In many opinions, Custom Cars Unlimited is one of the best restoration shops in the US.  In business 42 years, their celeb list includes Frank Thomas, Bo Jackson, Ozzie Guillen, and plain old folks like me, as they had restored my first Ferrari in the late 80’s, a 62 250 GTE.


Porsche RS


Pete And Dino Sanchez And Ferrari 330 GTS


I had chatted with Pete and his son Dino at car events, but  I had to look at a client’s car in for repairs and I thought I would take the opportunity to discuss restorations as well.

And in their shop there’s a treasure in every corner.  Besides the Ferrari 330 GTS undergoing a full restore was a mid-60’s era Ferrari ASA (850 CC 4 cyl) of which only 75 were made, a 70’s era Porsche RS, cars used in movies, and gorgeous shapes in various stages of the restoration process.

Q-So what’s changed over the years?

PETE- customers continue to raise the bar.  Clients now want their cars perfect; better than they were when they left the factory.

Q-What are the misconceptions of restoration work?

PETE– just restoring simple things can take hours of research work, and time costs money.  People want restorations today that include every nut, bolt and screw, and to get these things perfect is difficult and costly.

Ferrari ASA Motor

Q-Why is the restoration cost so difficult to plan for?

DINO “sometimes the basket of eggs you brought us is all scrambled”.  “It’s what’s under the paint that determines the real cost and often we only find out when we open up the car”.


  • You didn’t have a problem with the dashboard before the interior was restored but now it bothers you.
  • Do you want to use the old rubber and plating?

In the end, it all gets down to the customer:

DINO– “I would rather work with a client that is really interested in his car and the restoration process, understands it, than I would work with the richest guy in the world that doesn’t care about the car, its place in history, and isn’t enthusiastic about all of it.”

A Movie Star The Art Of Bending Metal

Look for a shop tour coming this summer!

Custom Cars Unlimited is in La Grange, Il and you can reach them here at

See you on down the road,


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About the Author: Dave Miller

Dave Miller With Lotus GT
Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications. In addition to, you can follow Dave's adventures via Drive With Dave Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tune into the Drive with Dave Podcast via iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

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