Thursday, December 18, 2014

Klassic Rides in Lincoln Co. under new ownership

Three former customers and the founder's son have officially assumed ownership of Klassic Rides, a Lincoln County automobile restoration shop specializing in vintage and classic cars.

Klassic Rides announced its new owners on Thursday.

The business is housed in a 20,400-square-foot facility in Denver with 22 employees, generated about $2 million in revenue this year and attracts customers from the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The shop disassembles, reconstructs and restores muscle, classic and vintage cars from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Employees take pictures of the restoration process and post them online each Friday so customers can track their vehicle's progress.

The new ownership team includes operations manager Billy West, who started Klassic Rides with his father, Floyd West, in 2005; Fred Rice, a 70-year-old retiree; Olindo Mare, who serves as the business' sales, public relations and marketing manager; and Steve Lyon, a "silent owner" who lives in Vermont.

Over time, Floyd and Billy West developed a "difference of opinion as to what the future should be," Rice said.

The new ownership team at Klassic Rides.
 (From left) Fred Rice, Olindo Mare, Steve Lyon and Billy West.
"You have a 30-something year old son and a 60-year-old father with slightly different interests in what the traction should be," he said. "Fathers and sons, they get to the point where they have the contest of who is going to be in charge to go forward.

"As you get older, your risk tolerance goes down a little bit and you want to step back a little," Rice added. Meanwhile, "the young son is trying to put his stamp on the business."

Billy West reached out to three customers to see if they would be interested in becoming co-owners, Rice said. They agreed.

Papers were signed in January and it took the four owners about four days to gather the money to buy out Floyd West, Rice said. In July, they started negotiations to purchase the real estate -- a deal they finalized in November.

Rice declined to disclose the value of the deal, but said it was a "mutually-agreed upon price" with Floyd West, who is no longer associated with the business.

The company's vision, he said, remains the same: Continue to remain true to a commitment for "quality over quantity."


Vinci said...

Quality over quantity is always a key factor for success - a great motto. My family loves vintage cars. Going to a show is almost like a history lesson.