Gunners Garage

"Mr. LT-1" Al Wagner Makes Dreams Come True

When Al Wagner was a kid, he knew that he wanted to be a Corvette designer. Al had almost become a West Point Cadet, but he wound up taking engineering at Rochester University. One day he saw a job with the GM foundry in North Tonawanda, N.Y., posted on the school’s bulletin board. Interviews were in a few minutes. He had no time to change his jeans, lumberjack shirt and knapsack for a suit, tie and attache case. But he was passionate about working for GM, so he went to the interview “as is.” Al was immediately called into a room by the Director of Personal. He started to apologize for the way he was dressed. “Are you kidding son?” said the man. “I picked you because of the way you’re dressed – did you ever see anyone with a suit working in a foundry?” Al got the job, went to work for GM and  ultimately worked his way up to becoming a Corvette design engineer. Later, he left GM and went to work as Director of New Product Development at Harley-Davidson. Today, Al runs a mostly-Corvette collector car restoration and sales business in Delafield, Wis.

An American Classic (www.AnAmericanClassic.com) is Al’s latest dream. In fact, you could say, “An American Classic is an American dream.” Al has several indepent mechanics who help him put the cars in top shape in case someone dreams of owning a nice classic. He specializes in “Shark” type LT-1 ‘Vettes, but stocks a bit of everything. His business is built on honesty, integrity and the type of passion that got him his first job with GM so many years ago. I really enjoyed visiting Al this past Monday! 

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