The Past Times Story
Mike Johnson has been restoring classic cars for over 50 years. His passion for automobiles began in 1961 when, at the age of 16, he acquired his first car, a 1940 Ford coupe with a flathead V-8. In the months to follow, Mike painted the car in his parent’s garage. Later, with his dad’s help, he transformed it into a supercharged Hot Rod- terrorizing the streets and cruising the local drive-in of his hometown in Lynwood, California. Eventually, they drove the car to Tijuana for a tuck and roll upholstery job. Soon, he and his high school buddies started a car club and Mike became the “go-to” guy for his friends who wanted a nice paint job on a high-schooler’s budget. So began his lifelong obsession with custom cars.
In 1980 Mike moved with his wife and 2 young children to Estes Park, Colorado. He continued his pursuit of the “old car” hobby, fixing up and repainting cars for family and friends. By the mid 90’s, with encouragement from an old car club friend, Mike decided to build a custom street rod from the ground up. The car, a 1948 Sedan-Delivery, won a first-place trophy at the 40th Annual Tri-State Auto Show in Denver, CO. The exceptional quality of Mike’s work caught the eye of a local car builder in need of a painter. He suggested that Mike open a paint shop and had several jobs waiting. The location was found in Estes Park and Past Times was established.
In 1999 Mike was joined by his son Jeff on a full-time basis. Together they have restored dozens of cars since then for many happy customers. In fact, many of their clients come back to them again and again because of the quality and value of their services.
Jeff and Mike are unique in that they are metal fabricators, known for their exceptional welding and finishing of complex shapes and surfaces, in addition to being award winning painters and restoration specialists. With a full sheet metal shop, they can create custom patch panels for any type of vehicle as needed. As craftsmen, their work is precise and demanding, often necessitating keeping a vehicle for several months, always with full transparency to every hour spent on the restoration.
If this story interests you, please call Mike or Jeff today, or send them an email. Consider asking them for references, because Past Times has many clients who are happy to speak for them.
Our Equipment and Shop
Our location in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado encompasses 2500 square feet of workspace and includes a variety of sheet metal fabrication tools, welders, lifts and rotisseries. We have car trailers-enclosed and open-for vehicle and parts car transport. We have a paint booth large enough for full size trucks and the large classic American cars we work on. We generally work on a maximum of two to three vehicles at a time due to our space limitations. All labor is performed personally by Mike or Jeff.
We love cars, their history and evolution. Our shop is often a “stopping off” point for many car buffs and former customers. We take great pride in the work we do. We often do extensive research into small details in order to “get it right”. We attend a lot of Colorado car shows on our weekend time and we have a great network of friends in the industry. Again, we would welcome a conversation. Give us a call—or better yet—stop by and let’s talk about your project!