Charlie Nestor - Body Art
When you are greeted by the stare of two partially carved stone faces that look like they came out of the ruins of a Hawaiian temple, it’s fairly obvious that you aren’t in your typical auto-body shop. Charlie Nestor, the owner of CSN Motorsports, has always had an artistic itch since he was a child. The result is in projects and oil painting and the two stone heads sitting in the lobby that he works on when he finds time between restoring Bentleys, Ferraris and famous race cars.
“When I was in school, I always kind of gravitated to art,” says Nestor. “At some point, I realized I didn’t have the means to go to art school and so on, so I thought learning the [auto body] trade might be the next best thing for me.”
A former race-car driver, Tommy Owens, took Nestor in at a young age and taught him the ins and outs of body work, from fabrication to detailing. He started out working on cars in Owens’ collection, the first being a Rolls Royce and other rare cars that most people wouldn’t have as their first experiences. Nestor also had the ability to sit behind the wheel, which led to a question from Owens as to which way he wanted to steer in his career.
“He asked me what side of the wheel I wanted to work on,” says Nestor. “I thought that it took a lot more skill to know the driver and work with a team on a car than to sit behind the wheel. I think it’s the team that really makes the difference in winning those races.”
After working in Nashville on cars for stars like Amy Grant and Garth Brooks, Nestor came back to Ohio and started CSN Motorsports. The type of work he did refurbishing older cars and putting together rare high-end vehicles was so amazing that he earned a reputation and now has cars shipped to his shop from as far away as Japan. One of his crowning achievements was restoring a 917 Porsche that he knew very little about when it came in. After some digging, his team was able to find the car’s race history and bring it back to life by restoring its original colors.
“It’s such a great thrill when we have something like where we dig up the history and are able to bring the car back to the way it originally looked,” says Nestor. “It’s like finding some kind of new discovery, like my version of the Titanic.”
For more information, go to www.csnmotorsports.com