Story and photos by Chadly Johnson
I recently had the privilege of spending some time at one of the top classic car restoration shops in the world…Metalworks Classics in Eugene, Oregon. Metalworks has it all…from a fully stocked speed shop to an A to Z restoration shop including an acid dipping facility. How many restoration shops can offer all that under one roof? Beyond Metalworks meticulous restoration work, what really sets them apart from any other shop I have personally visited is their knowledge base and application of LS engine platforms in their restorations.
When a customer makes a strong investment in a high end restoration at most shops they are commonly driving away with old technology powering their fresh build. Old technology when mixed with today’s ethanol fuels can leave even the highest quality built carbureted engines struggling to perform properly. When customers take delivery of their LS powered dream cars from Metalworks, they perform as a dream car should: easy starting at any temperature, smooth running with surprising mpg on pump gas, and with ground pounding performance.
A couple examples of some of the 20+ projects on hand included: a 525 hp LS3 powered 66 Nova backed by a Tremec 5 speed, FAST fuel injection, Ride Tech air bags with Accu Air controls, Dakota Digital gauges & digital climate control, Billet Specialties “Auto Cross” 20 & 19 inch rims, TCI suspension, and Wilwood brakes. I was given the honor of driving the Nova and it was nothing shy of amazing…I gave the key a click and the Nova lifted itself to its ride height, another click of the key and I had a smooth running 525 hp at my disposal.
A 1971 Camaro was in receiving a drive line update to a 480 hp LS3 linked to a Tremec T56 six speed transmission…I witnessed the crew fire the engine for the 1st time…it instantly roared to life and ran like it had always been in the car…very impressive.
Above and beyond Metalwork’s extensive knowledge of LS platforms is their ability to provide customers with every detail when laying out their restoration game plan as well as providing every components for that restoration “in house.” Customers can then tackle their restoration personally knowing they have the best combination of components for the job, or entrust Metalworks with the task at their state of the art facility. Either way you will be purchasing your components from the top selling Art Morrison chassis dealer in America as well as many other top components such as: GM Performance, Wilwood Brakes, Dakota Digital, FAST fuel injection, Heidts, Vintage Air, and many more.
Another aspect of the team of employees at Metalworks is their passion for what they are doing. You can rest assured that your classic car is being attended to by fellow classic car enthusiasts. The parking lot at Metalworks looks like a miniature car show daily from the staff’s personal drivers…this alone speaks volumes.
If you find yourself in the Willamette Valley stop by Metalworks and check out their amazing facility, and in house speed shop. You will definitely see some amazing works of art being restored there on any given day…and a collection of black patches leaving the parking lot from satisfied customers. For more information check out Metalwork’s website at www.metalworksclassics.com/