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European Motor Car Works

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Photo by Alen Lin

SHOP: European Motor Car Works  LOCATION: Santa Ana, Calif.  OWNER: Kye Yeung SIZE: 17,000 square feet

 STAFF: 14  AVERAGE REPAIR ORDER: $6,000 ANNUAL REVENUE: $3 million

1) When Kye Yeung started building a new shop in 2001, he designed it with his certification programs in mind. That meant creating an aluminum repair clean room for his Aston Martin and Jaguar aluminum repair certifications. The room consists of three walls and a curtain, which he had custom-made by Blowtherm USA.

The space was designed with a green-and-yellow theme, which not only matched European Motor Car Works’ branding, but also mimicked Jaguar and Aston Martin’s history of racing green.

2) Given his demographics, Yeung knew that he would have more than one aluminum car to work on at any given time (in fact, aluminum repairs make up more than 50 percent of the vehicles in his shop). At the time he was building his shop, Jaguar only sent damaged vehicles to shops that had a free bay immediately. Yeung didn’t want his shop passed over, so he built his clean room to fit three cars at a time.

Yeung purchased five mobile Globaljig frame machines, which allows him to immediately take in the vehicle and put the car on the jig. He can then easily move and rotate the vehicles in and out of the clean room, depending on if the vehicles are being worked on.

“It allows us to get more volume in there,” he says. 

3) To house the necessary dust extraction equipment, Yeung built a huge wall that funnels the dust out onto the roof of the building. The dust extraction is an explosion-proof vacuum system that ensures the aluminum particles stay away from the metallic particles of other cars, which can result in an explosion if mixed.

In addition, the clean room also has a welder extraction system and a special fire extinguisher, since many of the alloys in aluminum repair work burn differently.

4) The clean room also features dedicated parts carts, toolboxes and tools for the repairs. Yeung has a separate tool set for body and glasswork, which includes grinders, wrenches, sockets, ratchets, files and hammers.

Yeung says that Jaguar completes a yearly audit on the tools to ensure that all the required tools are accounted for and well maintained. Because many of the tools are made of steel alloy, which rusts easily, Yeung says it has forced him to implement a strict maintenance program in the shop to make sure the tools are frequently dressed, repolished and rust free.


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