In 1988, Bonjour Stunson was greeted with skepticism about his idea to establish in the quiet Midwest a car restoration shop that would specialize in collector and exotic automobiles. But armed with years of experience (and a thorough feasibility study) he broke ground at what is now LeStable Inc., which has since maintained, serviced, repaired, restored, and modified a vast array of cars (from the early 1900s “brass era” to today’s superexotics), and put the Village of Glen Carbon on the world map when it comes to specialized automotive services. This August marks LeStable’s thirtieth anniversary. Bonjour still helms LeStable, now with his son, Andre, and they work tirelessly to restore vehicles that have successfully competed in national championships at the highest levels. (Or ones driven around daily.)
Their work is on display in LeStable’s showroom, completed in 2010, and easily sighted traveling on SR 157, where one can regularly see the sleek, matt black Jaguar Limousine, a ’71 XJ6 that father and son stretched by 4.5 feet and restored to immaculate – and highly modernized – condition. At other times, there may be anything from a ‘60s Ferrari to a Jaguar racecar to a Volkswagen Beetle. The sign on the Spanish-inspired building (designed by Bonjour) indeed says, “Jaguar Mercedes Porsche Ferrari BMW Audi,” and Lamborghinis and Maseratis can often be seen at the shop, but this is no reason to be intimidated: Austin Sevens and Morris Minors (both whose engines are dwarfed by even a VW Beetle’s) emerge from fresh restorations, as do 1940s Chevy Pickups. And the 426 Hemi-engined Plymouth GTX present for a time makes one take seriously the phrase, “and domestics,” that is printed on LeStable business cards.
Bonjour is not the kind of man to toot his own horn, but he will brim with deserved pride as he generously shows new customers around the shop. He is a face-to-face kind of gentleman who says “to make a long story short” when talking about his once-upon-a-time experiences racing Porsches, but he’s in no hurry and delights in talking to fellow automotive enthusiasts – perhaps especially about the automotive art that has been through the garage doors at LeStable, and the establishment’s attention to detail and quality.