If you attended an Engineered Automotive Cars n’ Coffee car meet , then you must have seen cars you’d likely never see outside of a video game or movie. Jaguar XJ220? Porsche 959? Shelby GT500 Eleanor? Check, check, and check!
In reality, this is just another day at Engineered Automotive. EA was kind enough to invite me to tour their shop located in the Greater Toronto Area to see what a typical day at the office looks like.
Engineered Automotive started out as a small operation back in 1987. Founding partner Billy Smilovsky set up the shop to work on Porsche Canada 944 Turbo Cup cars, a series in which he participated as a competitor and eventually as the organizer. The shop expanded over the years as more of his clients began requesting him to work on their other cars.
Fast forward to 2017, EA has grown into a state-of-the art 45,000 sq ft facility located in Concord (Vaughan), Ontario. The entire building was constructed to their specifications, designed with workflow efficiency in mind.
The facility includes a workshop, body shop, dyno room, paint booths, detailing station and a showroom. Car washes, oil changes, restorations and full custom builds are all within the scope of the EA team.
Engineered Automotive – One Stop Shop for Classics, Muscle, Sportscars, Exotics, Tuners and Everything in Between
Not only does EA offer a wide range of services, they also work on practically anything with a motor strapped to it. As if the cars in the shop wasn’t impressive enough, I also caught a glimpse of a boat and even parts of a helicopter around the shop!
It shouldn’t be a surprise that many of EA’s anonymous clientele have multi-million dollar car collections. Their private underground garages would put automotive museums to shame!
If you attended the 2017 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, then you must remember the 1978 Ferrari 312T3 driven by legendary Canadian F1 driver Gilles Villeneuve.
After taking the classic racer out from storage a few years ago, the owner asked EA to wake up the Italian beauty from hibernation. If you were around the area that day, you may have heard it rip some shakedown laps around the EA parking lot.
Transparency is one of the most common themes among reputable shops. EA is no exception, the high level of trust they build with their customers is very apparent. In fact, they recently began streaming a 24/7 live feed from their shop on Twitch!
By taking on such a wide variety of cars, the EA team occasionally runs into projects that fall outside their area of expertise. In these situations, EA will not hesitate to tap into their extensive global network to track down a specialist, even if they need to be flown in from overseas.
Classic Muscle Cars, Hot Rods and Modern American Supercars
As we walk into the shop, I immediately spot the Shelby GT500E Eleanor that looked like it came straight from the set of “Gone in 60 Seconds”. Incredibly, there was actually another one of these beauties sitting in the showroom as well!
While we are on the subject of movie cars, there were also two Pontiac Trans Am Firebird on site. Both in black and gold, just like the T-top from the Burt Reynolds classic “Smokey and the Bandit”.
EA also sees their fair share of hot rods, including this badass stretched ’55 Chevy. This particular car is actually built with the front end of a ’56, rear end of a ’57 and a LS motor under the hood from a Corvette!
Speaking of Corvettes, modern American sports cars are also well represented at EA. This naturally aspirated C7 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport is a perfect example.
One cool thing I noticed in the shop was that a lot of the owners are not afraid to have fun with their cars. The graining on the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires suggest the owner of this Shelby GT350R had a terrific summer!
Continuing with the theme of twins, there was also a pair of the first generation Ford GT supercar. Both were white with blue racing stripes down the middle. In my opinion, the supercharged V8 powered GT has aged very well since its introduction over a decade ago!
If you attended the Engineered Automotive Cars n’ Coffee meet this past July, you may recognize this beautiful Ferrari Barchetta replica sitting along Thunder Alley.
Admittedly I am no expert on European classics, but I am sure there are cars at EA that will stump even the most knowledgeable car geek. A good example would be this Alfa Romeo Montreal sitting on the lift. Despite its name, the car was actually never sold in North America!
While I was taking photos around the shop at around 7AM, I noticed Billy was already hard at work. Here he is moving this Jaguar E-Type convertible out of the shop to make room for his team.
I typically think of modernized American classics when I hear the term “Restomod”. However, the concept is now commonly applied to European and Japanese cars as well.
This Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa demonstrates the restomod European classic perfectly. It combines elegant Italian curves and German muscle with a BMW 5.0L V12. Purist may not approve, but I couldn’t stop drooling over the individual throttle bodies peeking through the hood!
Exotic Supercars and Sportscars
The Jaguar XJ220 was one of my favourites from Gran Turismo. A mid-engine supercar powered by a twin-turbo V6 was very unusual at the time. Jaguar only made 275 cars, so I was very surprised to see one at EA in Toronto earlier this year.
It wouldn’t be an exotic car collection without a V12 Lamborghini right? The Diablo still remains my personal favourite from the Italian automaker. After Audi took ownership of Lamborghini in 1998, they improved the overall quality of cars like the Murcielago. However, the Diablo still has an undeniable charm much like the Countach and Miura before it.
Another design that has stood the test of time for me is the V8 Vantage. After a 12 year production run, Aston Martin has finally introduced a new Vantage for 2018. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long because this V8 Vantage roadster still looks fantastic!
Staying True to Porsche Roots
Engineered Automotive may have branched out from their roots as a Porsche specialist, you will still see various 911’s around the shop like this classic red 965 Turbo.
This 911 Turbo convertible features a unique slantnose (or flatnose) front end, similar to the 935 racecar. This option was only available through the Porsche special order program in the 80s.
The demand for classic Porsche’s has skyrocketed in recent years, but there’s no denying the speed of modern water-cooled 911’s. This 997 GT2 was mind numbingly fast for its time, much like how the 991 GT2 RS is today.
The Porsche 928 may not be as popular as its 911 bigger brother but it certainly has its share of admirers. One of EA’s clients has collected over 20 of these V8 coupes!
EA is actually working on a project right now for a client who aspires to have the world’s most powerful 928. The above photo shows a handcrafted prototype front end for the car. The power goal for this car exceeds 1,000whp, so EA will be building a custom widebody to fit the widest tires possible.
The car actually already arrived with a Koenig widebody kit and an octo-pipe (yes EIGHT!) exhaust. I’m personally very curious to see how this project progresses!
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Japanese Tuner Cars
You may have noticed that Japanese cars seem to be underrepresented at Engineered Automotive. Judging by the cars present that day, the majority of EA’s clientele prefer cars from American and European manufacturers.
That doesn’t mean they don’t work on Japanese cars though. This heavily modified JDM Nissan Skyline GTR is a perfect example. The RHD R32 has been built as a turbocharged AWD track monster. At its current state, there are very few stock components left on the car.
Dyno Room, Test and Tune
Software tuning is another service offered by Engineered Automotive. With their own dyno room, they are able to complete the entire tuning process in-house to eliminate the need to ship out your ECU for a reflash.
With a Mustang AWD-1750 dyno, EA is capable of dyno tuning all-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive vehicles. The dyno is rated up to 3,500hp which is sufficient even for the fastest cars that comes through EA.
Unfortunately I did not get a chance to check out EA’s dyno due to renovations. To make up for it, here is a Ferrari 355 making sweet music on the their dyno.
Body Shop, Collision Repair and Detailing
In addition to working underneath the car, Engineered Automotive also works on the shiny side as well. With a dedicated body shop and three paint booths, the EA team is capable of simple jobs like repairing fender benders all the way to installing widebody kits.
They can even restore classics by completely stripping the car apart, dipping the chassis in an acid bath and then building it back up to the client’s specifications from the ground up.
This beautiful E30 BMW M3 features modern interior touches with an Alcantara steering wheel and custom stitched interior, all done by EA.
After the car is complete inside and out, EA can help the owners keep it looking fresh with a full detailing bay. Their services range from a basic wash and wax, interior cleaning all the way to Ceramic Pro coating application.
Supercar Sales Showroom
There is a real sense of drama when you walk into the Engineered Automotive showroom. As I stumbled into the darkness in search of a light switch, I accidentally tripped the motion sensors and the room immediately lights up.
I immediately realized that I’m surrounded by automotive greatness. Looking at any random direction, I could see cars like the Shelby GT500E, Ford GT, Pontiac Firebird and Lamborghini Diablo.
There were other less exotic, but equally desirable cars in the showroom as well. For example, this pristine Lancia Delta Integrale was originally bought as a winter beater! As much fun as I would have in the snow, I don’t think I’d have the heart to expose the Lancia to the salted Ontario roads.
There was also an all original Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limousine. Apparently most of the car is operated by a unique hydraulic system, including the windows, seats and trunk. Unsurprisingly, it is very difficult and incredibly expensive to source parts for this car!
Engineered Automotive Cars N’ Coffee
Car enthusiasts are passion driven people. Instead of traditional marketing, EA focuses on generating word of mouth referrals. After all, a recommendation from someone who loves their cars as much as you do is worth its weight in gold!
One of their most successful initiatives is hosting Toronto’s very own Cars n’ Coffee event. Typically taking place on the first Sunday morning of every month from May to September, it’s grown to become one of Canada’s biggest car meets with hundreds of cars in attendance regularly.
EA Track Days and Racing
EA hosts private open lapping track days at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly known as Mosport). Located about an hour away east of Toronto, it is one of the fastest tracks in North America and hosts top tier series like NASCAR, IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge GT.
They also have a roster of experienced instructors to make sure drivers keep the shiny side up at the end of the day. It does not matter if you are an experienced hot shoe or novice at the track, EA will make sure you enjoy yourself while keeping you safe on track.
The diversity of cars at Engineered Automotive mirrors the ethnic diversity that makes Toronto so unique. For car enthusiasts, having a local shop like EA that has experience dealing with uncommon vehicles is a tremendous asset.
Make sure to follow Engineered Automotive on Instagram (@engineeredautomotive) and Facebook to keep up with what the crew is working on. You might even get a sneak preview of what’s to come for next year’s Cars n’ Coffee meets!
355 Confederation Parkway
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