Desert Classics is a small, discreetly located hot rod shop hidden in the agricultural fruit belt of the Pacific Northwest. There are apple orchards to the South & West, alfalfa to the North & East. In the middle there's Desert Classics, where we fill the parking lot with GM cars and trucks from the 40's and up.
"We" means me and my beautiful wife Tammy. I'm in charge of laying under the car and providing all the labor and she provides the 'administrative oversight to Accounts Receivable'. To be honest, I have a network of qualified specialists who sometimes lend me their expertise. For example, Rick does TIG welding and alignments, Tim helps me troubleshoot electronic fuel injection. Or, sometimes I just need Tammy or one of my sons to hold the doohickie while I smack it with a hammer, so I guess I have staff. I've seen the TV shows with the huge, immaculate shop full of exotic cars and tattooed bald men. That's not us and we don't aspire to grow into that. We're so remote that not even the Snap-On man will stop here.
Why Just GM?Although my late father was a Model A hot rodder and worked on all brands of vehicles, I've had nearly 45+ years of experience dealing with Chevrolet. Do I have a '32 Ford? Maybe. But if you would like to have upgrades to an early Ford that involved a Ford engine, I would send you to my friend Ivan, a couple of miles to the West near the canal. Or to Riley, who has a larger shop near the highway. Maybe I'd have you call my friend Tim who has a busy shop in town. I stick to the cars & trucks I know best because I can work with confidence and not have unnecessary delays or come-backs. I only take two or three customers at a time, in addition to my own that litter the property.
Do We Make Exceptions?Of course. Nobody's perfect. I've put Chevy engines in '70s & '80s Jaguars a couple of times and I traded my Edsel for an aluminum cabin cruiser.
Would I do it again?
Maybe. A guy's got to stay busy. The bottom line is: I have experience with Chevrolet that I don't have with other makes, and I have Chevy engines, transmissions, rear axles and other parts that make the job easier. If I employed some of those profane, tattooed, pony-tailed, over-stimulated pot smokers that work on movie stars' cars, chances are that one or more of them may have ridden in a Ford or Nissan at one time and this story would be different. Don't worry: if you don't have a Chevy, I'll sell you one of mine.
What's the Blog about?
Each customer's car or motorcycle is photographed along the way, showing the progress made. Along with the pictures is a description of what's been done. Sometimes I include a video to illustrate just how something works (or doesn't work) and you and the whole world can comment on what they see every couple of days. Around the first of 2014 the blog had been viewed between 5,000 -10,000 times. You as the customer remain anonymous, but your car becomes famous.