Fixing beat down cars has been ingrained into Zeebs Performance owner, Zane Southgate, since he was old enough to help this father in the garage.
“I was grown into the industry,” Southgate said.
Since he was 12-years-old he has helped his father remove transmissions, assist with suspension work and rebuilding a 1957 Chevy at age 15, which he drove to graduation.
“It doesn’t feel that long when you’re having fun. It’s hard not to enjoy it,” Southgate said.
Southgate works with his hands daily, mixing the latest technology with old-school-know-how to fix and correct hidden problems; ensuring these classic cars hold their allure for years to come.
“It’s the creation of something from nothing. Many cars come to us with not much there,” he said.
The small-town feel has had Southgate calling Chestermere home for the last decade.
“I have serenity out front, a full mile of farmland, and an unbroken view of the mountains. I can walk outside and see that picture everybody wants,” he said.
Although Southgate has many clients from Calgary, Chestermere, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, he still has had to overcome growing pains while expanding his business.
One of the most substantial challenges he has had to overcome was finding employees who are getting into the industry for the right reasons.
“It’s tough to find somebody who is passionate about the job and not focused on the money,” Southgate said.
Most people who work in autobody are primarily educated in collision work and are not always interested in working with hot rods. However, some technicians don’t realize the extreme work ethic and dedication it takes to stick to hot rodding.
“It’s a tough mentality to beat. Collision repair can be repetitive and technicians become efficient. There is no repeating here,” Southgate said.
When Southgate steps away from work and his presidential duties with the Chamber of Commerce, he enjoys walking with his wife and son around the lake, supporting local business, the Chestermere Regional Food Bank, and maintaining interaction within the community.
“Joining the chamber was a great thing,” he said.