He Makes Old Cars Look New Again


BILL KOEHLER

"I have a good team">

He Makes Old Cars Look New Again


BILL KOEHLER

"I have a good team, it's all about teamwork," he said.

 

 

By TERESA ANICOLA
Courier-Post Staff
CourierPostonline.com

     Bill Koehler has a flair for making what's old look like new again. An auto trimmer and restorer, Koehler is manager of The Finish Line in Somerdale. 

     "I've always had a passion for cars," said Koehler, 42. "This work comes natural to me."

     In addition to repairing and replacing convertible tops, he also refinishes car interiors from basic seat rebuilding and repairs to their total conversion from cloth to leather. His shop replaces cloth headliners and also repairs or creates side interior car panels and installs carpeting

     "Things break down and fall apart easier today than stuff built in the 60s and 70s," said Koehler.
     In business since 1982, the shop moved to  Gloucester Township from  Somerdale three years ago.

     He said about 50 percent of his business is the restoration of vintage cars such as a maroon 1949 Oldsmobile the shop recently completed.

     "We do anything from a worst case scenario to a minor repair," said Koehler. "Everything old has become extinct. We locate, or help locate, donor parts all throughout the country like interior trim, seats, original fabric and vinyl and dash components."

     In addition to the satisfaction he gains from seeing the finished, restored vintage vehicles in his shop, he also finds it gratifying to help drivers in thew everyday vehicles.
     Additionally, Koehler performs managerial work such as schedules and pay for his employees. He said the starting salary for this type of work is about $15 an hour.

     "I have a good team, it's all about teamwork," he said.

     In addition to cars, The Finish Line does canvas work for boats such as enclosures, curtains and mooring covers. They also replace the wood in seats and side panels that becomes rotted from water exposure.

     For motorcycle riders that can't find a comfortable seat, the shop creates motorcycle seats that are custom contoured and recovered to fit the rider.