SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 33, August 18, 2011

Top Products and Trends in the Restoration Industry

SEMA News—August 2011

Rejuvenating and Modernizing Move the Industry

Restoration Products and Trends

While “restoration” once referred to using only original or reproduction parts, the industry has come to also embrace the idea of mild modifications to classic vehicles. There is still a definite differentiation between a “restomod” and an all-out hot rod, but the lines have been subtly blurred.

This compilation of restoration products that were introduced at the 2010 SEMA Show runs the gamut from traditional numbers-matching reproductions to modernization components for handling and power. We’ve also interspersed comments from the owners and executives of some of the industry’s leading restoration specialists. Both say a lot about how the marketplace has changed.



Air Runner
Prius TC-5 Air Suspension
714/978-2446
www.airrunnersystems.com
PN: 1111

Winding roads and country lanes have never been so fun. A sleek digital interface is paired with five-way
adjustable shocks to make suspension adjustments as simple as pressing a button from the driver’s seat. The TC-5 system comes with basic ride-height adjustment of 4 to 5 in.

 

Custom Autosound Manufacturing Inc.
Secretaudio
800/888-8637
www.custom-autosound.com
PN: secretaudio SST

Secretaudio audio solution with an RF handheld remote LCD display. AM/FM radio with USB/iPod control/Sirius satellite input and remote CD changer control.

     

ClassicCarDatabase.com
Auto Specs Online
303/252-0436
www.classiccardatabase.com

The Classic Car Database is the PREMIER WEBSITE FOR AUTOMOBILE SPECIFICATIONS. This is the most extensive database of specifications for American automobiles (antique, classic, vintage and muscle cars) manufactured between 1910 and 1975.

 

Classic Industries/OER
’63–’66 Corvette Teak Steering Wheel Kit
800/854-1280
www.classicindustries.com
PN: R5108

A ’63–’66 Corvette teak steering wheel kit. Quality reproduction of original simulated teak plastic steering wheel. Includes a steering wheel, a hub assembly, horn contact and a bowtie horn cap.

     

Air Runner
Air Voice
714/978-2446
www.airrunnersystems.com
PN: 3168

Sound-effects air-ride control. When adjusting ride height, the user is alerted to the vehicle’s height by a favorite sound or pre-recorded voice. Unique electronic sound effects are available.

 
Danchuk Manufacturing
’57 Door Belt Moldings, Hardtop and Convertible
800/854-6911
www.danchuk.com
PN: 15671/15672

One-hundred percent made in the U.S.A. using top-quality tooling and stainless steel. These original reproduction moldings are located along the outside top edge of the door. Enjoy a perfect look and fit with these gems.

     

I’m starting to see a slowdown in the restoration of the big classic cars—Packards, V12 Cadillacs and other Depression-era cars from the ’30s. Most of them have already been restored, and today’s consumers don’t really remember them. I’m seeing a lot more ’50s and ’60s and even ’70s cars that are going the restomod route. The owners are looking to keep the exteriors pretty stock, but they want upgrades, such as overdrive transmissions, four-wheel disc brakes and modified suspension to handle driving at highway speeds.

I’m also getting questions from people who have bought an older restoration that they want to have freshened up. They want very mild body modifications and basic cleaning up. People today tend to use these cars, so they are much more concerned with being able to drive them.

That’s part of the business now. You need to be pretty diverse to survive in this market, and you have to be able to provide one-stop shopping. Whether the shop subs out some of the work or handles the whole job on its own, people want one shop to take care of the project all the way through.

—Lenny Schaeffer, Owner
Chop Shop Customs Inc.

 

Badger Air-Brush Co.
Renegade Velocity Jet Airbrush
800/247-2787
www.badgerairbrush.com
PN: R4VJ

Badger Air-Brush introduces its new Renegade
Jet Airbrush. It’s the perfect dual-action, internal-
mix airbrush. The Renegade Jet has a modified
1/16-oz. mounted color cup, providing an accurate sight line, and it has a stopset trigger control handle for precise recurring spray patterns.

 

Danchuk Manufacturing
’57 Front One-Piece OE-Style Bumper
800/854-6911
www.danchuk.com
PN: 15937

Starting with new class A tooling, then using top-quality steel and ending with the best-quality American plating money can buy, these bumpers are a true work of art, made just like the ones
GM made back in 1957.

     

Danchuk Manufacturing
’57 Front One-Piece
Smoothie Bumper
800/854-6911
www.danchuk.com
PN: 15938

Starting with new class A tooling, then using top-
quality steel and ending with the best quality
American plating money can buy, these bumpers
are a true work of art. The bullet guards have been
removed to give them a true smoothie look. A custom-style grille is also available to go with the smoothie bumper. Patent pending.

 

Danchuk Manufacturing
’57 Custom-Style Grille for the
Smoothie-Style Bumper
800/854-6911
www.danchuk.com
PN: 460B/460C

One-hundred percent made in the U.S.A. using
top-quality materials, tooling and plating, these custom grilles are just the thing for a beautiful and clean front end. Available in both silver and gold. Patent pending.

     

Del City
Pushbutton Switches
800/654-4757
www.delcity.net

Gentlemen, start your engines. Del City proudly announces its latest products, introducing heavy-duty Engine Start pushbuttons.

 

Drake Automotive Group
’10–’11 Ford Mustang Fuse Box Cover
800/999-0289
www.drakemusclecars.com
PN: AR3Z-14A068-BL

Add style and customization to the engine compartment with Drake Muscle Cars fusebox
top cover. Clear anodized, machined billet
aluminum. 3M mounting adhesive included.

     

Drake Automotive Group
’10–’11 Ford Mustang
Quarter
Glass Cover Kit
800/999-0289
www.drakemusclecars.com
PN: AR3Z-29796/7

Drake Muscle Cars offers a great vintage R model race look for ’10 Ford Mustang quarter window
covers. Featuring a black E-coat finish and bright silver simulated rivets. Also available in a satin finish. 3M mounting adhesive included.

 

Drake Automotive Group
’10–’11 Ford Mustang Engine
Cap Set
800/999-0289
www.drakemusclecars.com
PN: AR3Z-BCS

Drake Muscle Cars ’10–’11 Ford Mustang engine cap sets are machined billet-aluminum caps and handles with a clear anodized finish. Caps include stylish stamped insert with a carbon-fiber pattern and raised letters.

Drake Automotive Group
’64–’70 Classic Ford Mustang
Engine Cap Set
800/999-0289
www.scottdrake.net
PN: B-ECS

Scott Drake Enterprises ’64–’73 classic Ford Mustang engine cap sets are machined billet-
aluminum caps and handles with a clear anodized finish. Caps include stylish stamped insert with carbon-fiber pattern and raised lettering.

 

Drake Automotive Group
’69–’70 Classic Ford Mustang Small-Block
High-Performance Oil Pan Baffle and Pick-Up Set 800/999-0289
www.scottdrake.net
PN: C5ZZ-6675/22-K

Scott Drake’s popular unpainted small-block high-performance oil pan with a baffle, tube and pick-up. Fit is the same design as used in the Boss 302, including the Boss 302-style oil pick-up.

     

Drake Automotive Group
’65–’67 Classic Ford Mustang Lighted Corral Pony
800/999-0289
www.scottdrake.net
PN: C5ZZ-8213-LED

Showcase your customer’s pony with the Scott Drake LED light kit for the Pony Grille Corral. Includes all wiring and a fitted reflector. Use with the existing Corral.

 

Drake Automotive Group
’65–’68 Classic Ford Mustang Pedal Cover Kit
800/999-0289
www.scottdrake.net
PN: C5ZZ-BPPK

Add the look of performance with Scott Drake’s
billet aluminum pedal covers. Contoured for perfect fit, with an extended lip around perimeter. Fuel pedal complete replacement.

     

Drake Automotive Group
’66–’77 Classic Ford Bronco Billet Headlamp Door
800/999-0289
www.scottdrake.net
PN: C6TZ-13064-BL

Add modern style to your classic Bronco with Drake Off Road’s stout billet machined headlamp door trim rings. Includes stainless socket head cap screws.

 
Drake Automotive Group
’67–’77 Classic Ford Bronco Billet Taillamp Bezels
800/999-0289
www.scottdrake.net
PN: C7TZ-99279A6/7B

Add modern style to your classic Bronco with Drake Off Road’s billet machined taillamp bezels. Includes stainless socket head cap screws.

     
The restoration market seems to be recovering well from the recession. The biggest trend is the increase in the restoration of later-model vehicles. When I first started in this market 30 years ago, it was believed by many of us that anything newer than ’72 would never be restored.

There are fewer “pure” restorations being done by amateur restorers. Most backyard restorers make small changes to items, such as the wheels and sound system. There are exceptions, but the great shops in our industry do most
pure restorations.

I have seen a major increase in resto-mods that retain the look of a classic with the dependability and power of a modern car. The truck and the nontraditional car markets—four-door cars, sedans, station wagons, etc.—have also both seen significant growth.

The sky is the limit now. Retailers and shop owners have choices. There are very few parts in 2011 that retailers don’t have several brands to choose from. The flip side is that there are some sub-par parts on the market, and sometimes there is a reason that a great deal is so cheap.

—Alex Tainsh,
Executive Vice President, Parts Unlimited Inc.