Hot Rod Revue Meets The Toy Collector Of Cascade Autofinish

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 1.20.50 PMIn this new webisode by Hot Rod Revue, the crew head to Cascade Autofinish in Auckland, New Zealand to interview owner John Lisle. Lisle shares how he got into cars, the difference between pursuing a business for money versus passion, as well as some of his sentiments regarding New Zealand hot rod culture.

“I remember I worked on me many years ago, I said ‘just buy the car you really want and stick with that.’ Well, there is no one car I really want. I want them all.” Lisle recollects.

On John’s introduction to the automotive world, “In my younger days, you know going back to about eight or nine years old, the neighbors had cars. One of the neighbors was actually into speedway cars and he build midgets in the house behind us. I was the helper chipping away the arc welds, going for this, and going for that.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 1.21.22 PMCascade Autofinish, Auckland, NZ

In the 80s Lisle started his own business. It shaped into an establishment that ended up catering more to new cars. In a few year’s time Lisle realized that this was not what he’d envisioned–he sold the business and took some time off.

Eventually, Lisle established Cascade Autofinish with a firm mission statement in mind, “…I made it clear that I would do what I want this time around. Obviously, it’s come at a cost–you don’t make a lot of money doing it that way.”

“I guess with anybody that combines the interests or passions with business it does cloud it, obviously. It’s pretty hard to make money out of your passion. I think you need to be a bit separated if you want to chase money.”

Financial sacrifice aside, Lisle continues, “…The lifestyle has been great and the business is five minutes down the road from home. Basically one half of the building is a toy shop for myself and my son Sam.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 11.43.04 AMLisle’s Stable

Lisle has two Mercury’s one that he kept stock and another which has been getting worked on by Matt Townsend of Townsends Customs & Hot Rods in Riverside, California. “He does, in my eyes, perfect work and beautiful chops–he gets his proportions right.” Lisle said about Townsend.

Lisle’s shop shoebox Ford is a testament to his growing love for vintage and weathered cars, “much to some of my mates’ horror.” Lisle explains, “I’m appreciating cars that are original, or aged. With the shoebox at work it’s far from original, it’s had a million touch ups but it’s almost like a history there. You can’t make it the same, you can’t recreate that. It’s only old once, so I think that’s where the appreciation comes. I don’t like crappy paint jobs but if something’s stood the test of time and it’s got a few war wounds–I think that’s a cool thing.”

Lisle’s ’34 coupe brought some of his stronger sentiments to the surface, which is great considering that there are lots of opinions in our culture–it is the ones motivated by deep passion and a sense of creed that we enjoy hearing about. “I certainly won’t go for a faux patina job or anything like that, I detest those. That’s as bad as putting Oldsmobile valve covers on your small-block Chevy.” Lisle continues, “If there’s a need to touch up a car to blend it in with the patina that it’s got, fine, but don’t take a fiberglass body and make it look like a rusted steel one.”Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 11.44.10 AM

About the author

Andrew Almazan

Andrew Almazan is a graduate of CSULB with a degree in English and a passion for traditional kustoms and hot rods. His first exposure to out of this world vehicles was through the prevalent low rider, baja bug, and kustom culture of LA county.
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