Restoration Hardware

When he’s not serving as president and CEO of National City Corp. in Michigan and Northwest Ohio, David Boyle and his family enjoy a fully restored 1961 Volkswagen Beetle, a 1968 Pontiac Firebird, or a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500 — a near-replica of ‘Eleanor’, the infamous car Nicolas Cage drove in Gone In 60 Seconds.
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Games People Play
The Boyle family and their restored muscle cars, clockwise from lower left, opposite: Ben Boyle with the ’67 Shelby Mustang GT 500; a close-up of the tachometer on the ’68 Firebird; a frontal view of the Shelby; a glimpse inside at the Shelby’s interior; the Shelby’s badge; Kate Boyle and her father, David, get their hands dirty under the hood of the Shelby. This page, at bottom: David and son Geoff show off the ’68 Pontiac Firebird. “I’ve told each of [my] kids that if they do well in school and have a good job, they’ll get to keep their cars when they turn 25,” David says. “If that doesn’t happen, then I get to keep it. But believe me, they’ll be very motivated because they will have put so much time into them.” (Not pictured: Deb Boyle, Kristina Boyle, and the ‘61 Volkswagen Beetle.) Photograph by Nick Martines

Garage Retreat: “In each case, whether it was the Shelby, the Firebird, or the Bug, we started with cars that hadn’t been used in several years and needed a lot of work. Over time, the kids could see how all the elbow grease and labor added value. It’s a great lesson, and one that will continue when our youngest (Kristina, 10) gets a little older.” —David Boyle

Scavenger Hunt: “We looked all over the country for the Shelby. … As it turned out, a customer of mine had an old Shelby that was 15 miles from our house (when the Boyles lived in Ohio).” —David Boyle

Turn Key: “[In 2003] my dad said we were going to look at a house, so when we pulled in you could see the Shelby parked in the barn. It was red then and hadn’t been used in [about] 20 years. We got it back and we stripped out everything, including the interior, body panels, the [original] 302 engine, and the exhaust.” —Ben Boyle

Hollywood Lights: “My dad had said each of the kids could pick a car and we would restore it, so right around that time I saw Gone in 60 Seconds, and I knew that’s what I wanted. It’s basically the same Shelby that Nicolas Cage drove in the movie, right down to the paint scheme, which I got from the Web site. We even call it ‘Eleanor,’ like they did in the movie.” —Ben Boyle

Roush Racing: “[Race car owner] Jack Roush was a customer of National City, so I made arrangements to buy a 427 engine at Jack’s facility in Livonia (for the Shelby). … We got a tour of Roush Racing and had the engine loaded onto the bed of our pickup. We got a lot of stares on the freeway because we had this huge wood crate in the back with ‘Roush Racing’ stamped on the outside.” —David Boyle

Firepower: “We got the Firebird back in 1999 on eBay from someone in Lawton, Okla. I think we paid [about] $5,000 for it. We gave it a complete restoration, with a number of modifications, but it still has the tachometer in the hood.”  —David Boyle

Overhaul: “I started working on the Firebird when I was 7 years old, and it was finished five years later. We made a few modifications, including a rear quarter panel. It was impossible to find a replacement that we wanted, so my dad and I used a quarter panel from a Camaro.” —Geoff Boyle

Electronic Parts: “We’ve bought and sold a lot of parts on eBay, so we’re definitely power sellers. In some cases, we sold parts from our cars for some of the modifications we did. A lot of the fun in doing this is trying to find the parts. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if all you had to do was drive to the local auto parts store.” —David Boyle

California Dreaming: “The Bug is pretty much finished, and it’s being painted midnight blue with a cream interior. Pretty much everything was worked on, though it has Harley-Davidson mirrors, and the back fender is two inches wider than the front. It’s in the California style, so there’s no trim at all.” —Kate Boyle

Pink Slips: “One time we were getting pizza, and a young kid comes out and says his [new] Mustang Bullitt could beat our Shelby. Well, what he didn’t know was that we had the Roush engine in there with 554 horsepower. So I asked him if he’d like to race for pink slips, and it was funny because he said he had to go back inside and ask his dad.” —David Boyle

Family Ties: “The great part for me in restoring these cars — and believe me, I didn’t have much to do with it — is that we can be together as a family when we take one or both of the cars out, whether it’s Sunday breakfast or a car show in the area. With Dave’s busy schedule, I just appreciate that he carves out time to be with the kids on weeknights and weekends.” —Deb Boyle

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