11551 Tanner Williams Road, Mobile AL 36608 251-605-1545

Poor Mans Restoration

Mobile Alabama Car Restoration


By the time he was sixteen years old, Glen Thomas already owned three pickup trucks. None of them were in particularly good shape but looking back on those times today, all three must have been the type of vehicle he actually wanted – something to work on; to make new again.

Over the years there has been a long succession of pickup trucks, sedans, convertibles and unclassifiable vehicles. Throw in a dozen or so tractors and motorcycles and you might start to realize that Glen just likes fixing up old vehicles. His wife, Teresa, calls them all “rusted junk,” but Glen sees past the restoration problems and is yet to be intimidated by rust or dirt.

All across the Gulf Coast and beyond, Glen works with a multitude of classic vehicle owners, professional restoration shops and countless semi-pro types to locate, retrieve and restore classic vehicles. It is not uncommon at all for Glen to take off before sunrise to purchase another “pile of junk.” But… months later, like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, Glen rolls out yet another gleaming classic that very few people are lucky enough to own and care for.

Glen takes pride in identifying vehicles worth the time and effort to put them on the road again. He is also quick to tell his customers that just about all old vehicles have some value – some just for salvage and some for parts. Glen also says that the internet has helped him with his restoration projects quite a bit. A quick exchange of photos by email is often all it takes to help him decide what should be done with a customer inquiry.

There is always a nice variety of to-be-done projects around Glen’s shop. Today there is a 1963 Chevrolet pickup, two pickup cabs, a Chevrolet dully chassis with partial cab, mid-60’s Camaros and mid-70s Impalas. And, a couple of tractors and storage containers of parts. Glen keeps busy with them all and often finishes restoration of one in order to make a little money to get started on another.

Poor Mans Restoration, Glen’s shop, is pretty well known along the Alabama and Mississippi  coast. He attends many events driving one of his restoration projects and notes that he gets more positive comments on less than pristine restoration projects. “People really don’t care much about what a classic looks like on the outside. They just seem to enjoy seeing one on the road again,” said Glen. He goes on to say, “I have more people drool over old rusty trucks that I barely knock the rust off of before I clear coat them, than anything else. Now, that’s patina.”

Glen also has a unique way of working with customers on restoration projects. Customers can identify a project vehicle to purchase or bring their own. Then, the customer can walk away and wait for Glen to call and say their vehicle is ready. Or, they can retrieve the vehicle anytime during the restoration if they want to do some of the work for themselves. Either way, Glen guarantees you will be happy.



  1. Paul Matthews

    I have a 1955 Chevy 4400 1.5 ton truck I would like to upgrade the running gear to 8-lug w/disc brakes, dual master cylinder, power steering and possible swap in a V-8.

  2. Joel

    Looking at getting my 1972 Chevelle SS restored. I have taking the motor out and removed all trim and bumpers.
    I have pictures of the car I can send.

  3. paul T matthews

    What does your schedule look like? Are you able to start on a truck project now?


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