Craig "Pete" Petermeier
How many of us would give our left . . . arm for a place like this? Craig Petermeier built this shop three years ago on the site of what used to be a convenience store after looking for shelter to house his collection of '60s musclecars. Remnants of the store still exist in the structure, in fact. Don't think this is just another rich guy's car vault, though: Craig and his son, J.C., build cars there as well. Currently, Craig's got 15 cars he's restored, and his collection is growing. Craig started his own logistics company 25 years ago and developed it into a very successful enterprise. He's doing his part to give back to car-guy society by preserving old musclecars. He also wants to imbue his passion in younger generations, and he thinks his shop helps do just that. "I encourage my son to bring his friends over. It's just a great place to hang out and do car stuff," he says. Check out the photos of Craig's Garage-Mahal.
'Craig's friends call him "Pete" and his son "Re-Pete," so the shop is dubbed "Pete & Repeat."
Craig needed a panoramic lens to photograph the exterior. The peaked-roof section in the center is left over from the original convenience store. The lobby and entertainment room are inside. The left side of the shop was supposed to be where the works-in-progress cars go and the right side was supposed to be for the finished cars, but Craig has more cars than space now, so he keeps all the good cars in the shop while he plans his expansion project. Though his tastes favor GM, you can see two Fords in this picture if you squint hard enough. "I'm mostly a GM guy," he admits. The '6311/42 Galaxie is reminiscent of the first car he owned, and the Mustang is a '65 Code C four-speed that belongs to his daughter.
This is the entertainment room. It's jam-packed with the kinds of things that make you never want to go home: a 110-inch projection TV, surround sound, video games, and manly diamond plating on the walls. The Camaro hanging on the wall is made from the rotted pieces of the first car Craig ever bought on the Internet. "It looked great in the pictures. I didn't realize what a rustbucket it was until I got it." Don't worry, the car's been restored with good sheetmetal; this wall art is a mixture of the original rusty panels and gallons of Bondo.
These are some of the highlights of Craig's collection. The '66 Chevelle (front left) is powered by an 8-71 blown 502. Craig said it was inspired by Chip Foose's sense of style, and it wears 20-inch wheels and House of Kolor paint. Next to it is a '69 Nova rumored to be a former Grumpy Jenkins car. The 460ci big-block inhales through dual quads to the tune of 830 hp. A TH400 is entrusted to shuffle the torque to the rear wheels. The green and purple is his '67 Chevelle, done Pro Street style. There's a 383 under the hood juiced with a 150-shot of nitrous. A TH400 is the trans of choice for this car, too. Craig is especially fond of the candy tears paint job. The '69 Camaro (front right) belongs to J.C., Craig's 17-year-old son. It's a ZZ454 backed up by a Richmond four-speed manual. Next is a '69 Chevelle that also belongs to J.C. , which is motivated by a 406 small-block and TH350 combination. Finally, there's the beige '67 Chevelle in the back, a grandma-fresh purchase with only 37,000 miles. The 283/Powerglide combination was removed to make way for a ZZ430 crate engine and a Richmond five-speed. It's a total sleeper. Craig wants to give props to John Welter of Welter Auto Body in Mitchellville, Iowa. John's done all the paint and bodywork on Craig's fleet of musclecars.
There's a hangout room on the other side of the lobby area. The mural was painted by local artist Doug Applegate and depicts Craig and his son J.C. doing what they like to do when they're not in the shop.
'Have a cool garage or know a buddy with one? Send info and photos to Car Craft, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048 or e-mail them to CarCraft@primedia.com.