TMCP #505: Chasing the Dream with Zip Simons – 10 Years of Building Elite Rides at Street Metal Concepts!
Many years ago I was in the middle of a surreal experience of realizing the dream of building my parents car, that I grew up in, into an auto-cross machine that was made better than I ever imagined. I met lifetime friends that donated time to make the dream happen. Street Metal Concepts turned the metal handiwork of Jeff Allison, into the gleaming, flawless paint, perfectly gapped, SEMA Show car that it became.
Almost 10 years later my Chevelle is back at Street Metal Concepts for a few tweaks and updates so I wanted to check in with Street Metal Concepts to see how things are going, what life lessons they have learned, and to catch up with my buddy Zip Simons!
This week I spoke to Tom Rightler, founder of Mid Atlantic Muscle Cars in Bridgeton, NJ. Tom is know for his excellence in restoring most muscle cars, but specifically Chevelle’s. Tom’s dad was a mechanic for thirty years so he grew up around cars and wrenching on them for fun. Like a lot of us, cars were his escape and relaxation! He walked into his first job in a family owned office supply business, learned the trade, and stayed there for years as his hobby turned into a very successful “side hustle.” Detail and accuracy became his trademark and over the course of a decade he became a well known name in the Chevelle restoration world. He even went to night school…just to learn body work, welding, and painting!