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About the company

Vintage Underground is a full-service facility located in Eugene Oregon, established and owned by Joseph Potter. Our team harnesses a collection of old world and old school skills and tools, balanced with modern techniques and equipment. We work to restore, repair, and preserve historical machines. We seek to honor both the technological advancements and manual efforts these machines represented in their prime.
We do everything in-house, beginning with metal work, coach building, panel beating (as the British refer to it), fabrication, and full chassis construction. We use traditional machining and fabrication techniques, combined with 3-D printing and aluminum parts casting. We maintain full body and paint facilities on-site to produce final builds matching original standards and aesthetic quality. Our full restoration build and assembly processes are kept under our roof, right next to the full interior and trim builds. We also offer a full complement of mechanical services including; engine building and maintenance, transmission repair, and full chassis system building and service.

Joe Potter

Owner

Joe got his start restoring a 1930 Model A Pickup with his dad, at the age of 14. In the early 1980’s, Joe began his professional training at a Mercedes Benz shop in Santa Rosa, California before transferring to a British restoration facility in Carmichael, California. From this point forward Joe’s concentration has been on European restorations, primarily British and Italian cars from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. A master mechanic and experienced restorer, Joe leads the crew on projects from beginning to end with an eclectic mix of interesting Abarths, Ferraris, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, Lancias, Astons, Mercedes, and BMW.

Angel Purkapile

Operations manager

Angel graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Business and Economics and briefly began a career in banking before joining the Vintage Underground team in 2015. She currently manages the office and handles payroll, invoicing, etc. Angel’s specialties include building financial models, databasing, and knowing where to find Joe.

Kyia Friesen

Client Services

Kyia has learned a special appreciation for the rare and wonderful during his many years spent owning vintage automobiles of all makes and models. Watching his dad and grandfather both get their hands dirty on American and German car projects helped solidify a love for old machinery at an early age. After decades of finding, saving, driving, restoring, and preserving dozens of mostly foreign cars, Kyia continues to look with an artists eye for the subtly, detail, and nuance in each new project. With an eclectic palate and a particular soft spot for European oddities, orphans, and originality he has developed a keen eye for each vehicles potential. 

Jeremiah Lafleur

Media and Marketing

J.R.’s first career began as a technician with dealerships.  He loved the challenge of diagnosing and reassembling engines, but had to give it up after a career ending injury.  He went back to school and came out with a MFA in Film and Media.  He has been director, cinematographer, and editor on many nationally recognized and award winning films.  He feels like he has found the perfect job, working around and filming beautiful machinery.  He loves to bicycle, will find any excuse (real or imagined) to fly fish, and can find no better way to relax than to binge watch B films (he has a list of recommendations if you need one).

Trent Liles

Fabricator/Shop Lead

Trent worked for 15 years as a millwright and fabricator before coming to work with Joe in 2012. For years, Trent has been reproducing original quality parts that are no longer available, modifying existing parts, and fabricating replacement components. Trent grew up in a family of air-cooled VW and American muscle obsessed car enthusiasts. However, it was an introduction to autocross that changed his perspective and led him to the path of handling and performance. He developed the necessary skills to build the type of cars that interested him into serious performance machines. He has amassed an extensive knowledge of chassis development, machining, and prototyping. His love of quirky rear engined European cars is unrivaled and his personal turbocharged Fiat 850 project might never be considered fully complete.

Wade Buchan

Restoration Technician

Growing up in Montana, Wade helped his dad begin the restoration of a ’66 Barracuda, which set in motion a lifelong love of automobiles. Wade began in 2005 doing general service work before becoming certified as a diesel mechanic in 2012 and ​entering a career as a heavy duty diesel mechanic for a farm implement company in Montana. He later relocated to Eugene, and joined Joe’s team as a restoration technician. Wade’s passion is in hydraulic systems and electrical components. He particularly enjoys the challenge of building wiring harnesses from scratch and wiring components.

Kai Potter

Restoration Technician

Kai’s passion for classic automobiles stems from his family and their love of cars. From a very young age, he worked alongside his grandfather and his collection of vintage cars gaining knowledge and experience. Later in life, while attending college he began apprenticing with Joseph Potter and building his skill set, acquiring the talents needed to produce high-quality work in the restoration industry. He has become an exceptional mechanic, managing the restoration facility and overseeing many large scale builds. Kai enjoys communicating with customers and making sure they feel included in the build and are thrilled with their final product.

Bill Ryan

Restoration Technician

Bill learned early on in his fathers workshop how to machine and fabricate metal.  He joined the Marine Corp and was trained as a heavy duty mechanic, mainly tanks.  After he left the service, he has spent over twenty years as lead technician at a local European and domestic dealerships.  Bill has a passion for old, mechanical things as well as history.  He has garnered acclaim for his museum quality, scale Civil War era model canons.  Bill would rather be outside, especially if he can be searching for ghost towns and old, forgotten things.

Fabian Gonzales

Restoration Technician

Fabian was born in Mexico, but moved to Oregon in his teens.  The itch for fixing vehicles came when he began taking automotive classes in high school.  Then, after school he would head to his uncles shop for some real world experience.  After high school, he graduated from a two year automotive program and immediately began working for a local dealership.  When not under a hood, Fabian loves traveling or being in the mountains – hiking and mountain biking.

Ryan Killion

Body Restoration

Ryan got his start as a talented welder in his high school’s metal shop. In the early 80’s, he began his career fabricating custom cars and restoring classics. Ryan brings extensive knowledge in the areas of welding, metal, coach, and chassis work, and enjoys the challenge of modifying cars to create custom projects. A master ability at restoration metal work and build that can only come from years of building cars.

Tim Bridges

Body Restoration

Tim’s career started at 18 with a job as an automotive detailer. Tim worked his way into the restoration trade and has since spent almost 29 years as a journeyman painter. Tim’s paintwork is renowned in the hotrod and custom world, as well as American and European vintage car builds. Tim is also a master metal and body technician now with a concentration in metal build and restoration. Tim is widely admired in the classic Mini and Datsun world for his restoration work.

Justin Stockwell

Painter

First inspired by mini trucks and low riders as far back as middle school Justin bought his first classic car at the age of 14 with $150 of paper route money. Thinking it would be a summer project to bodywork and paint, the journey to becoming a custom painter had begun. Now with over 22 years in the industry, the same passion that inspired the long walks to the autocraft store for sandpaper has landed his work in numerous publications, including on the cover of Airbrush Action Magazine, as well as internationally syndicated T.V. shows Graveyard Cars and Counting Cars.  At the beginning of 2019 Justin relocated from Las Vegas to Oregon to continue the never ending task of refining his craft.

Barbara Cooper

Upholstery

Barbara grew up in Mississippi in a large family in which fabrication, restoration, and repurposing projects were both a necessity and a norm. From an early age, Barbara gained a love and appreciation for working with her hands, old tools, and restoration. Her first car was a rusty 1963 Ford pickup, which provided ample opportunities for tinkering and repairs.Bringing fifteen years of sewing experience, Barbara has learned under the apprenticeship of skilled tradesmen in specialty fields such as automotive upholstery and leather repair. Most recently she crafted custom-built motorcycle seats and bags, set up a production leather company, and designed original leather patters and goods.Always eager to learn something new and work outside of her comfort zone, Barbara is a”jill of all trades” who frequently takes on repair projects for friends and acquaintances.

Sage Lien

Facilities

Sage was born in California and spent a good part of his life growing up in Oregon. With a strong artist desire ranging from music, woodworking, leatherwork, and jewelry he has been putting those skills towards his favorite hobbies; building bicycles and old Volkswagens. His unique style of multimedia in his builds has set him apart from many car and bike builders out there. With his strong attention to detail and ingenuity, he has found himself a great home at Vintage Underground Restorations.

Otis

Security

Otis is trained in facilities security and perimeter enforcement.  A long career spent perfecting his craft. 

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