The history of Musclecar Restoration and Design started a long time
ago. It started out as just a hobby that Rick loved and that soon turned
into a passion. His father and brother were also very influential in
his desire to tear things apart and make them new again. He simply loved
all things cars and turned into an extra income hobby all the way back
in 1976 when he restored his friend’s car, a 1967 RS/SS Camaro. From
that car came many requests from people to do minor restorations to
their cars and the hobby blossomed. He also drag raced several different
cars from 1977 through the mid 80’s getting even more mechanical experience.
Rick graduated High School in 1979 and proceeded onto Dunwoody Industrial Institute (DII) where he graduated from Auto Mechanics. From there he took a short term job with a race engine builder and then moved on to Corvette Specialties in 1982 doing Bloomington Gold restorations at the very early age of 21. “I owe my attention to detail from my years at Corvette Specialties as Corvette restorations were way ahead of their time in those days”. Those restorations brought him lots of attention and the requests started coming in more rapidly. Unfortunately, the owner was looking towards retirement and Rick was faced with either buying the business or looking elsewhere for a job. He eventually moved onto bigger and better things.
During his schooling at DII Rick met a fellow classmate whose father raced a 1982 Camaro in Pro Stock Drag Racing under the name Purfeerst and Prince. Rick was asked to join the team and wrenched on the car for several years traveling around the Midwest racing at several tracks but again reality set in and he had to make a living so the racing career was over.
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Rick restored a few cars a year for friends and acquaintances. When a magazine feature was done on one of his cars in 1983 the requests took off in earnest. Always wanting to go into business full time, finances just did not allow for it and he would have to settle for doing restorations on a part time basis while still holding down a full time ‘paying’ job but he never put his wrenches away permanently. Throughout those years his cars did quite well at local and national shows. In 1983, Rick with a close friend also took over the reins at North American Super Sports, an international car club dedicated to the Chevrolet Super Sport cars. From this venture Rick befriended quite a few hobbyists, many of whom requested his talents. After several more magazine features and national awards, Rick was becoming well known in the collector world.
After a layoff from his 20 year corporate job in 2007, it was time for Rick to make a serious decision in his life. It would be now or never and the decision was made to take the hobby full time. Since there were no jobs available and requests for restorations continued to come in, Rick opened up a full time shop and made a go of it. Shortly thereafter he moved the shop to Pleasant Plains, Illinois and has not looked back since. Today the company is booming and he continues to restore some of the finest cars in the hobby such as Yenkos, LS6 Chevelles, Z28 and many others. Rick’s girlfriend, Ann, is now the office manager and also works in the shop at times.
Because of his attention to detail and research, Rick was hired on by Exact Detail to help research and develop the 1970 LS6 Chevelle diecast model project several years ago. Over 600 photographs and measurements were supplied to Eric Trapp of Exact Detail. Several prototypes were then supplied to Rick for his scrutiny. Only after signing off on the project after some 300 issues were fixed was the model released to the general public with rave reviews. Rick now has a showcase in his showroom dedicated to this project, most of which are the prototypes. For more on the models, see http://www.diecastfast.com/diecast/DCF/CTGY/RVLS6.