My name is Rodney Parks, I have been “mechanicing” since I was 7, which was when I put my first set of shocks on a car. At that same age I moved into lawnmowers and bicycles, my inspiration was me finding a 3.5 hp Briggs lawnmower in the woods near our house. I drug it home, learned how to build a lawnmower engine and weld with the help of my dad. I am still currently mowing my yard with that same lawnmower.
Of course, riding a bicycle all the time was a natural inspiration and a must to learn. I had to build my knowledge and experience on how to put the chain back on and tighten bolts, you know the typical things that can go wrong on a bike. Next thing I know I am fixing all my friends and neighbor’s bicycles and lawnmowers. The neighbors caught on that my dad and I liked to paint and fix things so before long we were painting friends and neighbor’s appliances.
In a very short time, I got into minibikes and motorcycles and I began working and painting on them as well. We had an old Craftsman compressor that was made in the late 50’s, it pumped up all of about 55lbs. My dad and I connected it to a spare tire that we installed an inlet and outlet for hose connections and made it our extra air tank. Using that and a pressure feed paint gun, we painted lawn equipment, stage lights, appliances, bicycles, motorcycles and even a few cars. It was a time you did and worked with what you had and they are memories I will forever cherish.
My dad left home when I was about 16, so I kept on being the body man and mechanic with all the skills I learned. I altruistic by nature and I learned at an early age that you take care of your customer and they will take care of you. I believe that you do the little things that count and it makes for a happier relationship with your customers. I still live my life that way and like to make a difference by helping others. Since one of my strongest skills is automotive, I like to apply that by being there for others.
I later got into building Street-Rods, Show-Cars and Vintage-Cars and it was fun but very time consuming. I had one car that took around a year to build, so to survive, I decided to do collision repair, the insurance work kept me swamped.
I am a perfectionist by nature, especially when it comes to doing body work, I look at it like an art. I take pride in my tools and like to take a professional approach to fixing things, I just can’t do the “Greasy Eddie Shade Tree” method. I never have or ever will take on the attitude to cut corners and do just enough to get by.
I know how to save money and make a dollar stretch and still get a great job, so I know how to get a professional outcome on a limited budget. No matter the job or how much I am getting paid, I try to make the job a great one. I don’t want a bad rep so I aim to please. I am easy going and easy to talk to and helping others is what I like most about myself.
Collision repair has always been one of my passions I like doing things to improve a car’s look, and the same for making a car run better than factory. Through my careful selection of vendors, I get both the best prices and the highest quality so that my customers benefit. This combines both passions, improve the quality of a machine and help people in the process.
I have repaired just about all type of collision damages. Quite often, the most common front end damages turn out to be more than just a bumper or hood replacement. In some cases inner structures like radiator supports, bumper support and frames are bent and need straightening or replaced. I have always liked to make wrecks look like it never happened on the outside and what isn’t seen. RodsShop has many vendors and suppliers at its disposal, OEM and Aftermarket body parts to the top name brands in automotive repair.
Auto Body/Fender Repair
I see many cars running around with the paint or the clear coat fading as well as many cars with different color body parts from Do-It-Yourselfers trying to save as much money as they can. Most Paint and Body Shops want a pretty penny to repaint or paint blend a car. Then there are the Budget Paint Shops that will slap you on a low grade paint job complete with over-spray, runs, dirt and fish-eyes. I am a big advocate for the Do-It-Yourselfer so I want to offer as much help, support and products I can to my customers.
For the majority of my 40 plus years, I have used Dupont Automotive Paints and their Generic line. Dupont is now known as Cromax/Axalta, one of the top automotive finishes in the industry. Many cars today are painted with pearl flakes and I have found Cromax has the best stabilizing agents in their paint. This means that not only pearl flakes but metal flakes automatically spread themselves apart evenly, which means you have no spot in the finish looking blotchy or heavy or light in shading.
Cromax Chromabase base coats have the best matching system out of all the other paint industries, so this makes blending very easy and the job superb. I use other brands that are cheaper but very good and durable paints. Kirker is one that has been around almost since cars started being made. The quality is very good and the cost is very affordable. Limco is another affordable automotive paint that you can get great results with.
I will say next in line to Cromax is PPG, they have been around since the beginning of time and their paints are durable and long lasting. I have always got a bit more show car look from Cromax but PPG is right there with them.
When it comes to damaged or rusted sheet metal, I believe in repairing the metal, not masking it with body fillers. Today’s body fillers are awesome compared to Bondo from 15 or more years ago but there is still a time and a way to use them. I prefer to cut rusted areas out and weld in body panel grade metal in it’s place. I have used many tools and know the tricks for getting dents out, even dent removal that doesn’t require repainting.
I believe in working smart, knowing when to put time into a repair or just replace a part. My methods of always profited both myself in time and money as well as my customers. IT doesn’t make sense to repair a hail-damaged hood by putting in 20 hours when you can just get a replacement, prime, paint and go for under 4 hours.
I always have given my paint jobs some type of rubbing and buffing after being sprayed to give it the high luster and deep look as well as put the factory look if not better back into it. I have a proven process where I color sand the paint and use a three part buffing system that leaves no buffing swirls and an under glass look.
As I mentioned, I have a vast knowledge of building Street-Rods, Vintage Cars and Classic Cars, so if you are starting or have a current project like this and want advice, drop me a line. I have a successful history building custom cars so my knowledge could be valuable to someone starting off on a custom adventure.
My custom car work includes installing aftermarket ground effect packages, decal kits, modifying bumpers/spoilers and installing custom lighting.
My experience includes frame redesigns to accommodate newer suspension and braking designs. This includes setting up Air Condition for vehicles that weren’t originally equipped, custom dashes complete drive train upgrades and modifications.
I have done work on minor interior repairs, such as trim that is damaged and needs replaced, or repainted. Cromax has an incredible plastic and trim system for prepping, paint matching and painting plastic trim. I have also done electric/non-electric window and door lock repairs.
I have over 40 years experience with all types of cars, the old ones and the new ones. My experience covers everything on a car from building engines and transmissions, to general maintenance. I am not just a parts replacement tech, I have a really good knack for diagnosing issues. Sometimes is can be a dirty connection, loose wire or loose bolt that needs to be dealt with.
I take a professional approach to repairs and tuneups. There are few shops that I am not sure how they stay in business that will replace one spark plug or one spark plug wire for a tuneup. This is known as a SCAM. When doing a tuneup, you replace all plugs and all wires if equipped. The initial cost may be higher but far cheaper than going back every month paying again to get another wire or plug replaced.
I believe in true customer service which means you are upfront and honest with your customers. I think the world needs to be more serving this way instead of the greedy manner it has taken. I firmly stand behind, under promise and over deliver.
See RodsShop on YouTube
I want to help, so for those “Do-It-Yourselfers”, I have a whole YouTube channel designated to provide “How To” information on various repairs. I continually create them as I run across problems from my customers vehicles or even from people who write in and share their issues and the solutions. So be sure to stay tune, like and subscribe. If you have any experiences you want to share, CONTACT me.