December '18

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44 THE SHOP DECEMBER 2018 A member of the team digs into a customized Cougar. Next, the vehicle is sprayed with a cata- lyst-type filler primer and sanded. After all imperfections are gone, a final inspection is performed. Then, color coats are sprayed. After drying a few days, the vehicle is wet-sanded and buffed. Then, the vehicle is completely reassembled and fully prepped for customer pick-up. Each custom paint job is done with a super quality attitude, Freund says. Urethane paints are applied and clear-coated, then wet- sanded and buffed so no edges can be felt. "We do Candy Apple finishes using House of Kolor paints," Freund points out. "We add lettering, flames, scallops and dif- ferent paint schemes. I like two-toning cars with imaginary bodylines. Years ago, I did a '68 Camaro that way and everyone who glanced at it thought it was a '69 Camaro." That's not to say that Freund changes everything. "I like all customizing," he says. "Larry Watson and Gene Winfield are my heroes. I liked some of Ed Roth's stuff, but some of it went way overboard for my own tastes. It looked like The Jetsons stuff. I have it in my heart that a car should still resemble the car you started with. I think it's OK to change a few things, but not to go overboard." When buffing and restoring stainless steel trim, you always want to avoid going over- board. Freund inspects each piece for dents, dings or scratches. If found, they're removed Something a Little Differnet The shop is neat and organized, but is no "Hot Rod TV" stage set. Auto-mobilia and rock & roll collectibles decorate the offices. Photos of 27 cars the shop finished hang below candy apple dashboards. Mike Freund has been restoring cars for three decades.

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