Jack’s Journal: Hammer & Dolly Auto Restoration

At first glance it seems like any other automotive garage, but if you look around you might think you’ve been transported back a few decades. In reality, you are at Hammer & Dolly Auto Restoration in Traverse City.

Owner Adam Hammer opened the shop five years ago with a respect for craftsmanship.

“I have a love of craftsmanship of working with my hands, design. So, early on, I was always looking to draw the coolest car or build the coolest car,” explained Adam.

Graduating from the only college in the country with a degree in auto restoration, McPherson, he opened shop and hasn’t looked back.

From oil changes to full restoration, Adam will take care of it for you, and he loves the work.  His wife Tabitha, also a McPherson graduate, specializes in tractor restoration.

“There’s a John Deere here that she restored when she was 15. When it comes to tractors, I just hand her the wrenches,” said Adam.

Working on these classics means that you are working on somebody’s baby, and that means Adam is entrusted with someone’s very special car.

“Our clients are passionate about the car, because they had an awesome adventure.  Drove to the Grand Canyon or went to Woodstock, or who knows? But the car was part of it, getting there was part of that adventure,” explained Adam.

So any advice from a restoration pro for that shade tree restorer? Why yes, there is.

“Take your project in small bites. There are lots of times people say ‘I want to restore the whole car,’ and they knock it down to the frame, pretty soon parts are scattered everywhere. The end result is they look at the parts and it’s like climbing Mount Everest,” Adam said.

Adam is a young guy with a love and respect for the old.  With his talents and vision, he is keeping these cars looking young.

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