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Shop Visit: ACC Garage


This is just one of many Toyota 4x4's that fill the parking lot at ACC Garage. This one is sporting a custom LS motor swap. Find out more about ACC Garage at www.accgarage.com. Photo Credit: Eric McGrew

 For years now, I’ve visited just about every speed or vehicle specialty shop that I could find in my area. These have included “shops”, that were no more than a guy in his driveway. Yep, he didn’t even have a garage or a carport on the house. Then, there have been the shops that did everything under the sun. Off-road, drift, street racing…you name it, they did it.

While I don’t make these comparisons to put the above-mentioned “shops” down, I do mention them to make a point. In a world of  “shops”, it’s rare that you actually find SHOPS. Or those garages that are truly dedicated to a super tight niche. By a chance meeting with an Atlanta local, while in Chile, I found out about one of the coolest shops that I have had the privilege of visiting.

At www.accgarage.com's shop, it's not a rare sight to see vintage, cool, lifted, and modded Land Cruisers filling every spot available. Photo Credit: Eric McGrew

 ACC Garage is a true SHOP, in a world of “shops”. My friend Daniel Palozollo, who I met in Chile, told me about ACC Garage and suggested that I check them out. From there, I really saw how cool this shop is. ACCGarage, is honest to goodness, your Toyota 4x4 specialists. You’ll not find many, if any, other models of vehicle in the shop. Simply because, they don’t do other vehicles.

I could actually write a small book on what I found impressive about their shop. Instead though, I’ll tell you the key points that I found interesting. 

There are to many cool Land Cruisers in this shop to be able to photograph, describe, and post. Photo Credit: Eric McGrew.


Personable

It’s common to meet shop owners and managers of specialty vehicle garages that treat you like it’s a bother that you are there. Some act as if it’s your privilege to meet and know them.

ACC Garage is not that way. Jennifer, Brian, and the guys in the back of the shop are all super nice and very cool to talk to. They know their stuff, but don’t lord it over you.

Brian and Jennifer were also very helpful in the process of finding my 4Runner. They helped me on the phone with a number of questions that I had, and all the while, being very patient. Even though I know I was driving them nuts. That endured me to them. 

A shops organization and cleanliness can tell you a lot about the quality they turn out. The kind of customers vehicles entrusted to a shop is another good indicator. ACC Garage has both down pat. Photo Credit: Eric McGrew

 Focused

Many times you will hear a shop say they “focus” on this, or on that. However, when you step into they’re shop, the work they are doing indicates otherwise. They mean to be focused, they just get bogged down in the money making process.

ACC Garage is so well prepared, and so dedicated to Toyota 4x4's, and their clients, that they even carry complete vintage FJ series vehicles in stock!...Just kidding. However, they do have a good source of stock, aftermarket, and custom parts. If they don't have it, they can get it for you. Just give them a call. 404.699.9666 Photo Credit: Eric McGrew

 ACC Garage IS NOT this way. They are truly focused on Toyota 4x4’s. Their shop, and parking lot, is full of customer vehicles that are in process or waiting for work to begin. It’s almost like a museum of cool Toyota's.

Yet even within the Toyota 4x4 segment, they’re not distracted. Yes, ACC Garage will do routine maintenance. Yes, they do aftermarket modifications. Yes, they do Toyota 4x4 refreshes and restorations. Still, they’ve selected trusted partners to do the specific portions of each project that let them do what they do best, Toyota 4x4 mechanic work and bolt on mods. They can, and do, some fabrication and powder coating in house too. However, each process of a build is evaluated so that the most efficient method for the process can be used. Because of ACC Garage’s focus, they keep themselves from getting overly bogged down. Making sure all the work done is the best quality possible and to the customers specifications. All the while trying to accomplish the work in a reasonable time frame. 

For most, fitting a blown small block in a Land Cruiser might seem a bit too complicated to mess with. Not for ACC Garage. This is Brian Dugan's (an owner of ACC Garage) very own LC. While it's not the easiest task to do a swap like this, ACC Garage has really got it down. Every thing fits and is so cleanly done. Photo Credit: Eric McGrew

Balanced

After speaking to Brian and Jennifer, then to the mechanics in the shop, I noticed how hard they work to balance mods, repairs, and practicality with functionality and pricing. This isn’t to say they won’t do a unique, or crazy builds. They are willing to do some very cool stuff. For instance they have done, and are doing, LS motor swaps for some clients. Even still, their approach is well thought out. Making it super fun and cool while being functional.

While I was at ACC Garage, they were swapping out the suspension on this FJZ80. It was being fitted with a new Slee Off-Road suspension. Photo Credit: Eric McGrew
Even the shop itself shows balance. It’s nicely designed, comfortable, but not over the top. I felt very comfortable in the ambience they had created. Almost like we hand known each other for years. That to me is very important.

Me in front of my wife and my new, used 2001 Toyota 4Runner that ACC Garage is going to be going over for me. Helping me to figure out what needs to be done. Photo Credit: Carissa McGrew


Bottom Line

Here’s the bottom line…I can’t make promises about anything, but I can tell you that I’m taking my newly purchased Toyota 4Runner to have ACC Garage for a Post Purchase Inspection. From what I’ve seen, they’re the people that can help me figure out the potential issues, any needed solutions, and signs of potential failure that I need to know about while traveling with my wife half way across the U.S. in a recently purchased, pre-owned Toyota 4x4. That should say something about how I feel…



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