as well. These guys take their own measurements, and make their own dies, buy in the steel on coils, and stamp their own panels. It's really an amazing operation to see.
Their fab shop had some neat projects on the go as well, including this ramp truck that's going to be the talk of the town when it hit the road.
But the coolest ride in the whole place has to be this pedal car (with a working door and key!). We were told that it's being built by one of the employees as a project for his son, who has already outgrown it. If this isn't reason enough to have another child, I don't know what is.
Regrettably that was the end of the tour. I left there and immediately went to Brantford to the Remember When Cruise though. Read about it here.