When I first stumbled across the 360 Fabrication crew at last year’s Luxury Supercar Weekend in Vancouver I was pretty impressed, but I had no idea of the scale on which they worked.
Tucked away in the back corner of the show hid a gorgeous, high-horsepower restomod ’67 Mustang and a slightly-cheesy-yet-100-percent-badass Clarion Audio-sponsored Lincoln Continental.
Unlike a handful of other cars at the show, these two examples showed zero signs of half-measures. So, I hit the road to Abbotsford, B.C. to go behind the scenes and see what other tricks the folks at 360 Fabrication, led by brothers Rick and Daryl Francoeur, had up their sleeve.
A 2000 GT sits in front of the 360 Fabrication shop. (Photo courtesy 360 Fabrication Inc.)
Rolling into the driveway of their facility you still barely get an idea of just how big this shop really is. Over the last seven years the business has seen significant growth – the facility runs seven days a week and 12 hours a day. That already seems like a hectic schedule, but there’s even talk of keeping the workflow moving 24/7.
This was a bit of a shock at first, but after learning about their work with Red Bull Canada it all started to make sense. The 360 Fabrication crew was responsible for the building of Red Bull’s monster tour bus/mobile concert stage as well as the incredibly cool “Sugga 1” DJ truck.
The Canadian Red Bull crew has a bit of a rivalry going with the U.S. team, so when 360 Fabrication was first contacted by Red Bull Canada the criteria was simple: the bus had to be longer, louder, and easier to set up than what was floating around in the States.
For some facilities this might have seemed like a pretty big challenge, but 360 Fabrication is actually split out into three businesses – fabrication, paint/collision, and car audio – so the bus build was right up their alley.
(Photo courtesy 360 Fabrication Inc.)
The end result was this gorgeous tricked-out rig which packs a total of 110,000 watts of sound output, and has the ability to go from driving mode to stage setup in only 15 minutes. The U.S. Red Bull bus takes three hours to set up.
Taking a mere nine months to complete, the tour bus is definitely one of the shop’s bigger undertakings. It also led to many police visits for noise complaints during the testing of the massive audio system.
Aside from the big corporate builds, there seemed to be a little bit of everything on hand during my tour of the facility. When I asked company president and CEO Rick Francoeur over the phone if they had any interesting projects on the go he had a good laugh. Once I got there, I understood why.
In one corner sat a partially stripped early ’70s Corvette that was shipped in by a client in China, in the next the bare sheet metal for a project the shop was going to enter at Detroit’s Autorama custom car show—if you’re wondering, yes, they’ve their eyes on the legendary Ridler Award. Given contest guidelines, I’m not at liberty to divulge many details, but let’s just say it’s going to be pretty spectacular once it is complete.
Just when I thought I’d seen all the good stuff, I rounded the corner and saw the vintage plane that Rick’s brother Daryl, the company’s VP and production manager, is restoring.
There’s definitely a bias for all things American muscle when you look through the company’s project list but the more I chatted away with Rick the clearer it became that what they really love is a good challenge.
It’s not just cars that get the 360 Fabrication treatment (Photo courtesy 360 Fabrication Inc.)
The question eventually came up about what kind of build they wouldn’t take on, and the answer was simple: there isn’t one. Provided the vision and the budget is there, the team is happy to take on just about anything.
Case in point: one of Rick’s favourite oddball projects was still on-site during my tour and he couldn’t resist letting me have a look. It was a ‘90s Buick Roadmaster woody-wagon they’ve been building for a client.
As you might expect, this was no ordinary Buick. Under the hood lay a fresh Chevrolet 502 big-block, and the wagon was riding on some way over-the-top chrome wheels. When I asked about the stripped interior heavily wrapped in Dynamat sound-deadening material, I was informed the stock interior was going back in, but the owner wanted that BMW 7-series-type isolation in the passenger cabin of his über-wagen.
In short, while B.C.’s custom car scene is full of pop-up shops trying to be the next Chip Foose, very few seem to have all the bases covered the way the Francoeur brothers do.