At Steve's Auto Restorations our customers come first. We strive to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction with every project. Our team of experienced professionals have helped countless customers turn their custom car dreams into a reality.
We are proud to have earned a reputation for providing quality service and products to our clients. Our customers often tell us that they are thrilled with the results of their custom automotive projects and that they would highly recommend us to others.
We are humbled by the positive feedback we have received and are dedicated to continuing to provide excellent service to our customers. If you're looking for a reliable custom and restoration automotive shop, look no further than Steve's Auto Restorations.
“SAR is one of the premier hot rod shops in the nation.”
If you looking to have a car restored, made into a resto-rod or a custom car built from scratch SAR should be high on your consideration list. I have been an avid hot rodder for over 50 years and have built my share of rods and customs during this time. These were mostly original cars hot rodded to some degree with changes to the drive line, custom wheels/tires, nice paint job and maybe some flames or pin striping. Something that the average hot rodder could do in his garage with a box full of tools a jack/stands and a lot of elbow grease, sweat and occasional cussin’. If you’re any kind of a hot rodder, well you’ve been there I’m sure.
Shortly after my retirement 10 years ago I decided to build a car that was something more than what I was capable of with my limited talent and time. I had formulated many ideas in my mind over the years but knew instinctively that to pull it off I was going to have to find an extraordinary shop that could make my ideas and dreams a reality. And so the search began, first in and around the Phoenix area where I lived and then widening the search to California and Nevada. I used my extensive stash of rod magazines to formulate a list of shops that were capable of building a car at this level and then I made a short list of capabilities including exceptional metal working fabrication, top notch mechanical skills, outstanding paint and interior work and fit/finish second to none. And, it should all be done in house as a turn-key project. None of this ‘subbing’ out for this, that and the other thing. Finally, the most important thing I needed was help in turning all of these ideas running around in my head into a cohesive design. If there’s one thing I’ve learned building hot rods over the years, get your ideas down on paper before you start cuttin’ things up.
With my search underway I quickly eliminated local Phoenix area shops and begin focusing first on the So Cal area, considered to be the birth place of hot rodding, followed by central and then northern California. It became obvious after visiting a number of these shops that this was going to be a more difficult task than I thought. After reading about all these shops in rod magazines over the years I figured it would be a ‘no brainer’. Turns out none of these shops met the criteria I had outlined and in fact most if not all ‘subbed’ out one or more aspect of their work even though they touted their ‘turn-key’ capability. At this point I was getting discouraged if not disillusioned.
It just so happened that a co-worker and close friend living in Oregon had his ’55 Chevy 210 done at a local Portland shop and I was dully impressed with the workmanship. He suggested that I consider the shop for my project but I had resisted up to this point because of the location and not being able to be that involved in the build process. To satisfy my own curiosity I decided to do a ‘drive-by’ during a trip to the Northwest with my wife. After dropping my wife off at a local antique show I drove over to the east side of Portland to check out Steve’s Auto Restorations. Honestly my research led me to believe that they mostly focused on high end classic restorations vs building hot rods and customs. Boy was I mistaken. When I wandered into the shop they had a ’55 Nomad body on a surface plate that had been sliced and diced every which way and it just about blew me away. This is the stuff you only read about and see in magazines. I was amazed. This car would eventually become the Foose designed RealMad custom. It was definitely one of the leading-edge cars created in the 90s.
After touring SARs facility it didn’t take me long to conclude that this was the right shop for my project, which coincidently was also a ’55 Nomad. I had to wait several months for them to finish RealMad before they could begin my project. During this time we were able to finalize design ideas and much of the project details. The 18 months that it took to build the car was one of the most rewarding times in my ‘hot rodding’ life. SAR took my Nomad to levels previously not seen in the industry. From the scratch built chassis with air-ride adapted Corvette suspension to the thousands of custom body modifications and hand formed glasses and chrome trim NewMad would set the bench mark for custom cars for many years to come. None of this would have been possible without the extraordinary group of people at Steve’s Auto Restorations. SAR is one of the premier hot rod shops in the nation that I am humbly honored to recommend to anyone. If you don’t believe me, stop by and see for your self.
One of the many satisfied SAR customers,
I first met Steve in the early ’90’s when starting to restore/build my driver ’55 Chevy. I needed body & paint work, I thought. Three years later in March ’95 we debuted ‘The ’55’ at the Portland Roadster Show far exceeding my expectations for body/paint/interior and overall fit & finish. In ’96 we were sitting at the Portland Roadster Show sharing ideas to build a ’32 Ford coupe with a ‘427’ Ford FE side-oiler engine Steve had stashed away. To this day I am a firm believer to keep the manufacturer body and engine the same, so Ford in a Ford; Chevy in a Chevy, etc. So the ’32 had to have a Ford engine and what better than an FE ‘427. It also had to be a ‘steel’ body and I preferred an original as no one was making a repro ’32 3-Window at the time. Steve and I began the search for 3-Window coupes and un-earthed five ’32-’34 coupe bodies from California to the Washington/Canadian border. My ’32 3-Window was an old Eastern Washington drag car located in Sedro Wooley, WA.
The ‘Whiplash’ project started in early ’97 and debuted at the 2000 San Fransisco GNRS, taking the coveted Al Sloanaker Memorial award for the ‘Best Engineering & Craftsmanship’ award in the show. It went on to shows up and down the west coast taking top honors everywhere, finally being inducted into the Portland Roadster Show ‘Hall-of-Fame’ in 2002. I still own ‘The ’55’ and ‘Whiplash’, with the Chevy having over 22k miles on her odometer from local and long distance trips from Cal to Canada. Many folks think the paint or car itself is new but it is actually going on 18 years old. A tribute to one of Steve’s original ‘hot rod – street machine’ builds. ‘Whiplash’ is still shown and driven more & more but remains to be a nasty, bad boy hot rod with a ‘427’.
I have always stayed in touch with Steve and his shop guys, keeping up with his major projects and builds. My original comment about Steve still holds….”you take Steve’s early days Concours D’Elegance build and restoration attention-to-detail and apply it to Rod & Customs, it is second to none”. Steve has truly raised the bar in the hot rod industry over the past two decades.
I have known Steve Frisbie for over 35 years and have seen many of the incredible cars that come out of S.A.R.. These cars are well above the standard that come out of an ordinary shop. There is a personal feeling and touch that goes into every car that helps to make it unique. If you want a 100% stock car, a classic, a muscle car or a rod this is the place to be. The lost art of lead work is one of Steve’s specialties and the craftsmanship of the shop is evident by the caliber of national award winning cars they build.
Steve has built two cars for me and all along the concept, build and completion process, the shop asked for my input and any recommendations so there would be no surprises in the end. They are professionals at every detail and do their research to insure they are several steps ahead of the competition. Well, there were surprises! I was in total disbelief on what remarkable end products they had created for me, my family and the public to enjoy.
The first car Steve built for me was an all stock 1931 Model A. My goal was to have a nice paint job I could wax. Not only did I get that, it was given a judged 100 points for paint at the Forest Grove Concours D’elegance and a winner several times.
My second car is a 1947 Ford Convertible. It came out far beyond my wildest expectations, from the many subtle modifications to the indescribable paint! I gave Steve my general ideas for the car then stepped out of his way. It was like giving Thomas Kincade a canvas and letting him create a masterpiece. My car has taken many awards and was shown in Rod & Custom magazine.
When asked who built my cars I stand tall and say, “Steve’s Auto Restorations”. No dreams are beyond reach at S.A.R. Steve and his crew are truly an icon of car builds!
Thank you for letting me be part of history-
Fred Reynolds- A grateful S.A.R. Customer
I initially met Steve when I bought a steel Roadster body and related sheetmetal from him. I took it home and started my ’33 Roadster hot rod. Later I took it back to Steve to mount the fenders and runningboards, and the rest is history. The car stayed there for a full build. I requested a lot of extra little custom touches to the car to make it unique as it was being built and Steve was always attentive to my suggestions.
In the end I got exactly what I wanted, a showable (and winning) car and a car that I could drive. Whenever any bugs or problems would arise Steve was always eager to step to the plate and repair anything that might be deemed warranty for no cost. Steve’s Auto Restorations is definately a “stand up” company and I would recommend them to anyone who wanted to purchase product from them or have a hot rod or custom car built.