EDMONDS — Take a stroll back in automotive time in a showroom just off Highway 99.
Surrounding a replica 1930s-era gasoline station, with its tall pumps and see-through fuel chambers, is a collection of 21 classic cars restored to spit-shined perfection and ready for sale.
In one corner sits a 1928 black-and-burgundy Oldsmobile. Nearby is a bright yellow 1928 Custom Ford pickup. Perched upon a garage lift is a dark blue 1960 Volkswagen Beetle.
Along a back wall decorated with car-themed memorabilia is a car with a grill so shiny and wide it seems to be grinning — a 1951 Mercury convertible. Restored to like-new condition, it’s selling for $88,900.
Customers often start smiling the moment they walk into the showroom, said Carrie Dack, owner of Bobo’s Rods & Customs.
Cars have a way of bringing back distinct memories of a point in time in people’s lives. “It’s a happy place,” she said. Visitors are welcome in the showroom, which is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 8130 240th St. SW in Edmonds.
Cars now in the shop range from the 1920s to a white 1991 Anniversary Corvette. Prices depend on the model of car, but generally run from about $12,000 to $100,000.
“There’s something for everybody,” Dack said.
Age doesn’t automatically add to the price. The 1928 Olds sedan with its original wood wheels has a sticker price of $22,000.
About 80 percent of the cars are on consignment, with the owner putting them up for sale. The others are owned by Bobo’s, the business Dack runs with her partner and showroom namesake Rob Bobo, and put on the floor for sale. Dack and Bobo took over the Edmonds business about four years ago.
The cars are advertised online nationally and internationally.
Pam Stockman, of Lynnwood, turned to Dack and Bobo when she and fiance Shawn Unger decided it was time to let loose of their 1972 Corvette Stingray with a big block engine.
Originally owned by a NASCAR race driver, “we knew it was way more engine than we’d ever need,” Stockman said.
The car drew interest from a potential buyer in Australia who, after learning of its $4,000 shipping cost, decided to pass.
That was happy news for a Texas customer who snatched it up for $30,000.
A red 1973 Cadillac Eldorado convertible now on the showroom floor with a sign that says “sold” will soon be on its way to New Zealand. The buyer came by for a personal inspection as part of a trip to visit a son in Canada, Dack said.
Some of the cars are sent to a nearby body shop run by Bobo’s for restoration.
Steve Miller, the body shop’s manager, said he defines a classic car as “anything 1980s on down.”
But cars just two decades in the world also can be considered classics, he said.
“A lot of people like late ’80s- or ’90s-style cars, and they’re still a classic,” he said.
Miller said his personal favorites are “the older the better” — cars from the ’30s and ’40s, muscle cars of the ‘60s like GTOs and hot rods.
Yet a muscle car nowadays could be a Honda with a supercharged engine, he said.
Dack said the business isn’t looking for “project cars” that require lots of restoration. Costs of fully restoring a classic car can be high. Owners can spend $200,000 on restoration and only be able to sell it for $80,000 — “but it’s a passion,” Dack said.
Classic cars can be thought of as an investment, she said. With a new car, “you know you lose money as soon as you drive it off the lot.”
The trick, like with any hobby, is knowing what will become the next “it” item.
“If only we had the foresight to know the next car that would shoot up in value,” Dack said.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: Bobo’s Rods & Customs
Where: 8130 240th St. SW, Edmonds
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
More: 425-673-8091 or www.bobosrodsandcustoms.com/showroom-tour