Bill Davidson already runs Hope Auto Body as well as shops down-valley, so when he opened up a garage to work on a hobby he loves he did not imagine it turning into a full-on car restoration business.
Mountain Classics, at 833 6th Ave., is now up and running with a team of four full-time and two part-time staff, and they could use one more person, Davidson said. The team at the hobby business turned full-time shop have been busy building custom cars and working on restorations including interiors, stereos, custom paint jobs, suspensions, transmissions, “everything, really, as it pertains to custom cars,” he said.
The shop is open to classic cars and hot rods, anything 1980 and older. “We’re really into the American muscle cars and custom hot rod world,” Davidson said. The clientele are many Hope locals, as well as car owners from Chilliwack and all the way down to Vancouver.
Davidson is, just like his customers, a really big fan of these cars. A body mechanic by trade, he has been since early on in his career spending his evenings and weekends restoring classic cars. And now with a garage to do so, Davidson is working on some of his own builds including a 1972 Scout 2 for his wife Sandra, as well as some vehicles to sell including a 1960 Chevrolet C10 and a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle.
“They don’t make any more of them,” he said of the enduring appeal of a hobby that has kept him engaged for over two decades. “I just picked up a ‘69 Scout today…and they just simply aren’t out there, there’s none left,” Davidson said.
“We’re taking these cars and…we’re breathing life back into them and someone can drive them away safely and they look like they did when they were in 1960, it’s a pretty cool feeling.”
The main challenges so far have been around the supply chain and the shortages or delays with parts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The length of time it takes to complete the job will depend on parts coming in, parts which could take months to arrive.
Yet with only a few months of work under their belt, the team at Mountain Classics have already gotten to spend time on some really special projects including a 1961 Porsche 356 hardtop currently in mid-restoration. They are also building a 1967 Chevrolet C10 pickup truck, with a twin-turbo LS3 engine going in it.
“We’re here for anyone, doesn’t matter the size of the job. We’re all super passionate about older cars and we really enjoy working on them,” Davidson said. “The shop was opened to be more of a hobby shop and really help people build their cars and build their dreams, right.”
Some people have been working on their cars for the better part of their lives, and the stories that go with the vehicles do not disappoint.
The team recently painted a 1955 Chevrolet pickup BMW Atlas Blue, a vehicle that a Sunshine Valley resident has been working on for 45 years.
They delivered another one of their projects, a 1967 Pontiac Beaumont, to a family who informed them that the car owner had met his wife in that vehicle. “When I was there I met their daughter and their granddaughter, it was pretty cool,” Davidson said.
“You meet lots of cool people and the cars aren’t just cars, they’re part of their life. So it’s pretty special.”