In a small town with a population of only 595, the husband-and-wife team of Steve and Molly Gursky founded Driven Restorations in Plum City, Wisconsin, in 2009. A creative brainchild of the two, Driven Restorations is first and foremost a classic car restoration business. “Steve always had the goal of doing classic car restorations, and I always had the goal of owning a business. We both love cars, so we were like the perfect couple,” Molly stated.
Driven Restorations works on any make or model of classic cars from all areas of southern Wisconsin — from start to finish, doing everything they can in-house at their current Randolph, Wisconsin, location. As their name suggests, the Gurskys’ vision is to restore classic cars that are intended to be driven and have the quality body and mechanical work to last for generations. “Our customer base consists of people who inherit cars or have some sort of emotional attachment to them. Only one of our builds has ever been sold because the owner aged out of being able to drive it, and he didn’t have any children to hand it down to,” Molly added.
Adding to their farm-based shop each year, Driven Restorations has since doubled their team and workspace. As of April 2018, the business spans 5,400 square feet — which includes more mechanics’ bays, a dedicated welding and metal room, and a new Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) Performer ES paint booth. With the additional workspace, equipment and team members, they are on track to double their profit and sales this year. “Hopefully I can find another full-time employee, and once that happens, we will be looking at adding another building,” Molly said.
Before the new equipment, Driven Restorations was using a homemade booth and only two bays for vehicles with very limited equipment, and still putting out award-winning finishes — the first of which was a 1949 Chevrolet 3100 5 Window pickup truck. It is the only build they keep the trophies from. The owner of the truck said to them, “You did the work, you deserve the trophies.” The year after his restoration was complete, he went to eight car shows and won at each one. The trophies are now proudly displayed in the company’s front office area.
During their expansion process, looking for even better quality finishes, Driven Restorations reached out to another local business. They worked with Don Putney of Collision Equipment Experts, who provided the couple with the non-pressurized Performer ES paint booth. “It met our budget, airflow and quality standards,” Molly said. “And Steve has used and liked working in GFS booths before.”
Since the booth was installed and put to use, Molly and Steve have been very satisfied with the results. Molly, the executor of most of the metal work, body refinishing, sanding and block sanding, had excellent things to say about the booth.
“The booth is working really well and it’s meeting our quality expectations. We are way more efficient with it. We now have a dedicated location for painting and priming that is clean, contained and healthier!” Molly said.
Steve, the owner of most of the mechanical and painting work at the shop, was also very impressed with the paint booth.
He said, “The lighting is really great. Before the GFS booth, I used to wear a light on my head just to see what I was doing. The airflow is also miles apart from before — it was just so hard to get air in.”
Both Molly and Steve have reaped the rewards of working in a GFS paint booth.
“The booth has already affected our business. It keeps everything a lot more consistent. Curing times have been a lot better, and there’s no solvent popping. It also seems like it reduced our wet sanding and buffing time already,” Molly added.
As for the cars that go through the paint booth to complete their restorations, the longest build to date — a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T 440-6 — is almost ready to go home to its owner after four years of building it up from its shell. It is now one of the rarest, top-of-the-line cars with leather interior and air conditioning, finished with a Plum Crazy purple paint job.
Typically, Driven Restorations completes a normal repaint — which includes stripping everything down to bare metal and making any repairs — in about four to six months. With their new GFS booth, they can put through about four to six cars in six months.