Lets face it, there isn't enough time in the day for everyone here to fully document every project they have ever done, or currently have going. I am one of the lucky ones, in that my job revolves around my documentation of each and every project I do. But not everyone here is in the habit of taking photos every 10 minutes of their current task. Occasionally we have problems finding projects in the right stage to test new products. It is frustrating sometimes knowing a product that we just came out with could have saved one of us time, or done a better job if it had been available when we were at that stage. Not to mention, the perfect opportunity to test, and photograph how a product works.
This is where Mike Yannessa and his crew at Wheels in Motion ( http://www.wheels-in-motion.biz/site/index.html ) come into play. These guys are a local shop (across town from EW HQ), that has a lot of interesting restoration projects going on. They seem to have cars at just about every step of the build process going at all times. They offered to test some of our products, and give us some "real-life" reviews on the products. It is one thing to test products in a "perfect enviroment" in our R&D, but we wanted the product to be used in a busy shop that can give us a better idea as to what YOU (the customer) would be experiencing when using any of our products. We recently took a small tour of the "Body Shop" division of Mike's business.
The property that Wheels in Motion is situated on has a neat history. The building served as the auto body division of a local Chevy dealership from the 1930's up until just a few years ago. It is crazy to think that a dealership was repairing fender benders and detailing everything from the first Corvettes to new Z06's throughout the years. Imagine if the walls could talk, the stories they would tell of the amazing cars it saw pass through the shop over all those years! Unfortunately a few years ago, the long time family-owned dealership closed it's doors. Mike jumped on this opportunity to obtain the old Chevy bodyshop. I think the heritage of the building, along with all of the cool old auto nostalgia left behind by the dealership, makes this building perfect for what they focus on at Wheels in Motion. When walking around the building, you can spot old dealership signs, books, and even promotional items still hanging on the wall as they probably have been for many many years. For me, I think this really added to the whole "classic restoration shop" feel. It seems some of the most interesting projects come out of unsuspecting buildings like this.
Currently we have them testing one of our prototype Plasma cutters. Even though we have done a bit of testing here, we figured they'd use it pretty heavily, cutting out old rusty chunks of metal off of project cars. You can tell in the shot below (of the pile of rusty old metal), they have been busy taking advantage of it! Check out some of the projects cars that they had sitting at the shop the day we were there. Some pretty interesting stuff! Everything from the abandoned projects they have to take over, and finish, to the original barn-find that someone dropped off, to even a trailer queen! As time goes on, I'll stop by and share with our readers what they are testing, and what projects they have going right now. For now enjoy the pictures!