Custom car shops miss out on shows during pandemic

WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Custom car lovers are stuck in the garage this summer after multiple car shows were stopped in their tracks because of the coronavirus.

Pete and Tim Quintin own Quintin Brothers Auto and Performance in Williston. They had to make the tough decision to close their shop briefly at the beginning of the pandemic for the safety of their crew.

“We were worried about our help, so we wanted to make sure they were taken care of right off, ” Pete said. “And then the uncertainty of it — we didn’t know what was coming. So, when we decided to close, it was a little rough on us because no income.”

They’re back open and focusing on car projects that take years, not regular appointments.

“General automotive is a little slower now because people are working from home, not driving their cars, not changing their tires,” Tim said.

While they have cars to keep them busy, the brothers say they’re not making what they’d usually make. With the brakes pumped on local car shows in New England this season, Quintin Brothers advertising for next year goes out the window.

“If we work on a local car and we have local customers and they have a car show, we like to go there and support them,” Pete said. “Well, we can’t do that. So that does affect our business.”

It isn’t just local car shows that they rely on for exposure and business. For the past three years, they have been sending cars to the SEMA show in Las Vegas. It’s one of the largest car shows and car networking events in the country. Although it is still on, the brothers didn’t see it as the best decision.

“We are going to take this year off from SEMA, which is kind of a bummer,” Tim said. “We really like to get our name out and we have been going for the past three years. It’s trying to get Vermont there as much as we can, it’s really cool to go.”

“I think with everything going on, and the amount of money and time it takes to bring a car there, I think we might miss this year — which is sad because it is a good thing for our business,” added Pete.

Although the future is uncertain, the brothers remain optimistic.

“I think in the fall, it will say a lot of what happens in the next year or so,” Pete said. “I think it looks good, I think it looks positive, we have customers calling us all the time.”

Copyright 2020 WCAX. All rights reserved.

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