Behind the doors of an unassuming building located in Millersville, Maryland lies one of the greatest custom car fabrication shops in the Mid-Atlantic. One that focuses on the almighty 2JZ and MkIV Toyota Supra, but also steps out of the box for some very unique projects based around other makes and models.
I’m talking about Freed Engineering, and if you aren’t familiar you should keep reading.
Started in 2010 by Billy and Ben Freed, this shop has created some of the most impressive cars I have ever seen. Most well known to me would be the exhaust and cooling work Freed Engineering did for Japanese Classics owner and long-time friend Chris Bishop and his SEMA Show award-winning Datsun Roadster.
Having seen and heard such great things about this company over the years from many people I came in contact with, I decided long ago to use them on my personal master build. More to come on that with the next installment of Project Z31 432R.
When you walk into the shop you are immediately taken aback by the sheer number of Supras inside the space. You can tell from the quality of these cars alone that Freed Engineering is a serious and well-respected operation.
It’s equally impressive to see all of the equipment they have at their disposal in order to carry out as much fabrication in-house as possible. There’s Miller Dynasty TIG welders, a Haas Automation CNC mill, Torchmate CNC plasma table, Standard Modern lathe, Bantam pneumatic press brake, Rockwell milling machine, and a 3D printer along with various other pieces of specialist machinery and tools.
The only thing more impressive than my initial impressions was the quality of work. Billy is a master fabricator and works with spectacular efficiency – an important trait when paying for custom work. He works through obstacles with ease and has an impeccable eye for detail.
The majority of Freed’s customer base are A80 Supra owners. Fourth-gen Supra values have been on a meteoric rise for the last few years, and although things may have slowed down now, these cars are still so highly regarded and have so much potential – even by today’s standards – that sellers should continue to do well for quite some time.
These halo cars often get the best treatment and produce some of the wildest builds, and every engine bay in the shop looked like it was ready for an individual feature.
There is an easy recipe for power with 2JZs, but in my opinion the key is to do it cleaner than the rest and that is what Freed does best. Not only do their cars put the power down, but they do so while looking so thoughtfully planned out and aesthetically pleasing.
Custom subframes to swap in 2JZ engines are also a speciality, and I imagine we’ll see a wider range of conversions supported by Freed Engineering as time goes on. They do it all almost entirely in house as well, which really makes just about anything possible for their customers.
As mentioned before, Freed Engineering has the ability to go outside-of-the-box too, as they did with my Z31, creating a custom one-off full titanium octopus header with titanium exhaust in addition to a slick custom radiator with incredibly clean and creative plumbing.
In talking with Billy, it’s easy to understand why Freed Engineering specializes in this type of work. The work I commissioned was totally unique, so when I asked what it was like doing this sort of job as well as their normal day-to-day fabrication, Billy replied: “This is why I got into this in the first place. No one can live in this field if they consider it just work. The crazy weird jobs are my favorite and I am very fortunate to have the ability to do this”.
I am thankful there are shops out there like Freed Engineering owned by people like Billy and Ben Freed. Look out for a feature on Billy’s personal car in the near future.
How To join the IATS program: We have always welcomed readers to contact us with examples of their work and believe that the best Speedhunter is always the person closest to the culture itself, right there on the street or local parking lot. If you think you have what it takes and would like to share your work with us then you should apply to become part of the IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER program. Read how to get involved here.