Servicing Rare and Unique Luxury Vehicles
Many shops who service BMWs turn older models away, afraid that spending time restoring an older vehicle isn’t a worthwhile investment. But Reggie Stewart, owner of Noblesville, Ind.-based Reggie’s Motorworks says these cars are a part of his DNA, and that his shop services older BMWs to create a strong additional revenue stream.
In the April issue of Ratchet+Wrench, Reggie’s Motorworks will be featured about how it was able to replace its entire fleet of technicians. Stewart grew up driving, modifying and selling parts for older models of BMWs, and wanted to continue working on them after opening his Noblesville shop. The cars he services range from the late ‘60s to 2018, and Stewart says he often services the E30 3-series and ‘80s BMWs.
Since these vehicles are old and often have a variety of issues, Stewart says his staff has to take a cautious approach.
“We’re not a restoration shop, but we approach those with a restoration mentality,” Stewart says. “We usually have the parts in stock, and we want to replace them.”
Many times this means modifying the cars or even doing engine swaps. Stewart says his shop has to adjust the flat rate for working on these cars, and has to have a multiplier for these services.
“You have to compensate for rusted bolts, or how much a car has been monkeyed with in the past 30 years or so,” Stewart says.
His sales for these types of vehicles lie somewhere in the 10-15 percent range of his overall revenue, and Stewart says he often gets cars coming from out of state to get serviced.
Finding parts can be difficult, and Stewart says he’s often left waiting or improvising his services if too many vintage cars come into his shop at once. But it’s still a beneficial revenue stream, and Stewart views it as a way to continue his passion of working on antique vehicles.
“At times it becomes overwhelming and a struggle. It’s definitely an added challenge,” Stewart says. “But at 10-15 percent of our business, it’s worthwhile.”'
Stewart keeps a running blog of these older vehicles, and other rare vehicles his shop services, on his website. Check out his content, with pictures and descriptions of the repairs themselves, here.