C3 had the opportunity to meet with Joe, the owner of Xtreme Vehicle Coatings in New York, and shoot his 1995 Super Clear Red II R33 GT-R. The car shone in the moonlight in Astoria, Queens as each take of the camera aimed to capture its true beauty. With Öhlins coilver suspension and upgraded sway bars, this R33 sits perfectly on Advan gold wheels. This GT-R has a titanium exhaust, aftermarket turbos and custom downpipes. The car also features a front spoiler and rear diffuser by Top Secret. A beast with such power needs even greater stopping ability, so Joe installed StepTech 6-piston front brakes and Brembo 4-piston rear brakes. There is no denying that Joe’s R33 is eye candy, but it’s also music to your ears. Just start its engine and hear it rumble!
While shooting the GT-R, Joe also spoke to us about his company Xtreme Vehicle coatings.
1) Q: What initial events or people inspired you to pursue a career in the automotive field?
A: My whole family was into cars. I’ve just been a car guy ever since I could turn a wrench.
2) Q: What made you choose the subfield of vehicle protection paints, films and decals?
A: I became obsessed with the paint on my car. It used to get damaged every time I raced it at the track, so I looked for ways to protect it. I came upon this film that was known as “helicopter tape,” which was evolved into the auto industry; they now call it paint protection. I started working with paint 15 years ago and it was something that I really enjoyed. I started out just working on my car and my friends’ cars. From there, I began getting paying customers out of the blue, and it all evolved from there.
3) Q: Which of your services are your most popular?
A: Paint protection
4) Q: Are there any jobs you fulfilled that stood out to you the most?
A: I’ve worked on cars for a number of well-known individuals, including Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. I also did cars for a few rappers, hockey players and basketball players. I have certainly done some pretty interesting cars and met some incredible people along the way.
5) Q: How do you find your business staying abreast of changes in the industry?
A: I usually go to the SEMA show; it’s my main avenue of trying to evolve. Attending the shows helps me to learn and use the better films, materials and new techniques that are out there. I also go to car shows, where I try to keep my ear to the ground. I install and have the product on my own cars, so people see it, feel it and then want it on their vehicles. You really have to stay out there and put yourself out there. It’s important to answer their questions on the materials, film and installation. This way, they feel more comfortable. You can have someone who knows what they’re doing or someone who thinks they know what they’re doing. I do the best possible job that I can for my customers.
6) Q: What sets your company apart from others that work in the same field?
A: I’m the only guy. I’m the owner and the worker. The buck starts and stops here. If something goes wrong, I can’t blame one of my workers. If something does go wrong or if there is a problem with the material, I make it right. I wouldn’t be here this long if I was doing something wrong. After all, I work on two and three million dollar cars – some worth even more! The most expensive car that I have worked on so far was $54 million.
7) Q: Which methods of advertising have you found to be the most effective?
A: I am not really into computers. I do have a website, but find that it is difficult to constantly update it. I feel that the best way to get yourself out there is through Facebook and Instagram. My reputation and my company’s reputation are maintained through word of mouth and people who have known me. In my book, referrals are the best way of doing business. My customers have given the nickname Joey Clear Bra. The name just went around and got stuck to me.
8) Q: What are your professional goals for the near future? Distant future?
A: My goal for the near future is to keep my customers happy. My long-term goal is to still have the business as I get older, and expand it. I have a small place now, but my goal is to satisfy more of the industry as I grow. I find myself having to say “no” a lot and turn down jobs. However, I rather say “no” than tell them I can do it and then not show up. You show more face when you say it from the get-go, than leave the customer hanging in the end.
I also need to train more loyal people. I’ve trained so many people, but they just want to get your knowledge and move on. There is very little loyalty when it comes to this industry. My goals include obtaining two teams of people and getting them mobile in areas that I would normally have to decline business in.
9) Q: Any last words our shoutouts for the readers?
A: I would like to shoutout my family and my sons; they’re car guys at heart. I want my sons to keep the torch lit when I cannot do it anymore. I also want to shoutout all my friends that have stuck with me. Thank you!