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KUED's online series exploring creativity

Derek Ekins - Vintage Car Restoration

Derek Ekins has been working on cars for as long as he can remember. Some of his fondest boyhood memories were of riding around in his older brother’s Dodge Challenger, doing burn outs. “Those memories just stick with you forever,” Derek says. “I knew from a young age what I wanted to do and maybe what I was born to do, is create these works of art.”

For Derek, it’s all about restoration of vintage cars, often referred to as resto-mods in the industry. He works on custom rebuilds of vintage cars from hot rods and trucks to muscle cars and classic sedans. He loves the design and flow of the body, the lines that run the length of the car, the way all of the pieces fit together.

“You can tell the designers spent a lot of time designing the body work and the way the headlights and the tail lights and the grill all integrate," says Derek. “I feel like these cars are rolling artwork. I can only imagine the stories the cars could tell, I’d love to hear them.”

But the work doesn’t come easy, because these are custom jobs there is a lot of stress involved in assuring a good rebuild. Each rebuild can take 12 to 18 months depending on the condition they’re in when they come to Derek and his team at Ekins Garage. Derek documents the restoration with photos and notes along the way and at the end puts together a book of the car.

“They’re a part of me. I mean, I put so much time and energy into them, I definitely feel like they’re an extension of me,” explains Derek. “But it’s stressful because it’s peoples babies your working on and it takes a lot of money and a lot of time.”

For more information on Derek and his work visit Ekins Garage and find out about current projects on Ekins Garage Facebook page.

Produced and edited by

Stéphane Glynn


John Rogers

Audio and co-producer

Brenton Winegar