About Panel Craft, LLC
Joe Stafford is the founder of Panel Craft, LLC -- one of just a handful of businesses in the United States that professionally re-constructs and reproduces vintage European sports cars. Since the inception of the business in 1985, Mr. Stafford has worked on over 100 cars in his specialty area among which include Porsche, Ferrari, Cobra and the Scarab, an icon of motor racing of which only eight were ever made. He was commissioned as panel beater and to oversee the sheet metal design during the restoration of the Formula One Scarab, which made it's public re-debut in 1997-thirty years after its original inception.
Mr. Stafford attributes his talent in reproducing handmade aluminum and steel bodies of highly valued vintage and antique automobiles to his love of cars and in "being in the right place at the right time", which helped fine-tune his craft. Mr. Stafford's career began with an apprenticeship in sheet metal at General Motors, where he worked for almost six years. While a G.M. employee, he met a group of English panel beaters who offered him part-time employment working nights reproducing and reconstructing vintage and historic race cars--which he accepted. After several years he grew tired of managerial constraints and moved to Massachusetts where he offered his talents to a prominent east coast restoration company. After 18 months he received encouragement from clients to start his own business and soon after opened New England Metal Crafters-now known as Panel Craft, LLC.
Since this time, a number of vintage racing machines owe their current existence to the skills of Mr. Stafford. In addition to the Scarab, other legendary machines brought back to their original glory include a number of historic Porsches that were chosen to race at Le Mans, the motor racing endurance event. According to Mr. Stafford, no one outside the Porsche factory has restored more of their aluminum cars than he has!
Built in 1997, we can comfortably accommodate three projects simultaneously. It's our feeling that big isn't always better, especially when it comes to restoring exotic automobiles. Excess space translates into high overhead and a rush to take shortcuts. All these factors combined can add up to sub-standard workmanship - something we will not tolerate.
Each job is handled with the utmost care. Once the car is in our shop, work is reported on a bi-monthly basis, along with photos (if necessary) and a billing statement.
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