My name is Rodney Parks and I have been mechanicing since I was 7, put my first set of shocks on then. I moved onto lawnmowers and bicycles and what inspired me to do that was I found a 3.5 hp Briggs lawnmower in the woods when I was that age, drug it home, learned how to build a lawnmower engine and weld with the help of my dad. I still mow my yard with that lawnmower today. Of course riding a bicycle all the time, I had to learn how to put the chain back on and tighten bolts, you know the typical. Next thing I know I am fixing all my friends and neighbors bicycles and lawnmowers. As I got older, I got into minibikes and motorcycles and I started working on them as well, including painting them. 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.
My dad left home when I was about 16 so I kept on with all the skills I learned from him and kept on working on everything it seemed for everyone. I have always been a helper 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 people, since my strongest skill is automotive, I like to apply that to 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 and keep some cash coming in, I decided to do collision repair. I was doing a lot of insurance work and one reason I stayed swamped was because I would work around the deductible by shaving off the labor and quite often finding better deals on parts, thus helping all my customers by them not having to fork over between $250 to $1000 out of their pockets. In some cases the insurance companies would cut the estimate down to where I couldn’t cut out the deductible totally but still enough it helped but that was very rare.
I have always been a perfectionist and 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 really can’t do the “Greasy Eddie Shade Tree” method. I have never had 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.