It began in 1968 when David Mock bought his first car, a rough 1955 Chevy. Over the next several months he repaired the rusted, damaged body and when it came time to prime the car he used his mom’s “Kirby” vacuum with its glass jar spray gun attachment and spray painted the primer to perfection. He installed a burgundy leather interior from a wrecked 1962 Starfire, a used set of rally wheels, and a small V-8 motor. Dave now had one of the finest looking 1955 Chevys in town. Car guys in the area took notice of the new kid and his 55. Soon he got an offer for the car he couldn’t refuse so Dave sold the car and began to look for his next challenge.
Dave knew that although his 55 was one of the best looking cars it wasn’t the fastest nor was it painted. Painting your car gray or red oxide primer was typical back then simply because guys could not afford an expensive paint job. In those days circa 1969 the muscle car craze was at its peak. The big thing back then was not only who had a nice looking car but more importantly who had the fastest.
Dave’s next challenge was to build a fast car. He started with a lightweight 1964 Nova SS, quickly installed a punched out 283 with dual quads, and soon upgraded to a more powerful 350. After many trials and errors Dave learned how to make it one of the fastest cars in the area. These “hands on” learning experiences he learned in those early days would certainly be an asset later on.
Dave realized that there was no one in the area who was doing quality custom paint jobs for a reasonable price. So one day he bought an air compressor, a used spray gun, and began to teach himself how to custom paint. He printed up some calling cards titled “Custom Painting by Schmock”, advertised with a small ad in the newspaper and pleased his customers by providing, quality, custom paint jobs at a very reasonable price. He painted motorcycle tanks and cars for his friends who were thrilled with the results. Soon the cars Dave custom painted were winning “Best in Class” awards at the local car shows.
Over the next few years Dave bought, customized and sold popular classics including 55 and 56 Chevys, 60's Camaros, Corvettes, Chevelles, and many more.
In the 1970’s every car or van that Dave customized that was entered into local car shows won at least “Best in Class” awards
Then in 1974 with a downturn in the economy Dave was laid off from his full time job as an electrician. Over the next few months he customized more and more vehicles. It was around this time in 1974 that vans started to become popular. Dave purchased a used Ford U-haul van, painted it with kandy paint, flames, applied a graveyard mural, and named it the “Vanpire.” He entered it into the largest “van only” show in the area and surprised everyone by winning awards for best paint, best kandy paint, best interior, and overall best van.
Dave made a tough decision to quit his electrical apprenticeship and pursue his passion building custom vehicles. With a $5000 loan he launched his new company D M Conversions Ltd. (dmc). He purchased a Chevy van, customized it and showed it to local car dealers. The dealers quickly gave dmc bare cargo van chassis’ to customize. To everyone’s delight the custom vans flew off the dealer lots. The demand was so great that more and more orders came rolling in.
Over the next 5 years, dmc customized hundreds of vehicles--mainly custom vans. Then dmc secured contracts with Ford and Dodge to build custom vans for them. DMC soon started selling their custom vans nationwide. In 1983 Dave opened D M Conversions of Florida Inc. and built custom vehicles there until he sold the company 18 years later in 2001. During that time dmc also secured contracts with GM and between 1981 to 2005 dmc built over 15,000 custom vans, pickup trucks, SUV’s, disabled vehicles, commercial vehicles, and classic cars.
In 2005 with the downturn in the van conversion market dmc downsized and returned to our roots concentrating once again on classic car restorations. We gained valuable experience from the unique and tough challenges of high-line customizing over 4 decades. Dealing with the factories and the sheer volume of vehicles that we customized has given us an unparalleled customizing experience that few could ever imagine.
DMC now enters the 5th decade of building some of the finest quality custom vehicles in the country.