Did you know Norfolk is home to its very own automobile reality television show on the Velocity Channel? You’ve probably even driven past the facility, near Old Dominion University and not given the simple-looking building a second thought.
DRS Automotive FantomWorks, or just “FantomWorks,” as the Velocity channel calls it, can provide any part or service for your classic automobile, or even that full restoration for which you’ve been saving! The shop opened in 2006, and the show started in 2013. Short’s shop was “discovered" by Nicolas Valcours of New Dominion Pictures, who brought Peter Rees, the creator of “Myth Busters,” and the show was ultimately picked up by Discovery Velocity.
“I fell in love with my first car when I was 5. I was born in '62, and in 1967, I saw a 1967 Camaro and fell in love with it on that day. I really didn't start tinkering with cars much until I was about 15 or 16, and I just started playing,” said Dan Short, owner of DRS Automotive. “As I went along in my military career, I realized I wanted to do something different, and I started having an inkling of creating my own company. It's one thing to build cars as a hobby. It's another thing to run 75 cars at a time through a business. It's a completely different world.”
They aren’t only known for their classic car restorations. They can get your jukebox playing tunes again, get your other Americana-type items looking and working like new, as well as repair or restore your classic aircraft or watercraft to get them sailing through the clouds or water again. Got a motorcycle in need of a tune-up or a major restoration? They can do that too! Since going into business, they’ve completed more than 2,900 projects.
If you’ve ever wondered where the FantomWorks clients come from: “Sixty to 70 percent of our customers are within the local area. The next 20 percent would be from around the country. Ten percent is from other countries,” Short said.
To watch the series, you can see it in high definition on Cox Communications’ channel 1080, or you can watch full episodes online. New episodes air on Fridays at 10 PM EST.
If you’re enough of a super fan already that watching the series and following them on social media still isn’t enough for you, take a tour of their 52,000 square foot shop! Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the FantomWorks staff host tours at 3 PM at their facility, located at 2400 Hampton Blvd. in Norfolk. Guests need to arrive by 2:45 PM. Tour groups are limited to 40 people, first come, first served. Tours are $15 per person.
You can even pick up a t-shirt while you’re there. If you ask nicely, you might be able to get Dan to autograph it for you!
What’s your favorite kind of classic car? Share with us in the comments! Thinking about buying your new home this fall in Hampton Roads? Start your search with us!