Kevin Marti has replicated a ’70s era Ford dealership as a centerpiece of an auto restoration business, reports Larry Edsall in The New York Times (6/15/14). Kevin is perhaps best known for his Marti Reports, which provide Ford enthusiasts with detailed “information about individual vehicles from the day they started moving along the assembly line, detailing the color of the original paint, the specific powertrain combinations in the car when it left the factory and the options that were added.”
Kevin landed in that business after learning that Ford had the information on punch cards, but did not have “the equipment that could read the cards.” He already had a license from Ford “to reproduce reproduction parts” — starting with making the stripes that adorn vintage Ford muscle cars , which led to “stamping out radiator hoses” on his kitchen table and curing them in his oven. Marti Auto Works now boasts a complex of two buildings, just outside Phoenix.
His “dealership” replica features a showroom, “lifts, and all the tools and equipment needed to repair and maintain a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury.” Kevin’s interest in Ford began as a teen when he set out to buy a Chevy Camaro, only to fall in love with the “sequential taillamp signals” of a Mercury Cougar (video). He got hooked on restoring cars after sawing the roof off his Cougar to try to turn it into a convertible, only to find he “couldn’t open the doors anymore.”