Join Our Team

HELP WANTED

We undertake projects ranging from regular maintenance and service work, to preparation for vintage driving events, to complete 'every nut and bolt' restorations preserving historical authenticity for concours events. No matter the size of the project, we are very serious about performing each aspect of our work correctly, while honoring the historic heritage of each individual car. To those who truly cherish the craftsmanship of the finest classic automobiles in the world, there can be no better workplace. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply today by completing our required on-line application (walk-in candidates cannot be accommodated).

MECHANICAL SERVICE TECHNICIAN WANTED

Mechanical Shop Technicians work under the supervision of the Shop Foreman, and also are expected to work independently. Not all technicians are qualified to perform all duties, but fully experienced staff members have worked up to proficiency in most of the following areas.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:
  • Initial project car evaluation and diagnosis to generate work lists and recommendations
  • Organize the disassembly, cataloging of components, and reassembly of the car
  • Specify parts needed to Parts Department and follow up on special orders
  • Mechanical fuel injection tuning; carburetor overhaul and tuning
  • Electrical system diagnosis, diagram reading, harness repair and fabrication
  • Suspension rebuilding and setup
  • Diagnostic and critical road testing, tuning and sorting of finished work
JOB REQUIREMENTS:
  • Excellent grasp of automotive mechanical fundamentals
  • Ability to explain diagnosis and needed repairs to management and/or customers
  • A positive attitude, strong communication skills, and be team-oriented
  • Physically capable of lifting up to 50 pounds without injury
  • Full body mobility and the ability to twist, turn, bend at the waist, and work on your feet for extended periods of time, sometimes with your hands above your head or under dashboards
  • Ability to take instruction, actively listen, and work independently
  • Maintain a clean, organized, and safe work bay
  • Comprehensive selection of metric and American tools
  • A valid driver's license and clean record
May be trained for:
  • Individual parts stripping and prepping; painting, utilizing professional systems: epoxies, urethanes, HVLP spray equipment
  • TIG and oxy-acetylene welding of steel and aluminum

MECHANICAL RESTORATION TECHNICIAN WANTED

Mechanical Shop Technicians work under the supervision of the Shop Foreman, and also are expected to work independently. Not all technicians are qualified to perform all duties, but fully experienced staff members have worked up to proficiency in most of the following areas.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:
  • Initial project car evaluation and diagnosis to generate project plan and recommendations
  • Organize the disassembly, cataloging of components, and reassembly of the car
  • Specify project parts needed to Parts Department and follow up on special orders
  • Mechanical overhauls of all driveline units and components
  • Electrical system overhauls, harness repair and fabrication
  • Suspension rebuilding and setup
  • Individual mechanical parts stripping, prepping and painting, utilizing professional systems: epoxy primers, urethanes, and HVLP spray equipment
  • TIG and oxy-acetylene welding of steel and aluminum
  • Diagnostic and critical road testing, tuning and sorting of finished work
JOB REQUIREMENTS:
  • A positive attitude, strong communication skills, team-oriented
  • Ability to coordinate and collaborate with all other departments / skills
  • Deep understanding of automotive mechanical fundamentals
  • Ability to explain diagnosis and needed repairs to management and/or customers
  • Physically capable of lifting up to 50 pounds without injury
  • Full body mobility and the ability to twist, turn, bend at the waist, and work on your feet for extended periods of time, sometimes with your hands above your head or under dashboards
  • Ability to take instruction, actively listen, and work independently
  • Maintain a clean, organized, and safe work bay
  • Comprehensive selection of metric and American tools
  • A valid driver's license and clean record

PARTS ASSISTANT WANTED

We have an opening in our busy parts department for an assistant to the Parts Manager. A successful candidate would have some experience in the parts department of a dealership or parts supply store, as well as a good understanding of standard business practices related to the essential paper flow from purchase order through client billing. Requires the ability to work well with multiple suppliers while keeping the shop technicians up-to-date on expected deliveries.

Many components, from ignition coils to window seals to exhaust systems, are simply not available from any parts source. The specifications that were standard when these cars were first built must be investigated, and the necessary materials must be located, before the component can be restored or replicated and made to work like new. Responding to a technician's request with "WE CAN'T GET THAT" will not do.

RESOURCE MANAGER WANTED

A successful candidate for this position may have some experience as an Archivist or Reference Librarian or Research Assistant. Their primary task is to assist with locating and cataloging photographs and other historic documents to help inform the restoration project, and ensure those reference materials are accessible for all team members. This person will need to perform their tasks in conjunction with almost every technician in the workshop.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:
  • Maintain Car Project reference notebook(s) consisting of both photos and technical notes for current and future needs
  • Maintain Car Marque reference notebook(s) consisting of both photos and technical notes for current and future needs
  • Maintain in-house photo archives (digital and print) for use by multiple departments, consisting of both reference and in-progress materials
  • Maintain and catalogue extensive, growing reference library
  • Scan sensitive documents for digital reference and safely archive originals
  • Manipulate digital images in pursuit of the small, historically authentic details barely visible in old photographs
  • Work with the Parts Department and Crew Chiefs to research sources for parts and materials
JOB REQUIREMENTS:
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • The ability to organize and communicate multiple pieces of information. Computer experience and skills including scanning, photo manipulation, internet search
  • Experience with page layout and graphics programs a bonus
  • Familiarity with automotive terminology and automotive functions required

FAQ

ADVICE TO POTENTIAL CANDIDATES

A candidate for shop positions should know that classic car service/preservation/restoration work is totally different from other automotive service businesses. It is a labor intensive enterprise, billing by the hour, working against estimates. A SERVICE job is rarely completed in an afternoon, or even one day. It is generally a multi-day or multi-week endeavor. A RESTORATION job is rarely completed in a year and frequently takes two. The demand for our business has grown dramatically in the last decade.

Due to the age of the cars we work on, many components are no longer available. The ability to thoughtfully take something apart while taking careful notes, repair it, and reassemble it "as new" is a necessary skill. Work pace is important, yet when one is striving for superb quality, the total hours required to achieve those standards can be staggering. The successful candidate will place a high value on the opportunity to do quality work on premium automobiles in an environment that supports their high standards.

This is a dream workplace for a hard core car junkie with excellent automotive skills. We have the advantage that we don't have to work under flat rate pressures and compromises. That means an intelligent approach at the beginning, a logical and thorough sequence of work performed, and doing it right the first time are required in order to provide our clients with the best value and highest level of service. Dedication to craftsmanship and a passion for cars, like pre-war European classics, 300SLs, V-12 Ferraris, and 4-cam Porsches, is a must in order to be successful in our workshop.

OUR WORKING ENVIRONMENT

To properly preserve the cars entrusted to our care takes a degree of old-world perseverance and skills uncommon in today's world. A willingness to learn from others and a desire to understand technology that is a half-century old is paramount to any job in our workshop.

You will be working alongside skilled and experienced panel makers, body men, tool makers, upholsterers, and mechanics, all supported by parts and resource specialists. Major projects are directed by a team leader, working in close association with all the different craftsmen. The team depends upon each individual to work to their highest level, and to have a working knowledge of the other disciplines as they relate to the task at hand.

OUR EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Offers of employment typically include paid holidays and vacations plus a flexible benefits plan consisting of medical insurance, short-term disability, life insurance, a Section 125/132 Cafeteria plan, a 401K plan, and profit sharing. This is a friendly, small business atmosphere.

OUR LOCATION

Our workshop is located about 24 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. Essex is a small New England colonial-era seacoast village, renowned for building the great wooden fishing schooners of the 1800s. For more information on the area, visit www.visitessexma.com and www.capeannvacations.com.

Our Team

It has been said that "The fine art of automobile restoration demands ingenuity, resourcefulness, high technical skill, and a feeling for machinery not too far removed from love". We are fortunate that Paul Russell and Company is made from such, a group of passionately dedicated technicians and administrators.

Administration

Alex Finigan - Classic Car Sales Manager

Andy Hilton - Operations and Parts Assistant

Donnie Graham - Maintenance Manager

Jack Styles - Parts Manager

Janet Oliver - Website, Advertising, Media

Jeanne Kelley - Accounting Assistant

Josh Korpi - Shop Assistant

Paul Russell - Owner-Manager

Sheila Wilson - Office and Sales Administrator

Susan Barnet - Corporate Comptroller

Body and Paint

Darrell Cole* - Body and Metal Technician

Frank Price - Body and Paint Technician, Foreman

Mike Rocco - Body and Paint Technician

Coachbuilding

Davis Griffith - Woodworker

Evan Weymouth - Metal and Coachbuilder, Apprentice

Richard Docking - Master Coachbuilder

Mechanical

Bob Lapane - Drivetrain Specialist

Chris Hammond* - Restoration Technician

Chris Siepka - Service Technician

Chuck Sim - Restoration Technician

Randy Elber* - Restoration Technician

Rich Bryk - Restoration Technician, Foreman

Sean Gill - Restoration Technician

Thane Heal - Restoration Machinist and Technician

Upholstery

Derrick Dunbar - Coach Trimmer, Foreman

Richard Barnes - Coach Trimmer

*Graduate of Automotive Restoration Program, McPherson College

Shop Tour

"[Paul Russell and Company is] the kind of place where real people rebuild honest cars for genuine car enthusiasts." Jean Jennings, "Monterey or Bust", Automobile Magazine. Click any image to stop/start slide show.

Our Workspace

We are quite proud of our workshop, purpose-built to support the award-winning restoration work that is accomplished within. Our workspace has evolved over the decades to include Coachbuilding, Bodywork and Paint, Mechanical, Machining, Upholstery, Parts and Materials, and a Sales Showroom, all under one roof. 17 talented craftsmen and 10 support staff operate out of a 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art complex.

As you enter our front door there is a feast for the eyes. Any of our award-winning cars may be on display, depending on what is currently under our care. The walls are covered with some of the articles written about our restoration projects and a photo display featuring many of our award winning cars. Surrounding the Reception desk are the Offices where the business details are handled by our Administrative staff. Alex Finigan, who handles our Sales and Brokerage requests, can often be found in his office looking through his impressive collection of reference materials on behalf of a client. The Conference room holds another extensive library of automotive research books and historic photos, plus original paint and fabric samples collected over the years. Beyond the Reception area are the double doors into the heart of the workshop.

COACHBUILDING

A tour of our facilities generally starts in the Metal Fabrication Shop, an aspect of our business that did not exist until 1984. We are especially proud of these hard-to-find services, which illustrate both the technical and the artistic skills required for automotive restoration. Panel beating, or recreating a body panel in the proper shape and size from a piece of flat sheet metal, requires a skilled hand and an experienced eye.

Distributed amidst the two work bays in the metal shop is the specialized equipment used by the early coachbuilders, who made all body panels by hand and then fitted them to each individual chassis. For the restoration of a 300 SL body we can reference the full-size blueprints acquired from the Mercedes-Benz factory. But for most metal work we have to use the remaining evidence on the car, in combination with any photographs or drawings from our library of reference materials, to determine what the panel shape should be. Often we must also go out into the classic car community to find other examples, to examine and measure, and occasionally to make templates.

Woodworking is another aspect of the coachbuilder's art. As many of the early car bodies were made by those skilled in making horse-drawn carriages, prewar body frames often were made of wood. There can also be wood trim around door and window frames, wooden seat frames, and of course wooden dashboards. Wood dust is notably injurious to many other aspects of automotive restoration, and so the table saw, hand tools and workspace for these tasks are located elsewhere in our building.

BODY AND PAINT

As in the metal shop, skylights help to give a clear view of panel surfaces. The five work bays are usually full of bodies on chassis jigs and assorted body panels on sanding benches. This is where the body parts are primed and minor surface imperfections are addressed with various epoxy filler primers. Any irregularities or gaps in the fit of the panels are adjusted during trial assemblies, before the color coat is applied.

Our pressurized downdraft Paint Spray Booth is just one part of a significant investment in the proper environmental control equipment needed to do restoration work responsibly. Air is brought in from outside the building, filtered, and then pushed down into the spray booth through a one million BTU gas-fired heater that adjusts the air temperature to the technician's setting. The paint-filled air is exhausted through two sets of filters underneath the floor before being released.

Across from the spray booth is our Paint Mixing Room. Glasurit was the original paint manufacturer for our first speciality marque, Mercedes-Benz, and continues to be the preferred paint supplier for all of our projects. Even with BASF Glasurit's extensive archives, original paint formulas are often hard to find. Color matching a car's paint is a difficult task, made possible with the selection of correct paint toners and precise metallics on hand in our high-tech mixing room.

At one end of the body shop is our Wet Bay. A single-car wide, with floor drains and extra lights, all the messy paint stripping and wet sanding is done within this contained room. Next-door is our state-of-the-art Waste Disposal Room, where the chemicals used for paint stripping and parts cleaning are processed for environmentally correct disposal. Wastewater collected from floor drains located throughout the work areas is filtered and rendered down to low volume solids.

MECHANICAL

Passing through a set of swing doors, large enough to push a car through during inclement weather, we enter the largest workshop area at Paul Russell and Company. The Mechanical Shop has eight work bays, six hydraulic car lifts, a full-sized paint booth for refinishing individual mechanical components, a separate room dedicated to rebuilding engines and transmissions, and an area earmarked for the final assembly stage of major projects. Distributed throughout the work bays are all the workbenches, tools and pieces of equipment necessary for the basic preventive maintenance and preservation work that all decades-old cars need, and for the extended jobs requiring that every last nut and bolt be restored.

A collection of rolling, shelved carts act as flexible dividers between the work bays. Each of these carts is filled with a project's component pieces which will be reassembled into larger and larger parts until, in the case of a body-off restoration, a fully operational rolling chassis stands before you. Items on these shelves will receive a technician's attention many times during the restoration process, as each gets disassembled, inspected, repaired, painted, plated, and reassembled.

Our extensive Parts Cleaning Room can be accessed from either the body or the mechanical shop. It is filled with the wide variety of chemical baths and media blasting cabinets necessary to clean components that have a half-century of sludge attached to them. In a separate area there is an out-dated paint booth that we have converted to a car-sized sandblasting booth.

MACHINE SHOP

At the end of the mechanical area is our Machine Shop. Stationed here are two Bridgeport milling machines, a metal lathe, a surface grinder, precision measuring tools, and a collection of the 'old style' machines used by the original part manufacturers. A Machinist's services are in high demand here, as it is common-place for each project to be in need of quite a few rare items, whether the car is in for restoration or for service. A CAD program is used when work must be sent to a specialty machine shop or when it happens that we need to reproduce multiple quantities of an item, from door handles to door lock springs.

UPHOLSTERY

The side of the building opposite to the metal and body shops is where our coach trimmers perform their craft. The Upholstery Shop has room for one car, for facilitating the hands-on installation of interior pieces such as carpeting and convertible tops. Two extra-large worktables are for laying out and cutting leather hides and other fabrics, as well as for sewing and assembling individual trim pieces.

When rebuilding the seats, interior panels and tops, our restoration technique is true to the original methods and materials used. If the seats or cabriolet tops originally had horsehair padding, that's what our upholsterers use - we make no substitutions such as modern poly-foams just to make the job easier. When requested, our craftsmen will reproduce the custom luggage that was once offered by Mercedes-Benz and other European marques.

PARTS AND RESOURCES

Located in the center of the building, much of the activity here is in direct response to the difficulties encountered in locating the correct parts and materials for these older vehicles. A sigh of relief can be heard when a reproduction is successfully created, a repairable replacement part is found, or a long awaited item finally clears US customs. A back room contains an inventory of commonly used parts.

Bookcases full of parts and service reference books and computers for accessing our digital photo archives add to the atmosphere. Much of the research required to make an informed decision regarding originality details takes place here. This Service area also contains an assortment of desks and files for dealing with the accumulating paper trail, an important part of any project. Clipboards for all active projects, holding the current work records and repair notes, cover one wall.

SALES SHOWROOM

Away from the hustle and bustle of our technicians' work areas, the Showroom usually has a selection of collectible 300 SLs, Porsches, Ferraris, Bugattis and other limited production European classics for sale. Customer's cars are often in the mix, awaiting delivery to the next event or just waiting for spring.

“Russell's shop is tucked away on one of those winding New England roads tailored for a weekend spin in a '50s-era roadster. The low-slung building is a sort of Plymouth Plantation of the automobile world, peopled by specialists with the skills and knowledge of true artisans.”

Tom Duffy, "Bringing Back the Classics", Cigar Aficionado