Hello everyone! We are pleased to formally introduce Vanguard Automotive Design! Who we are, what we’re about, and of course, our new facility. As some of you may already know, Vanguard Automotive Design is a company that was formed from Apicella Auto Sound and Epic Auto Wurx teaming up and merging into one company. Both located in Stony Point, NY, Chris and Nick became friends over time from knowing each other through the industry and being in each other’s backyard. Both unique shops with specific skills that set them apart from the rest are similar enough but also different enough to team up and fill the gaps perfectly. Nick and his team specialize in high-end audio and its relevant fabrication department. In contrast, Chris and his team specialize in high-end radar & laser countermeasures, lighting, upholstery, custom interior and exterior options, along with all of its relevant fabrication. Nick managed to stumble upon a large shop right down the road from his previous, and the phone call was made, and a partnership was formed. Together, we create Vanguard Automotive Design. As of today, we are still a pretty small and tight-knit team. We take our jobs seriously, but we also get along great to where work doesn’t exactly feel like, well, work. Let us introduce ourselves.
Nick Apicella (center) – Many of you following us already know Nick from the audio side of things. Starting as a hobbyist, Nick eventually took an apprenticeship at a shop in Manhattan. From there, his passion for car audio, fabrication, and other automotive electronics consumed him. What separates Nick from the rest is his knowledge and experience of DSP tuning, acoustics relating to an automotive environment, sound system design, and OEM audio integration. At only 29 years old, his extensive level of understanding in these categories makes him an expert. When Nick realized that this extremely rare skill set wasn’t going to be put to its potential at any other shop, he decided to branch out on his own to form Apicella Auto Sound back in March of 2017. Since then, the growth from the business and personal side has been tremendous, making him an excellent partner in owning and operating Vanguard Automotive Design. Here, Nick handles sales, marketing, system design, CAD/CNC Laser work, oversees OEM integration, and does all of the DSP tuning.
Chris Gliemann (left center) – While Nick may be known through his activity on social media and forums, Chris is the opposite. Chris is the one who moves in silence. After almost 20 years of working in the 12-Volt and Automotive industries, including stints at some of the best shops worldwide, Chris also decided to make the move to being an owner/operator. In 2019, Chris formed Epic Auto Wurx, where he specialized in Radar & Laser Countermeasures, custom mobile electronics, audio, and custom interior/exterior fabrication. Essentially, if it involves a vehicle of some sort, Chris can do it and do it to the highest level. While being the sole employee of his own company for most of its time, Chris handled a private client list. He did ZERO advertising. All of his work is generated through word of mouth. Chris’s decades of experience in the bay, managing teams, and dealing with pretty much any situation with customizing a vehicle makes the perfect counterpart of Nick to owning and operating Vanguard Automotive Design. At Vanguard, Chris handles fabrication (wood, plastic, fiberglass, and metalwork), mobile electronics and lighting design and installation, upholstery, and more. Most importantly, Chris is the shop manager, overseeing all employees in the bay working on the vehicles that come through our doors.
Matthew Kim (right center) – Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Matt is another fresh face to the mobile electronics industry. At only 26 years old, Mattew Kim is very quickly becoming a name to be familiar with. Matt got his start in the industry at the well-known Musicar Northwest when living back home in Portland. In 2021, Matt made the move to work with Nick at Apicella Auto Sound, where the two became unstoppable in the high-end car audio category. Matt, originally a hobbyist, quickly realized that he wanted to do this as a career. In no time, he became so involved that he too became an expert in the tuning, acoustics, OEM integration, and CAD/CNC laser categories. What makes Matt different is that he is a quicker learner than anyone we have come across, and is already filling Nick’s shoes in some areas, while also quickly learning from Chris and becoming an ace in the hole for Vanguard Automotive Design. While he is clearly already at the top level of installation, fabrication, and tuning in our industry, we cannot wait to see what Matt can grow to become. Here at Vanguard Automotive Design, Matt handles wiring, OEM integration, CAD/CNC Laser work, general fabrication, and tuning. Matt is also the owner of our Accuton Automotive demo vehicle, and anyone is more than welcome to come to experience it.
James Agostino (far right) – James, while new to the shop and to the industry as a whole, is a valued asset to Vanguard Automotive Design. James’ general attention to detail, eagerness to learn, ability to take direction, and exceed all expectations make him the perfect candidate to teach and mold into becoming the installer we need. James is currently learning all aspects of what we do here at Vanguard Automotive Design, and he is quickly becoming a well-rounded installer. Currently, James helps Matt and Chris with all things installation and fabrication related, learning every step of the way.
Julio Cabarcas (far left) – Julio brings a new offering to Vanguard Automotive Design. He is not only a seasoned electronics installer, but is also our in-house automotive care specialist. Julio has years of experience working at other shops in the region doing car audio, general electronics, detailing, and ceramic coating. We are very excited to have the opportunity to offer his skills and are proud to be a true one-stop shop for high-end automotive accessories.
Now, onto the shop. Please note we are still planning on adding some things to the office, lobby, install bay, storage area, and fabrication room, but is any project truly ever finished? Might as well show you all now!