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Five case studies of the kind of projects that are our bread and butter. Please call us about your project.

Our People

DIRECTOR: Automotive Restorations Inc.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Kent’s career started with a degree in industrial design. A design career followed, but the allure of the road and fine machinery always called. While working in design, Kent exercised his hands nights and weekends restoring cars. Vehicular passion prevailed such that, in 1978, Kent joined avocation & vocation founding Automotive Restorations Inc. with two partners. It’s been a terrific experience since the day we got it all started.

ENJOYS: Vintage racing, exhibit events, rallies …but really all “car people” who share the enthusiasm and all the memorable experiences generated thereby.

QUOTE: "Our business? Automobiles as art and entertainment for personal enjoyment."

HEAD TECHNICIAN, technical supervisor, customer relationship manager and project coordinator

BACKGROUND: Charlie’s interest in machinery started with college for mechanical engineering. His career in restoration started with a position at Vintage Restorations restoring Bugatti automobiles. 1n 1978, Charlie joined friend Kent to found Automotive Restorations. His interest and expertise have grown from there with a list of accomplishments and awards attesting to the quality and attention to detail his projects exhibit. His 42 years as a professional in the field is brought to bear on all our restorations.

ENJOYS: A variety of vintage automotive events, deep sea fishing, windsurfing and driving with intent.

QUOTE: "Before you can be old and wise, you’ve got to be young and stupid."

SHOP MANAGER, project & quality control director.

BACKGROUND: Craig’s interest in all we do started in high school extracting a bit more performance from his ride. He went on to build hot rods of various descriptions & exceptional quality. He founded a specialty glass company capable of changing a broken windshield or completely re-glazing a custom machine no matter the complexity. In this capacity, we found Craig at our shops time and again helping us out of one glass problem after the next. It took some work, but in 1983 we got Craig on board and his hands and knowledge have enhanced our project ever since.

ENJOYS: Carlisle marketplace, AACA’s National fall meet, at Hershey, The Fairfield County Concours, and projects at the shop.

QUOTE: "That’s not a problem; it’s a challenge and can be done."

DIRECTOR OF VINTAGE RACING SERVICES INC. & business financial manager for ARI-VRS.

BACKGROUND: Larry grew up close by in Stamford, CT. Larry started his career with a degree from Ohio University in 1971. The automobile called, as did Oregon where Larry managed a Volvo and a Saab agency. Moving to Maryland in 1979, Larry opened and operated successful Chrysler and Toyota dealerships. Finally, after years in the car business, his hankering for cars as art and entertainment won. Larry joined ARI-VRS as a stockholder and managing partner in 2008.

ENJOYS: Vintage racing; Larry Neviaser was voted the Sports Car Vintage Racing Associations Driver of the Year in 2009 and has numerous race winning performances under his belt.

QUOTE: "There are 3 sides to every story: yours, mine and what really happened."

SENIOR ELECTRICAL TECH & project coordinator

BACKGROUND: High end automotive audio started Jason’s involvement in practical vehicle engineering. Jason’s work was the subject of a number of magazine articles in this, his first automotive craft arena. The historical development of the automobile fascinated Jason as he found himself restoring function and form for all manner of no-longer-serviced components for clients. He enjoyed the work of recreating complete harnesses and all else involved, so opted to make restoration electrical work his full-time occupation. Boy, are we glad he did.

ENJOYS: His kids, building almost anything, and the occasional weekend in the wild camping.

QUOTE: "An awful lot can be done with 6 or 12 volts of direct current.."


BACKGROUND: Dave has 36 years in the automobile body repair and refinishing industry. He is certified in numerous automotive finishing techniques form many industry refinishing suppliers (Glasurit, Sikkens, PPG, Dupont, etc). He regularly attends all the tech update seminars. He also carries frame and vehicle alignment certification from two agencies. More important, however, is Dave’s metalworking ability and sense of quality. He came to ARI in 2003 on a recommendation from a mutual friend. Dave is extremely enthusiastic about the creative process employed in the restoration of classic cars that isn’t found in the commercial collision industry. He takes pride in putting a vehicle as it was before time took it’s toll. . Dave is delighted to have found a niche where his care and ability are appreciated.

ENJOYS: Metal sculpting and jewelry making, ice hockey, family, and creating.

QUOTE: "You can’t spell ‘FERRARI' with out ‘A-R-I’ !"


BACKGROUND: Brian has been with us since 2001 in several capacities, first as parts assistant, then as parts manager and transportation coordinator. He proved very capable of seeing to it that all our transportation equipment was in good order and that all our clients’ cars were delivered as scheduled. Brian has considerable abilities and a bachelor’s degree in business management. Brian has made our parts operations work well. He is organized, capable, and keeps our parts department up to speed

ENJOYS: Finding the hard parts and creating and building the networks it takes to do so, and his 1956 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup.

QUOTE: "O.E.M. (parts of Original Equipment Manufacture) for me whenever possible. Reproductions are best kept only as a last resort."


BACKGROUND: Robin has used her skill and interest in special machines as the mainstay of a career for 20-plus years. Higher education in electrical/computer engineering soon led, where else, to CARS! Robin spent over a decade with numerous dealers becoming advanced certified in customer service satisfaction and parts management. In the 10 years prior to arriving at ARI, Robin was successful in the management of several Porsche specialty race/tuning facilities. Robin keeps an eye on costs, knows we are always accountable and monitors progress always. We are very glad to have her management skills in our toolbox.

ENJOYS: Dogs, volunteer work with rescue agencies, and work. Favorite tool: a cordless drill.

QUOTE: "Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better."


BACKGROUND: Donna comes to ARI with over 30 years experience in banking and health care insurance industry customer service management. Since Donna came aboard in 2006, we have come to appreciate the skill set and the client interest advocacy Donna possesses. She gets it right and gets it done. Donna does a great job of seeing to all the details for events we create and attend, while keeping the business of our offices up to speed.

ENJOYS: Donna’s hobbies include music, family and friends, her dog HRH Ziggy Stardust, and the alternative healing sciences.

QUOTE: "If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking."

BOOKKEEPER, ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLES & PAYABLES MANAGER, DMV LIAISON. A true plus is Denise’s demonstrated ability to provide our clients with the solutions associated with a wide array of unique “non-mechanical” issues concerning their collections.

BACKGROUND: Denise’s career started with a business school education focusing on the financial end of business operations. Formal education has served her well with a 30-plus-year career in business as a bookkeeper, then office manager. Prior to coming to ARI in 1993, Denise had worked in marketing and the advertising industry.

ENJOYS: Working with all the clients she meets at ARI, her children, grandchild and niece, not to mention that Toyota of hers which always works!

QUOTE: "Let’s just ask Denise, she’ll know."

BACKGROUND: Marilyn has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from WNEC in Springfield, MA. After graduation she began her career with Union Carbide in NY – progressing from staff accountant, to Financial Systems Analyst, to Business Controller. Over those 15 years, she met her husband, Karl Mack, and moved back to Connecticut. Shortly after the birth of her two boys, Dave & Chris, she started her own consulting company in 1995. She is an Intuit certified QuickBooks professional and has transformed our record keeping. We are very happy to have her as a key part of our operations.

ENJOYS: Spending time with family & friends; cheering for the Red Sox & UCONN Huskies.

QUOTE: "You want that booked how?"


BACKGROUND: Tom came to us in 1995 as a senior service technician and the collectable vehicle service advisor. His expertise in service as a form of the care and feeding of thoroughbred machinery a bit beyond its originally intended life is used and appreciated by all. Tom knows where to look and how to test his work from a proper practical engineer’s perspective: “It is not fixed until it proves to you that it is…repeatedly.” He looks farther, tests more often, and takes great pleasure in a job done well.

ENJOYS: Making older machines perform as they did when new or better when sensible; invisible upgrades can be incorporated.

QUOTE: “Enjoy collector cars by driving them often.”


BACKGROUND: Gerrick is fortunate to have been raised in the collector car arena. His father owned and operated a successful restoration shop for years where Gerrick started after school as a very young man. He has been with us since 1999 and has worked with older machines for years and years. Understanding how it was done and how it should work are second nature to Gerrick. His grounding in this field is second to none and he has developed an impressive set of skills since those early after-school efforts.

ENJOYS: His family, working in an environment where challenges come daily and each task is different.

QUOTE: "Remember it's fun AND you get paid to enjoy your work!"

RESTORATION TECHNICIAN, diagnostic specialist

BACKGROUND: Michael’s formal education was technical in the automotive field then as a mechanical draftsman. Cars won over drafting, and Michael now has 27 years in the field working first for his father as a master restoration technician, then with a series of other quality restorers. Michael came on board at ARI in 1997 and has turned out consistently superb work ever since. Michael is a professional by both nature and discipline. His work shows this skill, attention to detail and exemplary focus on quality.

ENJOYS: Projects of all sorts, early American classics, and Hershey each and every year.

QUOTE: “I’m the quiet sort; I let my hands do the talking, you’ll see!”


BACKGROUND: Matt started with us in 2008 following a number of “road tests" in various automotive-based trades. He has nearly finished his apprenticeship at ARI and we are very pleased he has chosen to continue in the field. Good hands are a good start in a craft such as this, but intellect and understanding the why of all one does counts for a good deal more. Matt is well equipped in this capacity. He thinks about all he does, and asks whenever in doubt. Most important, he enjoys what he does and takes pride in his work. It’s rewarding for all here to see younger technicians as interested to learn and as capable as Matt.

ENJOYS: His work and the learning experience of restorations.

QUOTE: “Why do they make it this way?”

FACILITY MANAGER, Exhibit preparation & detail

BACKGROUND: Keron grew up in Trinidad and Tobago where he learned both the construction and automotive trades. He has always had a preference for his second skill set and enjoys making all the cars we care for look and work as they should. When not working on a vehicle, Keron tends to all the needs of keeping all functions in our 40,000-square-foot facility working well. He started with us in 2007 and things have worked well at the shops ever since.

ENJOYS: Events, Cavallino in particular, and the challenge of getting a show car primed and prepped for exhibit.

QUOTE: Keron is “CAR-ON” , I love cars, speed and performance & this job!


BACKGROUND: James’ craft training started many years ago in England where he apprenticed with his father, master trimmer Anthony Blankley, the trim shop director for Graypaul Motors in Leicestershire, UK. His father taught and continues to guide him well. James came aboard at ARI in 2008 following several years of apprenticeship. Though only a few years into his career, he has the hands for the job and a patient, careful and detail-oriented mindset. We’ve already seen some great things from James since his start with us in 2008, and expect many more in years to come.

ENJOYS: The enjoyable

QUOTE: "As Groucho said, 'Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.'"


BACKGROUND: Jerry has worked in a number of industries through his career and came to us since 1988, Jerry is careful, thoughtful and calm, key components in the handling of the precious equipment Jerry has looked after for us for years. He never gets lost, can be counted on without question, and we are very pleased he has seen fit to work with us these many years.

ENJOYS: A good long road trip and a thank you now and again.

QUOTE: "Baxter’s back!"

BODY & FINISH/RESTORATION, weekend race tech

BACKGROUND: John skill bank is exceptional for a relatively young guy. Intuitive and thoughtful are abilities that we’ve learned to count on John to employ in all he does. Following a technically focused education, John worked in administration and Lebanon Valley Speedway on weekends and an area body and finishes firm during the week. In his spare time he crewed for race teams. John works in both the race tech and finish restoration capacity at both ARI & VRS.

ENJOYS: American muscle, race weekends anywhere and the challenges of support for La Carrera Pan Americana.

QUOTE: “It’s on the truck, I’m sure!”


On-Site Sub: Professionals who serve the restoration industry and ARI

STEVE HALL, Proprietor
MARK BARTON, Proprietor
SEAN BARTON, Apprentice
JASON HALL, Apprentice

BACKGROUND: Steve Hall and Mark Barton met many years ago in England where Steve had apprenticed to Aston Martin and Mark to Rolls Royce to learn the art and craft of panel beating.

Photos at left: Steve Hall, top left, Mark Barton, top right, and, left to right below, Mark Barton, Sean Barton, and Steve Hall.

Their English wheels have been with them ever since and their skill have developed with each passing year. Their craft can be found in many award-winning restorations, on track at vintage racing events, and at museums far and wide. One of the jobs they will never forget is a body and particularly louver restoration on a pre-war Mercedes Benz W154 Grand Prix car. The assemblage of fatigued, old, thin and rare metal proved a challenge they were up to. They create automotive art from sheet metal stock of all descriptions, including complete re-bodies when needed. Bumpers for Italian exotica, dashboards, and all those difficult to form trim bits are all in a day’s work for Mark and Steve along with assistants Sean and Jason.


COLLECTIVE PANEL SHOP QUOTE: “If it’s made of metal we will make it and we weld our aluminum with a torch!”

Coleman Engineering

BACKGROUND: Jim’s interest in performance engineering started in early youth and has grown from there. Jim’s education included technical practical engineering training. Following his formal learning process, Jim went to work with Pro Stock racer Bill Jenkins in Malvern, PA, then GTU/GTO competition engines with Alderman Racing in New Castle, Delaware. Moving north, Jim was recruited by Connecticut-based Newman-Sharp racing and a key component of the Nissan 300ZX turbo race development program leading to many Trans Am and IMSA GTO wins. In 1997, Jim came aboard here moving to a space we created for him at our facility. It has indeed been a positive association with Jim’s innate sense of what works and horsepower producing massaging of engines is a treat to see and use.

ENJOYS: A good physical workout for him and finding that last bit of power on the dyno after building a beauty.

QUOTE: “This is going to be a BIG STEAM motor!”

Automotive Restorations Inc., 100 Lupes Drive, Stratford, CT 06615 | 203-377-6745