Classic: Panel beater branches out to fix the coolest cars
THERE'S a certain amount of skill in taking something broken and bent and restoring it to its original state.
Particularly if that something is the stainless steel, aluminium or brass trimmings on classic, custom or retro cars.
In Carl Mills case, it has taken almost 40 years of experience in panel beating.
After 38 years' working in panel beating shops across Lismore, Mr Mills has decided to branch out on his own.
The Northern Rivers "old school" panel beater recently took up stainless steel repairs full time under the banner Carl Mills Stainless Steel Repair in Casino St, South Lismore.
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Mr Mills first got into stainless steel repair working on the grille of his own 1959 Chrysler.
The car had been in an accident that pushed in the grille and there were no parts available to replace it.
After two and a half weeks of repairing it in his spare time, the grill was as good as new and Mr Mills had people asking where he had it restored.
Since then, Mr Mills has worked on a 1956 Desoto, EH wagon and Ford Victoria, to name a few.
Mr Mills said he had been involved with car shows since 2006, which were a vital source of contacts and clients.
"There's not many guys actually doing it north of Sydney or south of Brisbane," he said.
"I've been getting a lot of accolades up and down the coast."
Mr Mills started his career as a panel beater at Pidcock Panel Beating, Lismore, in 1976, before heading off to TAFE where he topped his class.
He was an apprentice at Watson and Sons before moving to Alstonville Smash Repairs where he worked for 15 years. After that he spent 10 years at Prodgers Panelworks before taking up a job at Minarelli Smash Repairs in South Lismore.