Kay’s Kustom Metalworks is a premier automotive and metalshaping company providing high quality bespoke automotive metalwork including reproduction body panels for vintage Willys cars.
Lee Kay, the owner, hails from Coventry, England. He has over 20 years’ experience in the manufacture and production of steel and aluminum automotive body panels. His experience as a sheet metal engineer started after college, with his apprenticeship at a British vintage Jaguar restoration company, where he learned the art of the English wheeling machine.
He then moved onto working with a supplier of reproduction vintage Jaguar body panels where he learned complete body assembly before joining his next venture where he focused on automotive prototyping and jig chasing on prototype Jaguars.
He then became an independent contractor in England, building body panels for Aston Martin, Bentley, Zagato, Rolls Royce, and Spyker Cars. This work took him all over Europe working on projects such as Ford Shelby GR-1, Porsche, Volkswagen, Daimler Chrysler, Mercedes, and Audi.
Throughout his career, Lee’s aim had been to start his own company. He set up D&L Engineering in England in 2006. Building on his experience reproducing vintage body panels, he researched vintage MGA and Austin Healey cars and discovered that replacement body panels were scarce, the quality of the existing parts was poor and they were hard to restore. This inspired him to reproduce body panels for such models as the MGA, Austin Healey 3000, 1004, Bugeye Sprite, and TR3. He exported his panels worldwide and rapidly became known for producing high quality reproduction hand shaped body panels at a competitive price.
Lee relocated to the US in 2009 after meeting his wife during a contracting trip to California. He moved to Orange County, California in late 2009 and worked on various projects including a 49 Merc roof chop. He then worked for Quantum Technologies on the Fisker cars as a Senior Fabricator.
Lee has a long standing fascination with Hot Rods and undertook a number of contracts for Dan Fink Metalworks and Metalcrafters. His work on Hot Rods made him realize that there was also a need for reproduction metal body panels for the Willys cars. Like many vintage cars, replacement body panels were scarce and what was available was poor quality. As a result, Kay’s Kustom Metalworks was born, specializing in in steel and aluminum reproduction body panels for the 1933 Willys, 1935/36 Willys Delivery, and 1940/41 Willys.