Mikail Pinette came into this profession honestly. His father and grandfather were both in the auto profession before he came along. His grandfather had an auto dealership in the 1920's and 1930's, and his father used to collect and race Hudsons, rebuilding many of them to either drive himself or sell.
When Mikail was school age, his family moved to Alaska where his father worked on vehicles, heavy equipment, and airplanes. Mikail watched and helped his dad whenever he could, and while in high school, he worked in an apprenticeship at the local airbase motor pool during his sophomore and junior years. His senior apprenticed at a air charter company called Peninsula Airways on a fleet of over 20 prop engine aircraft all ranging from single engine, twin engine, wheeled, amphibious landing, etc. After graduating high school, he was hired by the U.S. National Park Service where he worked for three years, maintaining all their vehicles and boats used at one of their camps.
Mikail and Renee moved to Michigan in 1981 where he started his career repairing import cars in St. Joseph, Michigan, South Bend, Indiana and for many years worked for several dealerships, advancing as a Mercedes Benz technician. When the prolonged recession continued into 1990, work was thin at the Mercedes dealership, prompting Mikail to start his own repair shop, beginning out of his garage in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He named the new business Classic Imports.
Within that first year, Classic Imports outgrew the garage, necessitating a move, so Union Pier, Michigan became the new home of the fledgling business. Renee operated an independent accounting business by then, so she handled the accounting side of the business. The business grew slowly at first. After Mikail and Renee took some automotive management classes the entire operation flourished. During these training years, Mikail and Renee’s son Brandon was learning the automotive trade from Mikail as well as attending many tech training seminars and courses during his high school and college years. As Brandon grew in talent and maturity, he and later his wife Erica joined the team, keeping this business the family-owned business it has now become—one of the most professional auto repair facilities in the area.