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A first look inside Hot Rods & Custom Stuff’s all-new paint department


By Yours Truly


Whenever it’s possible, it’s a good idea to have certain rod-building operations separated. Body ‘n’ paintwork for example, is vulnerable to oil, airborne aerosol penetrants and even engine exhaust, which go hand-in-hand as necessary with mechanical work. With this understanding, Escondido, California’s Hot Rods & Custom Stuff has maintained space between the two departments for years. This will not change. However, the body ‘n’ paint department’s address will.


Still in Escondido, at the end of Opper Street, right around the corner from its previous location on Meyers Avenue, HR&CS’ all-new, state-of-the-art body ‘n’ paint department is open for business. Featuring the same crafty crew, the same quality craftsmanship is guaranteed. For custom or restorative body ‘n’ paintwork for your particular pride ‘n’ joy, Hot Rods & Custom Stuff does it all—and does it right.


From the end of this dead-end street, it’s difficult to tell what goes on within’ these concrete walls as we just can’t help but wonder what’s behind door number one.


My friends, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Behold Hot Rods & Custom Stuff’s all-new paint shop! We like to call it “the paint shop,” but truth-be-told, bodywork is done here as well, and come to think of it, so is final assembly and …


… and even interior trim. Here HR&CS trimmer Rex is fixin’ to cut somethin’ up. The trim department is larger than it appears here. Just behind the photographer, there’s plenty more to survey.  


Just across the way, Robert Riggio’s ’57 Bel Air is now in the final assembly stages, with all of its original brightwork being restored by multi-talented crewmember Troy.


Welcome to “Wayne’s World!” Those who’ve visited HR&CS’ previous paint facility may recall that in-house parts purveyor Wayne had limited human contact as he was contained within his chain-link enclosure near the center of the shop. Today life is good as Wayne gets set-up in his new, more luxurious surroundings.


Disassembling, moving, and reassembling a spray booth is no small undertaking.


Disassembling, moving, and reassembling a state-of-the-art Garmat down-flow spray booth is a MONUMENTAL undertaking.


Just to the left, a large repair is nearing completion—and it’s really not that dark in here. Truth-be-told once again, yours truly has just run out o’ flash bulbs so this’ll have to do for now. We’ll show y’all more as we continue to document in-the-works projects, and as we go, you just might notice further refinements to the new paint shop—in living color.