Joe's Job: Car Restoration at FantomWorks

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by Joe Flanagan, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:00 PM

NORFOLK -- Walt Maddox has worked as a metal fabricator at FantomWorks in Norfolk for two years and was teaching Joe Flanagan how to slice and dice metal.

"I enjoy working with my hands no matter what it is. To me, it's an artform and I think that's what I enjoy about it," said Maddox. 

There are nearly 100 cars in the massive space on Hampton Blvd. waiting to be restored.

Owner Daniel Short opened up six years ago and even has a hit reality show seen on Velocity.

Short showed Joe why it can take a year to restore some cars and can cost a fortune.

"Where a new car is built with perhaps10 or 20 hours of hand labor, our cars are built with one or two thousand hours of hand labor. And so there is just no comparison in the amount of skills and touch time that it takes to put together one of these classic cars," said Short.

Dale Bagwell specializes in electronics. "But this is a dream job. This is a dream I have been chasing my whole life and I get to do it," said Bagwell.

Bagwell built a vintage soda shop up front to let clients and families get another view and more appreciation of the art of restoration.

"The best part is having a little bit of freedom to be artistic and get creative with what we are making," said Maddox. "And the worst part is having to reproduce something that is already destroyed by rust and is kind of crappy to begin with."

There's even a wood shop. "Cars from the 40s and 50s, you used to see a lot of wood dashes, wooden consoles, wooden panels on the doors, all sort of stuff like that. And that's what we do is make that stuff from scratch," said Rob Dietzel.

So how would Joe do working in Walt's metal fabrication department?

"You're fired!  No, you did pretty good for starting off. So I will give you that.  You hung in there," Maddox said. 
 

 

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