March '20

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66 THE SHOP MARCH 2020 people," says Sharp. "They'll save and save and save, and they are the easiest people to work with. They appreciate it more. Our average clients are hardworking guys and gals. We have a lot of female customers who are very knowledgeable." Inside the 8,000-square-foot shop— half of which is devoted to paint and the other half to mechanical work—you'll find longtime Sharpy's employees ("part of the family," Sharp says) Beau Sharp, Jerry Davis and Walt Stepp. Sharp believes in appreciating talent when he has it and works to keep his employees happy and on good terms. "You get to know a lot of people in this business and you don't burn bridges," he says. "I have those who've worked for me for years and then those who worked for me years ago who come back. "It's hard to find qualified people," he adds. "They can come out of colleges and think they know it all, but they can barely push a broom. I show them what to do and how to do it, and then they disappear." Sharpy's very high standards stay consis- tent with prices that are fair and methodi- cally addressed. Every three years, the shop raises its rates about $10 an hour. KEEP ON BUILDING A challenge, Sharp notes, is educating clients on the time and effort needed to perform a custom job properly. "We do a preliminary estimate on each car and we let them know that it's an esti- mate only," he says. "Since we advertise on classic car websites and customers often come to us by word-of-mouth, there's some degree of knowledge. But we educate people to understand that a full restoration process isn't done in TV time, in two weeks. Jobs can take six months to three years." Sharp understands the value of a custom job done right, which is one of the reasons why he says he declined an overture for a television program. "The Discovery Channel approached us, but we turned them down," he reveals. "People think great work can happen in a short time, but not when we're building from the ground up. That's just not the reality." It's important, he says, for shops and STAYING SHARP STAYING SHARP STAYING SHARP The Sharpy's crew: Walt Stepp, left, Beau Sharp, Marc Sharp and Jerry Davis. Sharpy's is known for its meticulous body- work and mirror-like finishes. Sharpy's serves a clientele of hardworking customers looking for a dream custom or hot rod all their own.

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