An upscale car audio retailer was profiled in the February/March issue of Road and Track magazine, which has already generated a number of potential clients for the shop in Westchester, NY, a wealthy suburb of Manhattan.
The magazine profiled Matt Figliola, Owner of AI Design, who is preparing a major rebuild on a 1983 Aston Martin Lagonda.
But that is not what attracted the magazine to AI Design initially. It was an Instagram post from the shop on an original 1967 Cobra 427 that drew the attention of a Road and Track writer. For that job, Figliola 3D-printed an assembly for Morel speakers that fit into the struts below the dashboard (shown below). The system had no head unit, but worked via Bluethooth streaming from a phone. The speaker module was completely detachable so there were no modifications to the $2 million car. The install also included a JL Audio weatherproof Bluetooth module and level control and an Audiotec Fischer Match mini amplifier.
Figliola started out as an installer in car audio, but his shop has since branched into mechanical restoration and full upholstery restoration. His clients are upscale–all car audio systems start at $20 to $25,000. The shop doesn’t even have a showroom; clients trust the shop’s suggestions.
The Road and Track feature on the Aston Martin Lagonda is more about Figliola’s plans for the car as the shop has spent the past months simply trying to find original parts for the job, which includes a mechanical restoration.
As Road and Track put it, the car includes “the dreaded red LED matrix dash and an expansive smattering of disastrous touch-sensitive controls strewn around the cabin.” All of that is malfunctioning and Figliola plans to fix it and update the stereo system. This particular client likes McIntosh car audio products, and Figliola keeps a stock of old 1990s McIntosh car audio products on hand for that purpose.
Figliola says he does things a bit different from many fabricators in the industry. “I consider myself an outsider of the whole car stereo world. I’m not part of any of the clicks that have developed over the years. I’m doing things different from the industry. I got into 3D printing almost 10 years ago…I have different aesthetics, a different look. I don’t like the whole router table stuff…I work to make it look like it fits the car and most car stereo specialists want to make it stand out. I want it integrated to an extreme.”
The Aston Martin will be trimmed in Wilton wool carpet bound leather edges. It will include a big McIntosh amplifier, three feet long with giant meters. “I think we paid $4,000 for one in really good shape. This one has scratches on it, it’s not pristine, they can fix the electronics but there’s not much that can be done with the cosmetics,” he said.
“We’re doing a full restoration of the interior–every bit of the leather and carpet; painting the car and a full mechanical restoration. This is a very rare Aston Martin so obtaining parts has been the main task….we’ve been back and forth with sources all over the world trying to access parts,” said Figliola. He is still trying to obtain a rear bumper reflector lens and gaskets for the valve cover.
AI Design has a staff of 12 and is looking to hire two more.
See the Road and Track story here.
Top Photo Credit: Grant Corbett for Road and Track