Organization does more than just rebuild cars - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Organization does more than just rebuild cars

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Organization does more than just rebuild cars (WFSB) Organization does more than just rebuild cars (WFSB)

A drive to change lives is the motivation behind a one-of-a-kind organization in New Britain.

The organization is called Swag Custom Rides, and is doing much more than restoring old vehicles.

It is giving some people a purpose and it is making a live-saving difference.

"I mean, before I came in, I was a homeless heroin addict,” said Pete Fischer, who works at Swag Custom Rides. “I actually lived in my car and when my car broke down, I lived on the side of the parkway in a tent."

Swag Custom Rides is a non-profit organization where they work on old cars with a dedicated crew of troubled adults who ran out of chances.

"I just have a passion for two things, one is hot rods, cars - or rebuilding cars - but also transforming lives, so we kind of connected those two together,” said John Muratori, who started the program less than two years ago.

He opened the shop because he wanted to help others, and he found an unusual way to do it.

"We felt like we could filter some guys into actually getting a career and making a living and really, really just going out and having a solid life,” Muratori said.

Dan Cashman’s 1950 Ford pickup is one of the vehicles that is being worked on in the garage.

"I spread the word about it all the time,” he said. “I think it's wonderful what they're doing. You know, with these kids, taking them and teaching them a trade - it's fantastic."

The garage is also being featured in a pilot for a possible reality show.

But, in the meantime, they’ll stay focused on making a big difference.

"I lost everything. My career, my family, my loved ones. Through this, I've restored a lot of my relationships - a lot of my friendships - my family is back in my life,” Fischer said.

Anyone can drop by, take a look or have a car worked on.

For more information, click here.

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