Donze Restorations has a tradition of pre-war (WWII) automobile restorations dating back to 1949. As one would imagine, this means frequent reproduction of missing or unusable parts. These restoration needs can occur in areas of woodworking, metalworking, metal fabrication, upholstery, reverse engineering, research, painting, plating, metal polishing, parts searches and many other disciplines to make a true 100 point restoration in authenticity, materials, construction methods and presentation. The Donze garages have produced many national first-prize winners and preservation awards.
Beginning in 1949, Dr. William Donze became known for the precision restoration work that he performed on his own cars (nearly fifty), the Frederick C. Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, the Long Island Auto Museum and personal cars for his many friends in the hobby. The same methods and precision that he used in the operating room were the guideposts for his shop behavior as well.
Dr. Donze was active in many clubs to advance the hobby including the Veteran Motor Car Club of America (VMCCA), Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), Horseless Carriage Club (HCC), Packard Owners Club, Jaguar Owners Club, and the Cadillac and LaSalle Club. He served on the Advisory Board of the Frederick C. Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum for two decades. He also served in many committee Chair positions, tour-directed the 1984 Glidden Tour in French Lick, Indiana and was a past President of the VMCCA.
All three of Dr. Donzes’ boys were bitten by the same auto restoration bug and learned the craft at very early ages from their dad. Bill restored his first car, a 1925 Model “T” Ford speedster beginning at the age of fifteen. Chris and Al started their restoration of the 1914 Imp at the respective ages of sixteen and eleven. Over the two generations of Donze restorations, there have been over one hundred cars that passed through their garages. The majority of these cars were pre-WWII and the bulk of those were “brass age” cars (1901-1915).
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