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October 11, 2011

Setting up shop - E-tek Restorations (click on title to visit site)

I've been in the business of cars - both professionally and as a hobby - my entire life. My father was a master mechanic and painter, arriving in Canada from Germany and opening his own shop in 1963. It was there that I learned body, paint and mechanical work. To say my father was a perfectionist is an understatement. He trained with Mercedes and Jaguar before coming to Canada to specialize in those marquees before branching out into all other makes.
Over my teen and young adult years, my interests evolved to restoring and "resto-moding" cars, as well as racing, re-styling, buying & selling. But it was my education in the sciences that led me to take it to a level that would change the way I saw vehicles and how I used the materials and tools of the trade.
Like many of you, I've had many project cars of my own, both foriegn and domestic. From Datsun 510's & 240Z's to MOPAR's and 'stangs (the ones that got away!). In 2003, I finally decided to get serious and turn my hobby into a quest for "restoration perfection"!
I continually look for new ways to make the restoration process better: from finding new materials and tools to work with, to honing my skills in metalwork, paint, interior work and mechanics.
Fast forward to the present: E-tek Racing & Restorations now resides in a 1000 square foot shop, loaded with the tools and equipment needed to take any vehicle from rusted hulk to car show hero, from plodder to speedster.

From planning, through body, paint, interior, suspension and mechanical, I try to finish them in the highest calibre. Digital records are alsways taken and posted on appropriate make-specific web-sites and forums. For example, the Chilli-Challenger show winner can be seen here: My Build.

By posting my work and blogging about the hobby, I'm able to share the builds with their owners, as well as any other enthusiasts who share the passion.
Check out my site at www.E-tekRestorations.com and don't forget to comment and add a photo of your own project!

Hidden Treasures of the Past

Last week, just outside Saskatoon, I had the opportunity to visit a secluded farm yard that serves as a graveyard for some cool old race and derby cars from many years past. My tour guide, Trent Lalonde, grew up knowing the gentleman who owns the farm, who - like so many farmers - had ventures on the side to help make ends meet. In this case, the farmer drove tow truck and was one of the dedicated haulers for saskatoon's early stock car association, moving incapacitated 'stock' cars as well as spent derby cars off the fair grounds.

In the field lay many examples of 50's and 60's vehicles, cut up to save weight, with crude roll bars welded together with globs of metal rod. In several cars one can see early fuel-cell design as well as true "bucket" seats that look about as comfortable - and as safe - as taping your kitchen chair to a speeding wreck!

As is often the case, the cars have been sitting so long that there is really nothing left to salvage, but through the hand-painted sponsors signage and drivers' names, one can still hear a call out from a time long past.

See the rest of the photo's, as well as the original thread on Garage Journal (www.garagejournal.com) here: Vintage Race & Derby Cars in the bush