Customizing and Restoring - MillerWelds

Customizing & Restoring

Cotati Speed Shop

Meet builder Zane Cullen, owner of Cotati Speed Shop


"Cotati has grown a reputation for building a certain caliber car. Our goal is to deliver handcrafted quality and perfection in everything we touch." — Zane Cullen

Established in 2006, Santa Rosa, California-based Cotati Speed Shop (previously under the name Creative Concepts) is known for its commitment to quality, specializing in sheet metalworking and custom paint and body jobs. The shop's 11 employees, including owner Zane Cullen and wife Stephanie, create unique, handcrafted vehicles out of their 10,000-square-foot facility.

The shop works on 10 to 14 projects in the shop at any one time. Some are short-term, ranging from light service work or an upgrade, to refurbishing and complete builds. On average, the business completes three to five large builds annually. Four to five employees weld daily using Miller® equipment, exclusively.

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About the '69 GMC Fleetside project:

Miller product managers Jon Ertmer (Integrated MIG), Steve Hidden (Plasma) and John Swartz (TIG) are working with Cullen at Cotati Speed Shop on a '69 GMC Fleetside pickup truck, which will house Miller welding equipment in the bed and operate as a service truck. The service truck made an appearance at the 2011 Hot Rod Power Tour and will appear at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

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Blue Torch Fabworks

Meet Peter Basler of Blue Torch Fabworks Inc.


"Whether it is a small DIY part or a full turnkey custom vehicle, Blue Torch Fab has the knowledge and equipment to make it happen." — Peter Basler

Birmingham, Alabama-based Blue Torch Fabworks Inc. is the industry leader in DIY fabrication parts and custom build buggies in the off-road industry. Builder, manufacturer and owner of Blue Torch Fabworks, Peter Basler and his team of 11 employees manufacture off-road vehicle related parts from small metal tabs and brackets, to custom-machined steel and aluminum parts. This "True Blue" shop also works on 20 to 30 projects annually and completes three to four full turnkey projects every year.

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Hollywood Hot Rods

Meet Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods


"For me I have this passion for creating art, and my art happens to be cars. It's just a dream come true that I can do this and succeed at it, and be recognized for it. My advice to anybody is that if you can live out your dream and your life — that's what you should do." — Troy Ladd

Burbank, California-based Hollywood Hot Rods is a full service Hot Rod builder, Classic Car modification and restoration shop. The company is built on a team approach; each and every member of the team has specialized talents and abilities which enables HHR as a whole to be a step above the competition. By using this team effort to car building, owner Troy Ladd and his team are able to accomplish nearly any task in the automotive build-up or restoration process.


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Honest Charley Garage

Meet the team at Honest Charley Garage


"To build a project so we can step back at the end of the month and say 'Wow, we did that' or 'This thing didn't exist; everything we did, we built from scratch' — a job well done is one of the greatest feelings." — Greg Cunningham, shop foreman

Honest Charley was founded in 1948 by Honest Charley Card in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as the first mail-order speed shop in the country. Today, the premier shop and builder of hot rods is owned by Corky Coker of Coker Tire — he and the staff carry on a tradition of quality styling and superior customer service, restoring cars, building custom vehicles and renovating antique cars.


Now the Honest Charley team has the opportunity to take that heritage on the road as the builder of the 2013 Street Rodder Road Tour vehicle. The build is underway and Miller products are being used exclusively for the welding and cutting on the vehicle.

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The Fab School

Meet Troy Johnson, director and founder of The Fab School


"We're not just a welding school, we're a fabrication school. We go into design, sheet metal, tubing, building the bodies, prep - there are many jobs that you could be part of on an off-road team. We average a 96 percent placement rate and place these guys somewhere where their passion is. My passion is to help you find a job you are passionate about."  — Troy Johnson

The Fab School, located in Riverside, California, is a private, post-secondary, vocational school that specializes in the fundamentals of metal fabrication. The school has been educating students on the technical skills and theories of fabrication since 2005, providing hands-on training in a real-world, working fabrication shop environment.


The program schedules are fast paced. The curriculum embraces the hands-on approach to learning, and the class size is designed to allow for group work as well as individualized attention. Students can complete all three programs in as little as seven months.

In addition to the school, Fab School students helped to build a Miller Welders custom welding trailer for mobile repair use at the 2013 Griffin King of the Hammers. A small group of students and staff accompanied Miller and the Blue Torch Fabworks team at the event and assisted race team participants with mobile repair as needed.

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Pure Vision

Meet Steve Strope, owner of Pure Vision


"Were known for concept and designing high-end muscle cars. The stuff that influenced me when I was younger, and to this day, that mixed bag of different things I like from super cars and sports cars to muscle cars, has allowed me to have my own design style that, love it or hate it, is its own thing." — Steve Strope

Located in Simi Valley, California, Pure Vision has quickly become a world renowned street machine fabrication shop. Pure Vision cars have a very signature concept/build style that can be described as simple, straightforward and well detailed. People just seem to know when it's a Pure Vision original.


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Marrs Cycles

Meet Kacy Marrs and Brad Fanshaw, owners of Marrs Cycles

"We're changing the way people view cruising one enthusiast at a time. We aim to build an elite line of electric bicycles that enable riders to take advantage of a unique motorcycle-inspired riding experience in places where bicycles, and not motorcycles, are allowed." — Kacy Marrs

Founder Kacy Marrs and business partner Brad Fanshaw own and operate the Southern California-based Marrs Cycles. The locale inspires their vision, culture and American-made craftsmanship. In an era when many companies manufacture products overseas, Marrs Cycles takes pride in going against the trend and hand-crafting the frames, front ends and handlebars a few short miles from the infamous Pacific Coast beaches.

The 140 lb. electric bicycle can go up to 20 mph on flat ground with an average 175 lb. rider and starts at only $7,500.

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AFT Customs

Meet Jim Giuffra and the women of AFT Customs


"They build world-class custom bikes — in addition to their day jobs mind you — and are definitely in a league of their own. These women are passionate. Simply put, they walk the walk and talk the talk." — Jim Giuffra (talking about the women of AFT)

Jim Giuffra, metric motorcycle builder and founder of Jackson, California-based AFT Customs, employs women to assist in building up to 70 percent of the metric bikes created at AFT. These women are passionate about bikes and have expanded their skill sets to include welding. Miller works with the AFT Customs team to share welding knowledge and resources and recently helped AFT members prepare for a welding certification test conducted at Miller headquarters.


AFT Customs has racked up more than 70 awards over the years, including two World Championships, one in 2005 and another in 2008 at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building in Sturgis, South Dakota. The group has also been featured in more than 70 magazines worldwide.


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Darwin Motorcycles LLC

Meet Dar Holdsworth, owner of Darwin Motorcycles LLC and builder of Brass Balls Bobbers & Choppers


"The above-average bike for the average Joe." — Dar Holdsworth

Darwin Motorcycles LLC partners with the best companies and uses the highest quality components to build the Brass Balls Bobbers & Choppers. Over the past several years, owner Dar Holdsworth and Darwin Motorcycles LLC have been featured in many national magazines and on TV. Placing 3rd and 5th in the World Championships of bike building (production class), Dar and his staff have earned the respect of their peers. The group has won bike build-offs, been selected by IronWorks magazine for two consecutive annual features to give away two promotional bikes and have been selected as a Top 10 production manufacturer in 2008 and awarded "Production Bobber of the Year" for 2009 by Easyriders and V-Twin Magazine. 

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Gateway Classic Mustang

Meet brothers Lonny and Jason Childress of Gateway Classic Mustang


"They may look vintage, but don't be fooled. Our Mustangs leave the shop driving like current rides." — Lonny Childress

Brothers Lonny and Jason Childress started Gateway Classic Mustang in 1999 with their minds set on creating vintage-inspired cars that you can and want to actually drive. Located 75 miles southwest of St. Louis, Gateway Classic Mustang is a leading builder of classic Mustangs and does everything in-house except for building engines and transmissions. They even developed a suspension product (under the name Gateway Performance Suspension) and sell it, among other Mustang aftermarket products, out of their shop and online at www.gatewayclassicmustang.com and www.gatewayperformancesuspension.com.


Their team of five employees does partial and complete restorations, including fabrication, sheet metal replacement, paint and body and mechanical work on Mustangs (years 1965 - 2011). Gateway Classic Mustang relies exclusively on Miller for its welding and cutting needs. Miller product managers have worked collaboratively with Lonny and Jason over the last six years to share product knowledge, resources and unique opportunities, as the company executes world-class projects for its clients.

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Ron Covell

Meet Creative Metalworker Ron Covell


"Once you learn to cut metal and weld pieces together, you'll enter a new galaxy of possibilities!" — Ron Covell

Ron Covell, owner of Covell Creative Metalworking in Freedom, California, travels the country and abroad hosting metalworking workshops and welding classes — more than 450 to date. Wildly popular, Covell estimates more than 4,000 have attended his workshops thus far. He also markets a line of 27 metalworking tools and videos he produces and sells.


Highly respected in the street rod industry, Covell has had projects featured in a number of magazines. Covell built a car from the ground up that won the coveted "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" award at the Grand National Roadster Show (The California Star), and has done major work on several other cars to win that award.


His column, "Professor Hammer's Metalworking Tips," has run in Street Rodder Magazine since 1995, and in 2000, a second "Professor Hammer" series, was launched in Classic Trucks Magazine. Ron has written technical articles for a variety of publications since the 1980s including but not limited to Street Rodder Magazine, Classic Trucks, Super Rod, Metalcrafter's News, Sport Aviation, and Hot Bike magazines.


Covell has used Miller welding and cutting equipment throughout his 45-year metalworking career.

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GO-EZ Customs

Meet Art Gomez, owner of GO-EZ Customs


"WHAT WE DO ... MAKES YOU COOL" — GO-EZ Customs

Looking for "super slammed drops" or "ultra-high lifts"? From custom rods to lowriders, SUVs to trucks, full-size to minis or even ground scrapin' to sky high rides, Anaheim, California-based GO-EZ Customs is known for its high-quality custom fabrication and air ride and hydraulic suspension.


The shop, established in 2004 by owner Art Gomez, is dedicated to providing the hottest products, best craftsmanship and the highest quality service to its clientele. With over 25 years' combined experience, the shop's employees are committed to bringing "automotive stylin' alive."

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Gene Winfield

Meet legendary custom car builder Gene Winfield


"I love my blue machines. I’ve been using Miller for years and years and can’t wait to use them on my upcoming, new TV show. Stay tuned!" — Gene Winfield

With more than 60 years of experience in the industry, custom car builder Gene Winfield is one of the premier customizers around. His creations and skilled painting techniques have influenced the way cars are built today.


His shop, located in Mojave, California (near the edge of Death Valley), is not far from where he raced hot rods as a young man. Now in his 70s, he continues to build, restore and show cars at national tradeshows like SEMA and even has a television show in the works (stay tuned!).


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Woody's Hot Rodz

Woody's Hot Rodz


Located only minutes from Cincinnati, Bright, Indiana-based Woody's Hot Rodz specializes in creating one-of-a-kind hot rods and muscle cars. Their understanding of performance technology and love of old-school aesthetics blend together to create classic looking cars that can perform head-to-head with modern sports cars. Owner Christopher Sondles and his team pride themselves in building vehicles that are meant to be driven. After all, their motto is "Why stare at it when you can stand on it!"

In fact, Woody's built the 2011 Street Rodder Road Tour car (a '55 Chevy), which was driven 20,000 miles over four short months following its unveiling. The Woody's team used Miller equipment for the build and continues to rely on Miller products for their fabrication and safety needs.

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Camburg Engineering

Meet the team at Camburg Engineering


"Our welds have to be perfect. Not only from the structural side, but from the aesthetic side, because that's what really sets us apart from our competition." — Jerry Zaiden

Owned and operated by friends Jerry Zaiden and Jason Campbell, Camburg Engineering is a leader in off-road suspension systems and is at the forefront in technology and design. With a shop over 10,000 square feet, Camburg is one of few off-road companies with the manufacturing capabilities to produce their own suspension components in-house as well as build their KINETIK race trucks from the ground up. The company's ability to design, build, race and win using their in-house components sets the organization apart from the rest as they establish the trends rather than follow the crowd. Learn how they use Miller to get the job done.

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Brown Dog Welding

Let the Brown Dog Weld: Meet fabricator and metal artist Josh Welton


"I don't need to have a quiet moment, take a walk or have a smoke … give me a couple pieces of steel, a TIG machine, and let me forget about the world for a few minutes." — Josh Welton

Josh Welton is a welder by trade (he struck his first arc in November of 2002 when he served as a millwright apprentice for Chrysler), but Brown Dog Welding is a product of his passion for metal art. In this fabrication shop located just north of Detroit in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, Welton creates one-of-a-kind artistic pieces and sculptures — from motorcycles and hot rods, to robots and metal animals. See gallery.


Welton sells his creations via a BDW Etsy store — a great place for custom and unique gifts. At least 10 percent of BDW profits are split between Lifebuilders, a non-profit organization in Detroit and Home Fur-Ever (www.homefurever.com), the no-kill shelter where he and wife Darla found Woodson — the inspiration for Brown Dog Welding — and their current pup, April.


By day, Welton works in the prototype shop at General Dynamics Land Systems, where they create military defense prototype vehicles and parts including Strykers and Abrams.

For both his professional and personal business, he relies on Miller equipment.


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Max Grundy

Meet artist and fabricator Max Grundy


"For me, welding is an essential tool to take your artistic 2D vision into 3D reality. Welding is a very satisfying experience to transform raw materials into art." — Max Grundy

Artist and fabricator Max Grundy has been welding the majority of his life. While he is primarily an artist, specializing in mixed media, paintings, illustrations and photography, Grundy also completes automotive builds and has been putting cars together since he was a teen. He works with multiple shops, but operates out of Pacific Speednkustom in Marietta, California, with business partner Bryan Sayer.


Grundy and his partner celebrated an exciting 2014 SEMA as they had two builds on display: a 1959 Pontiac station wagon and a 1950 COE truck. Both the truck and other full-size 3-D renderings of his artwork were on display from his booth in the artist exhibit area. His booth also featured Grundy's limited-edition SEMA 2014 art prints that could only be purchased at that location in the show.


Learn more about Max and his work at maxgrundy.com.

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