Two men stare down into the engine compartment of a deep-blue metallic Chevrolet Corvette from the early 60s. It’s a convertible. As for myself, I’m across the street with my pie hole wide open, almost jumping up and down with excitement. The combination of two (two!) early, mint-condition Corvettes, a Ford Mustang fastback, a Chevy Chevelle, and a garage this authentic and this cool makes me ride my bike back here the next day for a chat with William Leaf III, or simply “Will”.
Text and photo: Jonas Larsson
“I opened my first garage in Rockville, Maryland, where I grew up, at 21. It wasn’t exactly what my parents had in mind, but if you’re driving a 1932 T-Ford Hot Rod to school there’s not really much room for debate. But it didn’t go too well; I was better at fixing cars than getting paid. A lot of my customers were friends, too–you get the picture. I moved to Venice in the early 80s and founded this garage in 1984.”
“Was this place different back then?”
“Are you kidding me? You could get a house by the canals for 300,000 dollars–they cost ten times that now! But I guess I should point out that back then, gang warfare was factored into the price.” Will specializes in 60s cars. He personally drives two SS model Camaros, a 68 and a 69. We’re likely to see more of Will and his cars down the road.
Leaf Automotive Inc.
1745 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, Ca