Classic car dreams fulfilled in Moxee

Classic car dreams fulfilled in Moxee
MOXEE, Wash. -- If you can deliver something no one else can, you might have the recipe for success. A business here in the Yakima Valley is building for the future by delivering blasts from the past.

On the outside, it looks like there's nothing to see at this old hops drying plant in Moxee. Inside, something else is making it jump.

"I really like to build those kind of cars," said Moxee Auto Sales owner Tino Cardenas.

Tino Cardenas owns Moxee Auto Sales. Part of it looks like a scrap heap.

"We get three or four cars a day," Tino said. "People want to sell us those project cars."

Part of it looks like a classic car paradise.

"I'm a Chevy guy," Tino said.

He goes after Camaros especially in the vintage years 1967 to 1969. He also has a fondness for Chevelles. But, old Camaros like a '69 SS with a 650 horsepower engine seem to rule the roost in his garage.

"This car is kind of like my baby," Tino said.

Tino started doing this 15 years ago. It's now a family business with his son Nino by his side.

Their buyers aren't necessarily local. They focus on specialized classic car auctions across the country and utilize websites like Ebay to make deals in some far away places.

"Mississippi," Nino Cardenas said. "We sold a '67 Camaro not too long ago, probably a month ago."

The Cardenas family restores about two cars a month at a cost from $18,000 to $50,000. Moxee Auto Sales slowed down production of its classic cars when demand dropped for these luxuries in this economy. The business also provides everyday auto body work as its core function.

Still, it's tough to ignore the artistry of the restoration work. Something that looked like it was at the end of the line returns to its former glory.

"A lot of people call them rust buckets and we make them look brand new," Nino said.

Tino is willing to part with his baby for the right price. A car he loves, but only drives about three to four times a year.

"You feel really good," Tino said. "You feel it kind of inside your body."

If you see it first hand, you understand why.
A place where old cars and this old hops plant come alive.