Gerald and Sons Restorations, in Nappanee, Indiana, is a LeBaron Bonney Authorized Installer. We spent time with company owner Gerald Hochstetler discussing his business.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: Since 1981
Q: What services does your shop offer?
A: We offer “ground up” restoration services, primarily for Model A’s and ’32 Fords
Q: How did you get into this business?
A: It started as a hobby – I always liked antique cars. I bought my first Model A in 1979 or 1980, and did restoration work on it. Now I do restorations for other people.
Q: What do you like most about your business?
A: I like that I can work at home with my family – my son and I do the restoration work. It’s a labor of love. I like that we can fulfill customer needs, and it’s very rewarding when we finish the project and see the joy on customers’ faces.
Q: How long have you been installing Lebaron Bonney?
A: For 25 years
Q: Why did you start using LB?
A: I liked the quality. We had used others, but didn’t get the fit or original look we wanted. We are willing to pay more for quality and workmanship – the fit is worth it.
Q: Are there qualities of LB products that make them easier to install or provide better quality fit and finish?
A: We do all aspects of our restoration work in-house. For tops and interiors we buy everything as kits and install them ourselves. We find when we install LeBaron Bonney kits we get a better fit.
Q: Was there a particular problem you were having that LB solved?
A: I can’t think of a particular problem we had, but if there is an issue LeBaron Bonney is quick to fix it; whether it is our fault or theirs.
Q: How do LB kits compare to other interior kits?
A: Customers sometimes bring in other brands for us to install, and we can see the difference in authenticity (LeBaron Bonney is more authentic).
Q: How has LB affected your company’s success?
A: The LeBaron Bonney name resonates with people – they understand this is quality stuff, and that we use it reflects well on our company. Also, as a LeBaron Bonney Authorized Installer we receive referrals, and though people are referred to us for interior installs they see we offer other restoration services they may need. That helps to increase our business.
Q: What do you see as the primary benefits of LB products and company?
A: Quality and fast service
Q: Where do you see your company in 5 years?
A: My goal is to keep restoring three to four cars per year with my son. We want to keep it a small family business.