We have a combined over 100 years of experience and have delivered dozens of mid to high end builds all over the world. We are highly dedicated to perfection and providing high-quality builds and repairs to keep you safe and happy.
Whether you're coming to us for your 1st Dream Car or an addition to your collection, we have transportation worldwide for pick up and delivery (Free pickup with any new project). We provide 12-month warranties with all of our services for your peace of mind.
We're committed to providing a stress-free experience to both new and returning customers. Our shop only uses parts from reputable brands to ensure that your vehicle is always ready to drive.
When you're ready, we will be here ! Thomas Cairo
Car building is in their blood! Owner and CEO of Crystal Coast Custom Cars, Christopher Cairo, is a 4th generation auto builder/restorer. His father, Tom Cairo, officially started the company in March of 2019, after years of car building and over 28 hot rods and numerous modifications later.
Christopher’s great-grandfather, Mariano (1918-1984), came over from Florence, Italy at 6; worked for Singlewal Buick in Norwalk, CT at 16 for about 5 years. Mariano started Marty’s Auto Body Shop because he had such a great eye for detail and retired at age 62; leaving the shop to his son. Martin (2nd gen) worked at the auto body shop from the age of 14; sold business in 2019; and is still building hotrods to this day. Tom (3rd gen) was ‘encouraged’ to work at the shop as a young kid at about 14 years old. Tom learned the art of painting and metal fabrication at his dad’s shop. Back in the 70’s-80’s there was no internet to search for parts, everything had to be made, so that’s where Tom honed his fabrication skills.
Tom started building his first car when he was 15, a 1976 Ford Pinto, that he purchased from his dad for $200 and even took his driver’s license test in it. He built a CJ11 Jeep with a custom built frame and won best chassis and suspension and many other awards from age 18.
While working for his dad on Fridays and Saturdays, Tom started working at one of the major US car companies when he was 15 as a lot porter. He moved onto the body shop as a prep guy, then worked his way up to panel painter and overall refinisher, then onto the crash and collision department and up to service manager where he served customers for 11 years; while working full-time, he also earned his Master ASE license. After a 30 year career at one of the big three, Tom opted for an early retirement.
In his ‘retirement’, Tom continued building cars in his garage for locals in the Jacksonville, NC area and from that Crystal Coast Custom Cars was born in March 2019.
One of the reasons Tom started Crystal Coast Custom Cars was to give back to the military community in the NC area. He therefore kept his labor rates low and offered his services to any military personnel who desired a custom car. Tom has won numerous awards for his custom paint work. When he grew out of the Jacksonville shop, he moved to Havelock, NC in 2021. The shop is currently housed in the New Bern, NC area since 2022.
Desiring a slower pace of life in ‘semi-retirement’, Tom sold Crystal Coast to his son Christopher, effective November 1st, 2022. Christopher started building cars with Tom before he could walk. Christopher worked for Ferrari for two years; realizing he would never own a company like Ferrari, he partnered with Tom with a vision to take Crystal Coast Custom Cars to a competitive place in the world of auto restoration and modification.
Crystal Coast Custom Cars because quality matters most!