By Michelle Caceres
Shortly after Fishhawk Trails resident and father of four Kevin Ordway bought a Jeep Wrangler Sport in 2015, he decided it needed a little customization.
“I had heard about Bayshore Automotive from some neighbors who told me they did great work so I gave them a try,” said Ordway.
That “little customization” project turned into multiple visits to their shop over the past two years, tricking his ride with body armor, new bumpers with a winch and an LED light bar.
“It was hard to pick just one customization so I’ve been continually adding more,” joked Ordway, who has been pleased with the results. “The quality of their work is just fantastic.”
He’s so satisfied with their work that he isn’t shy about referring business their way. He keeps a stack of their postcards handy to give to people who compliment him on the look of his vehicle, which occurs often.
Bayshore Automotive Owner Darren Vivolo said Jeeps are the perfect Florida vehicle. “It’s a utility vehicle but when the doors and top is removed it becomes a convertible, the perfect beach buggy,” Vivolo said.
In business for more than 15 years, Vivolo is the largest Jeep restyler in the state. No job is too big or too small for him and his team. He once performed a $75,000 re-build for a professional sports player that included leather seats, a lift kit, larger tires and many other bells and whistles. Most jobs don’t cost a lot less than that, he said.
Jeeps aren’t the only vehicles that get Vivolo’s attention. He also customizes trucks and sports cars, building to order.
“If you have an idea we take it and transform it and make it happen,” he said.
In addition to full detailing and reconditioning, Bayshore Automotive is a luxury automobile wholesale company open to the public. He usually has approximately 40 vehicles, mostly Jeeps and trucks, in stock that have been given his personal touch.
General Manager Kevin Champ said the showroom is unlike most dealerships in one important way. “We don’t have salespeople so you won’t find anyone following you around,” he said. “It’s a completely different way of purchasing a vehicle.”
Vivolo also sells his own accessory line of OCD off-road custom designs including fenders and bumpers.
Bayshore Automotive is located at 2801 E. Adamo Dr., two blocks east of Ikea and is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and by appointment on the weekend.
Visit www.bayshoreautomotive.com or call 241-4000 for an appointment.