Our lead technician, John Gagliardi, has been with Innovative Restorations for 7.5 years. As an ASE Master Certified Automotive Technician and Advanced Level Diagnostic Specialist, he oversees the mechanical shop, which includes repairing vehicles. In addition to dispatching work, he also oversees the overall production of our company.

We asked John what he likes most about his job, and he said “It is great to be able to work with customers and use our creative juices to bring cars back to life, better than they were before.” 

To get to know John a little better we asked him a few questions about working in the automotive restorations field and a few other fun facts. Keep reading to see his responses. 

How did you get into the automotive field? Did you want to be something else when you were younger?

I got into the field just working on my own cars when I was younger. I originally thought I’d be getting into the electrical field since I have lots of family members who are electricians – so it would have been easy for me but I found that I enjoyed working on cars and after attending college for a year, I quickly realized that I wanted to pursue what I liked doing rather a what I thought I should be doing. 

What’s the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career in auto mechanics?

My best advice for someone just starting out is that if around other mechanics, it’s so important to just spend time watching other technicians learn what they do and how they do things. In many careers, people think they need to do a lot of books and studying, but there’s a lot of watching, learning, and simply paying attention in this field to get better. 

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

I enjoy spending time with my family and working around the home. I also play golf at least once a week when I am not at the shop. 

What is one food that you cannot resist?

Tacos – any Mexican food really. 

Do you remember what the first car you worked on was?

My first car was a $100 pickup truck at 16 years old that my uncle bought for me and helped me to get running and do the maintenance on. He let me use his garage and helped me out with the car and it’s been history ever since.

If you could have any vehicle in the world, what would you want?

I have always been a fan of German engineering and I actually worked for BMW for 10 years before coming here – but if I had to choose a dream car, it would be a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned when restoring cars?

Restorations require a lot of patience and attention to detail. There is also a need for confidence. In this line of work, your experience is important. There is really no book to go along with a lot of these cars so there’s a lot of learning and going back to those lessons when they come up again on other cars. 

What’s your favorite service to perform on cars

Some of my favorites probably come from having an electrical background in my family, but what I enjoy doing most is electrical diagnostics. Figuring out the problems, repairing, and fabricating. 

What has been your most memorable project yet?

I don’t have a specific project in mind, but the ones that have been the most challenging are always the ones that end up standing out in my mind as favorites because we overcame the challenges. Also, any jobs that come in and allow modern upgrades on old cars and take our own creativity with them are the types of jobs I really enjoy doing versus making a car what it was 50 years ago. It’s always a bit more challenging,  but I truly love putting our own creativity on these cars. 

Have a car project you need help with? Dreaming of a project you’d rather we handled from start to finish? Just need some routine maintenance done? We do it all.

Give us a call or stop in today!