Wanting a break from working for a big corporation, Dan Mann started 3 engineering last year. 3 engineering is a full- service civil engineering, planning and surveying company. But, when Mann isn’t working on the next big real estate development, you can find him under the hood of a classic car. Mann strips beat-up classics down to their nuts and bolts and restores all their glory.

He began restoring cars in high school with his father and has been doing it on and off ever since. His first restoration was a 1969 Mercury Cougar Coupe with a 351W engine.

“It was my dad’s first car, and when he got married to my mom, she made him get rid of it and all I heard about growing up was that car.” Mann still has the restored Cougar.

Another memorable restoration for Mann is a 1961 Ford Econoline Window Van, which he converted from a straight six with a manual transmission to a 289 V8 with an automatic transmission.

“It is something that is completely different from what I do from day to day, but it keeps your mind going,” Mann said. For Mann, restoring cars is all about the sense of accomplishment he gets from being putting a car back together and restoring it to working order. That sense of accomplishment doesn’t compare to that of starting a successful business.

To get to this point, he received some good advice along the way. The best being, no matter what is going on, always be responsible and stay in touch with people, he said. Stay on top of things, he added. Additionally, Mann said it is important to be proactive, get to know clients and be willing to learn new things and do things that don’t really feel comfortable.

Launching a new business is a very time consuming task, but Mann still makes the time for his hobby. Currently, he is working on an 1969 Mercury Cougar convertible with a
390 engine and his next project in the works is a 1969 Ford Ranchero GT with a 390 engine.