Founded by Kent Bain and Charles Webb in 1978, Automotive Restorations, and its racing arm Vintage Racing Services, has grown to become one of the largest, full service restoration shops in the United States. With 35 employees, a 40,000-sq.ft. primary facility for restorations and a 15,000-sq.ft. warehouse for storage, Automotive Restorations has the capability to do all aspects of a restoration in-house, with the exception of plating and specialty coatings. As a result, they regularly take on a wide variety of projects and their work spans the full gamut of the collector car hobby. Everything from a Jag XK in for seasonal service, to rally-prepared cars for the La Carrera and support at that far flung event to award-winning restorations for Concours such as Pebble Beach, Amelia Island and the Villa d’Este can be found under the ARI roof or event tent.
According to Bain, “We are founded on a few guiding principles: 1) We are a group of enthusiasts who share our clients’ passion for things automotive; 2) We are about the fun and driving pleasure to be had with vintage cars as the core element for our efforts; 3) We are an enterprise built of talented, committed craftspeople who enjoy their work and sharing this with our customers; and 4) We are not car snobs! We see fun and value in all manner of vintage vehicular indulgences.”
This last point is supported by the fact that Kent himself is an avid enthusiast. He races Porsches and, of all things, a wickedly fast Triumph Spitfire, while the shop continues to excel at the highest levels of the hobby, including a recently completed restoration of the last Touring-bodied Pegaso that took home an award at Pebble Beach this year. This broad diversity of work includes everything from a Ferrari 400 Super America, a Cunningham C-2 and a Graber bodied Bentley, to MG-TCs, a Datsun 260Z and even a vintage tractor!