Breaking The News

Breaking The News

Breaking The News

Sport and Specialty Blog

“Again, when a car needs work, it needs work. It’s how the news is delivered that has a big impact. In person is best, with the broken bone exposed, so to speak.”

Over the past week I had two customer visits from two different types of customers. It got me thinking about the differences between the two, both really nice guys who want work done on their cars.

The main difference is that for one, it wasn’t his first rodeo with a car review and scope of work. The other, on the other hand, it was his first walk-around his new beauty without its clothes on.

As fair as we try to be, when a car needs work, it needs work. For those who have been through this before I try to simply point out what we found, and what out remedy will be, regardless of how extreme.

They usually get it and we move on and call them if there’s anything really bad. The experienced car geek is usually happy you were smart and diligent enough to find the issues and flaws before they either became cosmetically worse, or simply dangerous.

For the poor soul who bought a car without exercising due diligence, it becomes a bit more delicate. If it’s their first time, most had no idea that older cars had so many crappy parts. Welcome to the fifty-year-old mechanicals club, my friend.

Again, when a car needs work, it needs work. It’s how the news is delivered that has a big impact. In person is best, with the broken bone exposed, so to speak. We typically ask the customer out to the shop to review the work with us before dismantling anything. A solemn bedside manner and a bit of suicide prevention can help prevent a disaster.

Typically, both types of customers come out of the experience happy, but it sure helps to get their buy in up front. Everyone wants a nice car, right?


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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High Quality Work Won’t Go Out of Style

High Quality Work Won’t Go Out of Style

High Quality Work Won’t Go Out of Style

Sport and Specialty - Tom YangI had the opportunity to spend time with my friend Tom Yang over the past few days. Tom is a considerably experienced Ferrari specialist and restorer who shares a common passion for doing things right. Tom has a great website you should check out.

We’ve shared ideas, issues, and cures with problem cars in the past, but finally got to spend some quality windshield time talking about the business side of the car hobby. Much of Tom’s thoughts centered around the Ferrari side of the market, while I tend to come from the more pedestrian European production cars, Healeys, Alfas, and Jaguars.

I came away still convinced that while vehicle values will always swing higher and lower, the demand for people and businesses to maintain them will most likely not wane. Mostly because many of the people currently able to perform work on these gems will be aging out of the business. My crew at Sport and Specialty is young by industry standards these days, averaging in the late 40s which is a planned blessing. We spend a fair amount of time cross training and coaching on both technical acumen and quality outcomes overall.

Our discussions focused more about how to produce higher quality work than how to do more work of just any quality. It was both interesting and fun to share time with someone as committed to providing high quality work and not bowing to lowering his standards. It made me feel better, plus it was fun to show off the shop. See you at Amelia Island!


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The 2019 Drive Out and Pop Up Car Show

The 2019 Drive Out and Pop Up Car Show

The 2019 Drive Out and Pop Up Car Show

Our second annual Summer “Drive Out” was great fun, looks like we’re on to something here. Great weather, great friends, and some pretty great cars made a fun day at the shop. I need to thank the Sport and Specialty crew, Ken, Ryan, Kathy, Bill, Max, Jon, and Cameron, along with our great customers and friends for making today so much fun.

As always, make sure to keep checking our Facebook and Instagram pages for more pictures – so many people taking so many pictures!


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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The Sport and Specialty Drive Out & Pop Up Car Show

The Sport and Specialty Drive Out & Pop Up Car Show

 

Reserve Saturday August 10 for the second annual Sport and Specialty Drive Out and Pop Up Car Show. Bring any marque, model, or year of car, but get there. Daily drivers welcome! A Portillo’s catered lunch will be available, along with the usual subs and things. Bring a friend, take a drive, and see what we’re working on and finishing up. We expect many of the usual suspects with their really cool cars to be there so come out and let’s catch up!!

Punch in our address to your favorite mapping app and be here between 11-4 on Saturday, August 10. We are:
9169 Forest Preserve Road
Durand, IL 61024

Shop Phone: (815) 629-2717

 

 

Meanwhile, enjoy some of the pictures from last year’s open house.

 


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A Winning Blackhawk Vintage Classic with VSCDA

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Last weekend was the annual Father’s Day VSCDA Blackhawk Vintage Classic. After a Spring of rain, cold, and snow, it was a real pleasure to get out with a minimum of precipitation and a maximum of track time.

Ron Soave and Jeff Poracik did an exemplary job as race chairs planning a real racer’s event. There was three days of solid in-car time along with tons of socializing with our fellow Midwest car brothers and sisters. Bill Oakes and I shared a fun paddock and had a blast. See you next year, and looking forward to the October VSCDA Blackhawk event.


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