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From Dream to Reality - A History of European Auto Restoration

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In the early 1970s David’s parents immigrated from Italy to Manchester, CT. Their love of Italian culture instilled in David an affection for Italian steel, espresso and homemade pasta. During his childhood David's father Gerardo drove a 1978 Fiat 128 Wagon and his mother Maria drove a 1980 Fiat Brava. His father later purchased a 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider, which they own to this day. As a teenager David's Brother Jerry bought an Alfa Romeo Milano, which David fell in love with. After college David bought one for himself and his 1987 Alfa Milano is still a part of our collection. In 1988 David spotted a Fiat X-19 rusting away in a neighbors yard. David and his father restored the vehicle together over the next few years.
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David studied Automotive Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Although a career in Automotive Design was David’s original direction at Pratt his focus shifted soon after graduation. The Automotive Industry was not making vehicles with the same level of integrity as the vehicles that David had fallen in love with. After college in Brooklyn, NY David and some friends embarked on a road trip in an old 1 ton Dodge van. As they traveled through 34 of the lower 48 states David put much of his mechanical knowledge to the test . After hitting an Elk on the Oregon coast David completely rebuilt the old van and also acquired a Datsun 510 wagon that he towed all the way back to the East coast. David’s Datsun became his daily driver while he was living in Brooklyn and it made multiple trips from the East coast to Michigan and back. Before leaving Brooklyn, David bought a 1971 BMW 2002 for his wife Juliet. Although it looked pretty good the 2002 needed extensive bodywork and David had yet to find a shop to call his own.
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When David & Juliet moved to West Michigan, David decided to devote his time to restoring old European vehicles. In 2002 he began buying, restoring and selling older European cars out in a small outbuilding in West Olive, MI and European Auto Restoration was born.

In the spring of 2003 David acquired a 1960 Fiat 1200 Sedan from the original owner complete with photos, documents and other Fiat paraphernalia from the 60’s. Only a few weeks later he found a 1960 Fiat 2100 Sedan, which unlike the 1200 needed much restoration. As the current spokesmodels for the business these 60’s Fiats were the beginning of a collection or an obsession.
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In the fall of 2003 David and Juliet built their first house and a new facility for the growing business. In the summer of 2006 they built a second building which was used for storage and later converted into the current shop.
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In 2007 David & Juliet's first daughter Isabella joined the team. Her little sister, Stella was born three and a half years later in 2011. Currently Isabella and Stella both help out at the shop. Perhaps they will fall in love with old European cars and pick up the torch someday.

From 2013 to 2017 as the shop grew, they rented 10,000 sq.ft. warehouse a few miles from the shop to accommodate the growing collection of vehicles and inventory.
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In 2017 David & Juliet purchased an 18 acre lot on M89 and built a 12,000 sq. ft. storage building to move the vehicle and parts inventory into. This building was the first of the two current buildings on the property today.

They designed and built the second 12,000 sq. ft. building in 2021 to meet the needs of the growing shop. The shop was moved over to the new building at the very beginning of 2022. The new building provided much needed space for the growing shop and the ability to add a dedicated machine shop and upholstery studio.