Thirty miles due north from Charlotte, North Carolina, just off Highway 77 is Race City, USA—aka Mooresville, NC. Mooresville is home to Detroit Speed, an infamous high-end body and paint shop. With nearly 60 employees and a full race and promotional schedule, the paint shop sees all manner of famous cars and owners and maintains a robust refinish schedule of snarling, gas-guzzling classic American muscle.
“I’ve always loved racing and looked up to Roger Penske as an inspiration,” owner Kyle Tucker says.
“His shops are very organized, efficient and clean, and that’s what we strive for at Detroit Speed,” he says. Like Tucker, Penske was an engineer and racer, and the strive to succeed with the tools at hand is a part of what makes Detroit Speed so successful.
1. BOB GAWLIK 1969 CORVETTE
Many of Detroit Speed’s customers come in for full body restorations and custom paint jobs. After months of restorative body work, this 1969 Corvette is finally ready for delivery.
2. 1965 RIVIERA
In the early ’60s, GM gave its design team a unique challenge: to harness the styling of the finest Rolls Royce sedans with the Enzo Ferrari’s namesake
vehicle. Thus the Buick Riviera was born, predating the long hood/short deck style that the Ford Mustang would later make famous. Suspended between painter Austin Moore and head of the paint shop Michael Neighbors, this 1965 Riviera is getting the total treatment under Neighbors’ watchful eye.
3. SATA PAINT GUNS
“I absolutely love our SATA guns,” Neighbors says. “I like the new one, the X 5500, and I have a few of the special edition ones I bought for fun. They came out with a Sixties Edition SATA gun with a cook on one side—that’s my favorite. My parents ran a diner pretty much our whole life.”
4. 1970 BOSS 302 MUSTANG
After extensive body and restoration work, this 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 was painted “Calpyso Coral” and endowed with the iconic Boss 302 racing stripes to mimic the original vehicle. “I love the fact we’re taking something old and rusty and putting a labor of love into it and turning it into something you can ooh and aah over for hours,” Neighbors says.
5. INSIDE THE SHOP
“Every building is also fully air conditioned, and we use efficient LED lighting as much as possible,” Tucker says. “We do what we can to constantly improve the facility to provide a contemporary, modern shop; a clean, efficient shop will encourage our team to work at their highest level.”
To learn more, visit DetroitSpeed.com.