In addition to standard equipment most auto shops, Zakira’s has three additional areas of specialized equipment: our engine shop, our fabrication shop and our machine shop. These shops allow us to rebuild, design, develop and fabricate parts, pieces and assemblies traditional shops simply can’t – especially those pieces no longer available, on endless backorder or of poor quality / design.
This well-equipped shop allows us to rebuild most any gasoline or diesel motor. We can deck, bore, mill, hone, balance, recondition, press and grind. Bring us your tired engines, heads, pistons, rods, crankshafts, blocks, valves, rotating assemblies - we’ll check them over for damage (we have a Magnaflux machine as well), work them over and return them as good as – or better than - new. While it’s often less expensive to buy a complete engine off the shelf, in those cases where replacements are no longer available or when maintaining part number matching is important, we can help!
If something metal needs to be welded, bent, stretched, shrunk, pressed, formed, sheared, ground, cleaned, blasted, smoothed or cut, we can do any of that. If you need a roll cage, we can do that (we even have a CNC (computer numerical control) tubing bender). If some round or square tubing needs to have a bend of a specific arc? We can do that. We can provide rigidity to a flat and floppy piece of metal with our bead roller. Got a nasty, rusty old piece of whatever that needs to be cleaned and blasted, we can do that. All of this allows us to create new or adapt existing parts and pieces to work well with whatever project we may have on deck – from repairs to modifications to rejuvenations. We have TIG and MIG welders, oxyacetylene torches, plasma cutters, spot welders. In short, if it’s made of metal, it’s a pretty good bet we can work with it.
In many ways this shop is our crown jewel. Using our CAD (computer-aided design) software, we can create virtually anything we need out of metal. We have a 3-axis and a 2-axis CNC milling machine, a CNC digital lathe, manual milling machines and lathes. We have a surface table made of 5/8’ steel for working on vehicle frames. We even have two World War II era machines that still work great - horizontal milling machine and a 4-head drill press. The CNC machines allow us to design and fabricate pretty much anything we need to – including pieces never before in existence.
Interestingly, Zakira’s (zuh-kih-ruz) origins are not those of a typical auto repair facility. In fact, the shop didn’t actually begin as a commercial enterprise at all; rather, it started life as a repository and race-prep facility for Dean Butler, the Cincinnati businessman who founded LensCrafters and Vision Express. An avid collector and racer of vintage cars, Dean bought an old Cincinnati Bell building in Fairfax in the early 1990s to house his collection and provide a location in which he could repair, maintain and prepare his various cars for racing. Driven by his interest in Miller and other early race cars, Zakira’s soon established a strong reputation as a restoration facility, eventually opened its doors to public commerce and built / restored / raced some amazing cars over the following two decades. As Dean’s focus later turned elsewhere, he sold the shop to local businessman and auto enthusiast Taras Tatarko, who had been a happy customer for 15 years.
Since the change in ownership, Zakira’s has moved to a brand new 20,000sf facility in Blue Ash, Ohio and broadened its scope to include European, Japanese and American classic and enthusiast cars from the 1900s to the 2000s. Although able to repair almost any vehicle, the shop is increasingly focused on Porsche sports cars as well as Defenders, Land Cruisers and select 4wd trucks. Still, any time you might visit the shop you will see vehicles from every decade and from every category.