October '21

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Page 48 of 103

OCTOBER 2021 THE SHOP 43 The CNC parts manufacturing, warehousing and mar- keting is also in the front. Restomods and customs are built in the rear shop section. The machinists in the CNC shop make a designer's dream into reality, and if the potential is there, often that new part will be mass-produced and offered by Prime Components. At most shops, parts are a cost, but Ringbrothers makes them a profit center. STAINLESS & STEERING WHEELS Classics Plus Ltd. ( is a family-operated automotive business located in North Fond du Lac, Wis- consin that has earned lots of national attention with its custom builds of Tri-Five Chevys. Owner Mike Freund grew up around hot rods and custom cars, and family members employed at the shop usually drive to work in a 1955, '56 or '57 Chevy—often a gasser style. But Freund has a couple of business special- ties, too. He believes in providing quality work and exceeding customers' expectations. Over the years, he also branched off into polishing stainless steel trim pieces and restoring 1940s and '50s steering wheels to make them look like pieces of art. When buffing and restoring stainless steel trim, Classic Plus Ltd. inspects each piece for dents, dings or scratches. If any are found, they are removed, and the piece is then block-sanded smooth. Buffing brings a brilliant show- winning shine using five different compounds and five dif- ferent buffing wheels to make the trim parts look like new. A steering wheel restoration starts when a customer sends in a wheel with their name and phone number attached to it. It is inspected and then the customer is contacted with a price and delivery date. After approval, bad sections of the steering wheel rim are cut or ground away. The wheels are repaired with a two-part industrial epoxy that adheres to the existing core. After the epoxy dries, the wheel is sanded, and color is applied via a polyurethane paint. Steering wheel restorations start at $250. Chrome work carries additional charges. JOHN GUNNELL has been writing about classic cars since 1972. He is also the owner of Gunner's Great Garage in Manawa, Wisconsin. He owns 11 cars and seven motorcycles. In nice weather, Tri-Five Chevys are commuter vehicles at Customs Plus Ltd. Customs Plus is known for its 1955, '56 and '57 Chevy builds.

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