Kustom Built Cars was started by a a guy who loves and enjoys custom cars and hot rods. He wanted to be able to continue a legacy for our generations to come. So he and his friends got together and came up with this awesome workshop so that future car builders of the world could come and learn the fundamentals of restoring a custom car from the ground up. The leader of our program wanted to share his story with you all so you can see how this idea became a reality and how it can for you too!
Hello, I’m Jack Weaver, custom car builder of 25+ years and the owner of Acme Chop Shop. I wanted to share with you why I decided to start teaching the art of custom auto restoration at Kustom Built Cars (KBC).
When I opened up Acme Chop Shop 8 years ago I had a game plan of building kick ass cars for people to enjoy and show off to the world. I was doing it by myself for the first year and like most shops that grow, so did mine, Fast! People liked the style of cars I built so word got out, new customers started to come in and that’s when I realized I needed more help. I decided to hire a helper and together we kept at it for another year until we outgrew the shop we were in. So, I went and found a bigger shop and moved in shortly after.
The customers kept coming and my business continued to grow very quickly and I knew I needed more help. I needed someone that had experience. Although, my right hand guy had evolved in the 2 years he was with me he was not quite to the level I needed. But this wasn’t his fault this was because I was thinking of him as a helper and not as a potential builder someday. So, I didn’t put a lot of time into showing him the importance of certain things or allowing him to fully evolve.
I needed experienced help so I started putting the word out that I was looking to add someone to my team and I advertised “wanted” experienced auto restoration help. Within the week I had a guy hired that said he had the experience needed. He lasted about 5 days before I realized he did not have the skills needed. By this time I had about 5 other applicants that said they had experience. 2 of them had graduated from different automotive trade schools. So, I tried one, this guy lasted 2 weeks and said the work was to hard. At this moment that’s when it started to hit me. There isn’t really any well rounded restoration help out there or if there is they come from far and few inbetween.
Finally, I had a guy come through that was a decent body guy he could weld and was a mechanic, so that helped the shop out for awhile. I started to take on more builds and we were doing good for a few months. But, that ‘new guy” guy decided to move to California and that left just me and my helper again, with too many cars. Although, he had evolved enough at this time and was a decent body and assembly guy but I need someone with more experience.
So, I was back at it again and hired a an experienced guy and continued building hot rods, customs and doing restorations on cars. At this point I was well aware of the shortage of well rounded help. At this time I began to put a lot of the time into the new guy showing him the different techniques it takes to build a custom car. It slowed down the process but at least I knew I’d have a guy working for me that had the knowledge and skills needed, as long as he didn’t leave right? As more time went on I realized that people change, people move, life happens and you have to start to look at things with a different prospective.
Then, a few years ago I had a guy approach me about teaching his son how to do this trade, he wanted a career in building and restoring hot rods and custom cars and… that’s where the idea became a reality. I started doing small workshops in the evenings and on Saturdays.
But, that wasn’t enough as I have at least 4-5 people a week come to my shop asking if I need any help, kids asking to work from the bottom up. As a companionate human being and a person who see’s the lack of experienced help I want to give every man, woman, kid, a job who wants to learn how to build a Hotrod! However, as a business owner I can’t afford to do that. I hear the same thing all across the fifty states, even Alaska. We can’t find experienced help or we have no time to train anyone.
In my opinion in another 15-20 years it will be next to impossible to get a hot rod built or a custom car restored, because of the lack of knowledge and inexperienced help available. This along with my story and experience is why I chose to start teaching this trade to people that want to learn it. To pass on an 80 year old tradition and lifestyle to the generations to come. Anyone can buy a hot rod, very few can build one……
Come learn with me at Kustom Built Cars (KBC) and together we can bring this 80 year tradition back to life so it does not get lost.
*If you have any questions about the workshops or would like to sign up please call or email Kustom Built Cars.