Streetworks Hot Rods Sports Car Restoration Shop Moves to Pewaukee


PEWAUKEE VILLAGE – If you see or hear vintage Lamborghinis, Maseratis or other sports cars nearby, this is probably the newest business in the area.

Streetworks Hot Rods moved from Waukesha to Pewaukee in April. After 22 years in business in downtown Waukesha, the internationally renowned classic car restoration company has found a new, larger home in the former Wisconsin Wood Laminates at 600 Hickory St.

While the space needed some renovations, Streetworks began the moving process about two weeks ago. She has 20 employees who work in the store.

“It’s a huge addition to a town like Pewaukee because it’s not common. In fact, it’s very, very rare,” owner Matt Backhaus said. “Few places like this exist, and we’re one of the elite restoration shops in the country, and we’re here in Pewaukee. Most people wouldn’t even know it.”

The new space is much larger than its old location. In Waukesha, there were four locations in town, totaling 18,000 square feet. One slot was for work space, one was for upholstery, and the rest was for car storage.

Now all vehicles reside under one 36,000 square foot roof.

“The Waukesha setup didn’t really work for us,” Backhaus said. “We did a lot of renovations with it. It was in bad shape. In a month everything will be cleaned up and it will be a well-oiled machine by then.”

Streetworks specializes in restoring Italian sports cars. He has clients from all over the United States and even around the world; cars vary in price. The store often features cars worth at least $1 million, such as one of three Maserati custom coaches from the early 1960s that originally belonged to a Saudi prince. This car is now owned by Wisconsin.

He also does a lot of local work. Backhaus said at least half of the work is local to facilitate maintenance and repair work on older cars.

Since many of the cars the shop is working on are out of parts, they manufacture many in-house. He also gets a variety of car types and materials to work with.

His work is recognized annually with an invitation to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a coveted invitation-only California auto show. Streetworks already has a vehicle it plans to take to the 2022 show in August.

Then again, he could have his own car show in Pewaukee, complete with an original Lamborghini Countach, a Maserati Ghibli, and a host of other classic vehicles.

“We’ve been doing this job for 22 years and it’s never been boring,” Backhaus said.

There are still some finishing touches to be done on the ship and a few cars to be moved, but Streetworks hopes to hold an open house in the spring.

“We’ve done this a few times in the old store, and we’ve had a lot of people. We’ve had 600 or 700 people. Everyone is welcome to come see what we’re doing.”

Drew Dawson can be reached at [email protected] or (262) 289-1324.


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