Grease Monkey

Restoring classic cars is a lifelong hobby of many car enthusiasts — for Pat Reisinger, it has become a successful trade and business.

Though his shop, Reisinger Custom Rebuilding (5001 New Harmony Road), has been taking on projects from around the country since 2008, his history with cars and restoration goes back much further. An Evansville native, Reisinger spent his youth working on tractors in his father Steve’s shop, which operated from the family home.

“I’ve always worked on cars, motorcycles, and motors,” he says.

After high school, Reisinger went on to attend medical school, becoming an internal medicine physician and working as a hospitalist at St. Vincent. But the love of rebuilding cars never left him — he continued to build engines and work on classic models. It would be a project for his mother’s birthday in 2008 (rebuilding a Ford Model A) that pushed him to start his own garage under his father’s former shop name, Reisinger Custom Rebuilding.

“I try to define what makes us want to do a project — if it’s not a dangerous upgrade or not something every other shop does, that’s what we lean toward,” says Reisinger. “We focus more on the big-scale builds. But if it’s a plausible and unique project, that’s what we’re in to.”

The shop’s builds focus on pre-1974 classic, American cars — from Corvettes and Mustangs to the Ford Model A and Indiana’s own Studebakers. Some rebuilds can take a year or more, depending on the work the customer has requested.

“Building fast, beautiful cars — these models were at the pinnacle of automobile art before we had to become practical,” says Reisinger. “You wanted to stand out a little bit back in the day — and now we are using what they did as the foundation of what we do.”

At one time, rebuilding pre-1974 cars was about keeping it stock — the look and mechanics the same as when the car was first built. But now, Reisinger says it’s about making it better.

“It’s really an extensive process, but it’s worth it in the end,” he says

812-963-6325 •

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