Episode Summary

Jim Chatas — Motorcity Grind, Owner An email from a loyal customer, when he heard Jim was coming on the show. From a loyal customer Craig Cushing You know it’s a funny story how I met Jim Chatas. I was sitting at a local diner having lunch with one of my employees, and I overheard a conversation from the booth behind me. I kept hearing these guys talk about mustangs, fastbacks, and they’re shop. So I stood up and walked over and said I’m sorry to interrupt and I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but did I hear you guys say you work at a mustang shop? We hit it off right away. For about a year I followed his FB and Instagram. I knew I had found the guy that would one day build my dream car. The builds they put out are beyond top notch. The attention to detail is outstanding. So when I finally found my 69 Mach1 I drove it straight to his shop! One of the things I admire the most about James is his honesty. He’s not afraid to let me know if I’m going overboard and he does a very good job of helping me keep the car in budget. Which can be tough with all the incredible aftermarket parts availed these days! My car should be done by this summer. And I am overly excited. ~Craig Cushing

Episode Notes

Questions I ask Jim during our interview:

Take me through the early stages of Mustang Restoration — you have a meeting with a new customer before they decide — what does that process look like.

Tell me when you realized your passion would be your business?

What did you do before Motorcity Grind?

Share some symptoms telling a classic pony owner that it is time to restore?

Who is on your team?

How do you juggle many projects at one time?

Do you own an early year Mustang?


What do you do for a living and is it related to classic cars or Mustangs?

I retired from architecture and opened a restoration shop that specializes in restoring 1965-1970 mustangs. The business has really taken off over the last three years. I have been building mustangs since 1991. I turned my passion into my business. I love going to the shop every day and working or meeting clients.

Is there anything specific you would like to share on the show? 

I’d like to promote my company Motorcity Grind. It’s my restoration shop. We specialize in 65-70 mustangs.

If you own a Mustang or classic car, have you named your car? If so, what is his/her name?

I have several Fastbacks but no names!

How long have you owned your classic ride?

I have owned my supercharged coyote Shelby Clone for about 6 years. My 68 Fastback for about 1.5 years. I have a lot of S code Fastback project cars. I sold a very original patina 65 Fastback. Loved that car…

If you’ve made improvements to your classic car or restored it, what work have you done?

Personally I do most of the assembly. My team does the bodywork and paint. I’m very involved in the day to day. Before the shop I had a friend who painted for me and I would build a car every one or two years. I have built engines and have done a lot of upholstery work as well.

Do you work on your classic cars yourself or do you have a mechanic or shop do the work? Explain please

I buy a lot of project cars and mix them in between the client cars. The project cars are stored in the shopping containers and we restore them. When they come out of the paint booth we list them for sale and they usually sell within a few weeks. I’m very fortunate to have a shop with a small team. I love building these cars! I’m not your typical business owner. Im driven by accomplishing rather than profit.

What plans do you have for improvements/restoration/modification of your classic car?

For my 68 Fastback, I will be adding street or track’s front suspension kit. I found a nice 68 console that I want to put in it. That car has a built 351w and a T5. Rack and pinion steering and disc brakes up front. Great car.

If you are on social media, please share your social media names/handles so we can tag you when promoting your episode.


@motorcitygrind17 https://www.instagram.com/motorcitygrind17/

Facebook – Motorcity Grind


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Thanks for listening, keep it safe, keep in rollin’ and keep it on the road! Until next time.

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