Full name

Ross Barton

Title

Restoration Technician

Location

Loveland, Co

Biography

The automobile is the one thing that lets me explore nearly all of my passions. Whether its design and aesthetics, engineering and machining or even history of the automobile, there’s always an aspect that I find fascinating and intriguing.
 
I grew up in Colorado and attended Golden High School. My junior year I decided to participate in the Auto Collision Program at Warren Tech, a vocational trade and technical school. This program allowed me to attend both high school and technical school at the same time. When I graduated in 2002, I was a Certified Technician in Automotive Collision Repair. After working in a few production shops, I quickly learned I wanted to apply better craftsmanship into my work as well as work on something more interesting.

In 2003 I was accepted into the McPherson College Automotive Restoration program in McPherson, Kansas. This unique four year bachelors program is dedicated to teaching students the art and science of restoring automobiles. McPherson College is the only school with a program like this in the world. During my time there I found myself completely exposed to and immersed in a world of automobiles I had no idea existed. I knew at that point I would never let go of it.

In 2005, I had an opportunity to be the summer intern at the prestigious Collier Collection in Naples, Florida. The Collier family has been involved with sports cars, sports racing and racing cars since the early part of the 20th century. This private museum houses 120 of some of the world’s most historically significant automobiles, as well as one of the largest automotive centered libraries. To care for the collection, the museum has a restoration facility attached (CH Motorcars), which is where I was involved. I had the opportunity to work on multiple projects, including a SSJ Deusenberg, a 250 LM Ferrari and a Speed Six Bentley. This summer internship set in place, my passion for restoring cars on a historical level.
 
In 2006, I was awarded the Popular Mechanics / Jay Leno Scholarship which included paid tuition for a year as well as an internship in Los Angeles, CA at Randy Ema Inc. Randy Ema is known for his encyclopedic knowledge and restoration of Deusenbergs. He is also a good friend and mechanic for Jay Leno. I spent the summer painting a Kirchhoff bodied Deusenberg and helping out with the restoration of Jay Leno’s 1914 Packard.

After graduation from McPherson College in 2006, I was hired at the Collier Collection for a full time position. I spent most of my time on paint and body work but also did a lot of fabrication, machining and mechanical work. I also spent many hours researching and studying period photographs to recreate exact historical details for the cars. In the five years that I worked there I tried to absorb as much as I could from the talented staff and craftsman involved with the museum. Being involved with so many amazing projects and events so early in my career was quite humbling.

It was also during my time at CH Motorcars that I married my wife, Rhonda, who I met at McPherson College (She is also from Colorado and we unknowingly went to high school together.) In 2011 we moved to Bozeman, Montana where Rhonda was accepted to the Montana State University graduate Chemistry Program. She graduated in the fall of 2013. We then moved back home to Colorado.

I am currently employed at High Mountain Classics, which is known for its restorations of Bugatti and other French marque automobiles.

Along with my interests in antique and vintage automobiles, my wife and I just purchased our first home a 1903 bungalow in downtown Loveland and have thus begun the thrills and chills of old home ownership. I love the outdoors, am an avid cyclist and a patiently frustrated fly fisherman.

Skills


Shop

Mechanical
Engine / Transmission, Electrical

Painting
Lacquer, Enamel, Urethane, Base Clear

Body work
Prep, Filler, Sanding, Wet sanding, Polishing

Machining
Mill, Lathe

Welding
Gas, MIG, TIG, Soldering,

Fabrication
English Wheel, Pullmax, Planishing Hammer, Composite Layup

Upholstery
Carpentry
Electronics

Software
Apple iWorks, Aperture
Windows XP
Windows Office
2010 2D, MAC AutoCAD 2011
Adobe Suite, Photoshop
Google Sketchup