The shop has specialized in concourse show car restoration since it opened in August 2012. General Manager Justin Hamaker said the business originally began when its crew started building cars at the home of shop owner Richard Mitchell.
“It got to the point where we were winning so many car shows that people wanted us to build cars for them,” Hamaker said. “We didn’t have the space available at the house, so we built the building.”
Mitchell originally developed an interest in classic cars as a child when he read a letter from his grandfather to his grandmother talking about the reliability of the Stutz in which he used to transport oil field equipment cross-country. Mitchell turned his passion into a business in 2010 when he decided to rebuild and collect cars as an investment strategy.
“He didn’t want to put his money in the stock market, so he started putting it into these old cars,” Hamaker said. “He started buying them and restoring them to enter into concourse shows.”
Restoring cars can be a lengthy process. Hamaker said owners leave their cars at the shop for eight months to a year and a half for restoration. The cars are then completely rebuilt.
Although each job is unique, Hamaker estimated a rebuild takes about 5,000 hours of labor by a team of three employees. Hamaker said his favorite shop rebuild project was a 1929 Stutz Blackhawk.
“We built that car in eight weeks,” he said. “We were working about 120 hours a week and sleeping at the shop—not even leaving [to go] home. There were Monster cans and doughnut wrappers all over.”
Old Iron Works encourages the public to visit its shop and tour the cars that it has on hand.
“The cars we have in the shop here [are] not ones you will see every single day,” Hamaker said. “I’ve got a couple of cars in the shop that are the only ones in existence, so it’s just fun to come out to the shop and tour it, walk around and talk to the guys that are working about the history of the cars.”
Old Iron Works
15030 Liberty St., Montgomery
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., closed Sundays