October '19

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26 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2019 really drove it. We went through that car top-to-bottom and completely restored it for him. It was a really nice-driving car. He had bought GM parts back in '77, so we got to work with the good stuff; not re-parts." Some of the seals were so dry-rotted from sitting that they couldn't be used. "And the chrome had a wax coating on it, so it had this green film—like a waxing material on it to protect it," he recalls. "It was great. We removed the film and some of it was hard because it had sat on there for almost 40 years. We used a lacquer thinner and rag and went very slowly with our nails, and it was all very delicate." Finding employees that not only appre- ciate that level of craftsmanship, but who can actually do it, is a source of continuous effort for Wylie—who brings not just a love of the work, but over 25 years of experience to K-S Auto. "Finding the right employees is the hard part," says Wylie, "and the way the market is going, we may be a dying breed." He estimates 70% of Buffalo-area auto shops are currently looking for help. "We're kind of above the rest because we have to be better; because we're servicing car people," he explains. "The average cus- tomer doesn't know; but car guys know what perfect is." Most of his staff members come from word-of-mouth referrals, and the shop offers a competitive wage in an attempt Parts, Service & So Much More K-S Auto typically has a range of engine jobs and horsepower upgrade projects in the shop. The trust K-S Auto has earned means many customers simply come in with a project in mind, and budget is not an issue.

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