November '19

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104 THE SHOP NOVEMBER 2019 W hen Corey Watson and Tamara Sullivan-Watson, co-owners of Momz Garage in Star, Idaho, think about their most memo- rable restoration projects, a truck and a family get-together spring to mind. "They had a few hundred people at that reunion and the truck belonged to their deceased dad," Watson recalls. "The truck inspired a lot of family stories." Watson smiles when he thinks of the ways restoration jobs make an impact on people's lives. "Seeing our customers be amazed is one of the most gratifying parts of this job," he explains. "For the majority of our restora- tion clients, it's not just a car; it's a part of their family. It is fun having that kind of effect on people's lives." BRINGING PARTS BACK TO LIFE Although 75 percent of Momz Garage's workload is restoration work, what sets it apart from other shops is a focus on reno- vating and modifying the original parts and panels whenever possible. It's a craft and a trade that not every shop is equipped for, or skilled enough to pull off. "We try to restore original panels because old steel is better steel," Watson says. "We often work with cars made in the 1960s or earlier, and you have to lovingly work with those panels and bring them back to what they were. We are a metalworking shop and we roll our own sheets. A lot of schools don't teach that; trade schools teach collision center work. But we bring parts back to life." Unlike many shops that struggle to find good employees committed to the craftsmanship demanded by quality res- Momz Garage knows that restored vehicles are often viewed as more than just cars. Tammy Sullivan-Watson and Corey Watson (ends) are co-owners of Momz Garage, a restoration and service shop in Star, Idaho. New employees are on the way as the shop continues to grow. By Cathie Beck A 1954 Chevy pickup was an heirloom restoration Momz Garage did for a family reunion in memory of a father who had passed away.

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