I have been asked to write a “Bio” on myself for your benefit. So here goes…
A long time ago, In a galaxy far, far away…wait, different story, sorry. Ok, …again…
I was born a poor, black sharecropper. Shoot! Sorry, another story! Please, one more try….
My name is Randy Borcherding and I have a passion for all things mechanical (only 11 steps to go!). Cars, motorcycles, airplanes, boats, watches…whatever you can think of in that vein. As a child, I built models as fast as I could earn money to buy another. I even won a couple contests. Now, I guess I just build bigger models for other owners.
I also have a need to create perfectionism around me. I like things to be the best they can be, within reason. It is a blessing and a curse at the same time. It is not that I expect others, or even myself, to be perfect, I know better than that! I am drawn to always find a way to do a job or project better the next time. I am not willing to settle for “okay” or “good enough”. . I like subtle things, but don’t mind a little “in your face” like a loud exhaust or candied, metal-flake paint when appropriate.
I have never had any formal training in this field, I am 95% self taught through the School of Hard Knocks. I have a master’s degree from that place! Anyway, other than product-specific training from paint manufacturers, it has all been learned the old-fashioned way.
I started working on real cars in high school. First, a 1971 Nova, then a 1982 Mustang GT, then a 1967 Dodge Coronet… and so on. I have always had a fascination with straight bodywork and very slick paint, as well as detail throughout a vehicle.
I decided to try my hand at paint and bodywork while working at a former job of mine. I ended up painting all of their work trucks and vans and the race was on! I started doing jobs for friends and family, learning all the while. I asked lots of questions to people who would share information, and read whatever I could find to help me pickup clues and tips.
In May of 1989, I decided to start my own business doing this “paint and body” thing. Within 2 years, I had grown from a small, 1200 square foot lease space to a 3500 square foot pair of buildings. In the grand scheme of things, relatively small, but a huge step up in my career. We are presently in Cypress, Texas (NW suburb of Houston) in our new 4000 square foot building with a heated paint booth, in additition to an existing 3000 foot garage/shop.
At that point I did whatever came in the door, be it insurance, custom or restoration: whatever. I have painted antique semi-trucks, grand pianos, coffins (with the deceased inside!), prototypes for large marketing companies, boats, airplanes, not to mention cars and motorcycles…basically, an eclectic mixture of stuff. From that, I have learned it is almost impossible to combine the custom/restoration world with Insurance/collision work and be productive and profitable simultaneously.
At times, I have had to take on partners, none of which have worked out. As a result of those experiences, I have also had to take jobs at “normal” body shops for periods of time. I have done it all from estimating to painting and frame repair. I never lost my passion for all things old or custom. I always had a little project of my own or someone else’s going on. I have to admit that the collision shop mentality has helped me appreciate the value of production and efficiency, which I continue to try and encompass into my present work today. I try to work smart as much as hard. Conversely, I will not sacrifice quality in the interest of time or money.
I have many people to thank for where I am now, and they know who they are. I won’t bore you with those details. Although my company, in the past, has been larger, I have no desire to be a big, mass-producing facility. I feel that quality and personal contact become inversely proportional to the size of the company. The larger the company becomes, the harder it is to maintain your relationships and standards. Ultimately, I end up being a baby-sitter of sorts. Therefore, my company is presently comprised of 5 people. We are not the biggest shop around and that is just fine with us. I want to be in touch with my customers, employees and my family,
We have built many high- end vehicles, as well as being seen on TV multiple times. Maybe that matters, maybe not. We, as a company and as individuals, love what we do and hope to do it for the rest of our lives. If we weren’t doing it for a living, we would be doing it at home for free, so why not try to make a living if you can?
I am not only the owner, I am a large part of the labor force as well. I am the painter, and do much of the sanding and polishing as well (believe it or not, my favorite part!). I have a great group of people that work with me to create what we do. They all love this and want to do it for the foreseeable future as well. We can build a turn-key, frame up version of your ultimate ride, or provide any part of that process if you are handling parts of it elsewhere or yourself. We can build a show-stopping, one-of-a-kind winner or a Saturday night cruiser. You decide.
Our projects and paint jobs have received national acclaim at shows such as the prestigious Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California, the Super Chevy Show (also in California) and multiple Autorama shows around the nation. In 2006, the Grand National roadster show gave out 2 special paint awards, chosen by Mike Levallee (inventor of the ‘real fire’ style if flames), and we took both of them home to Houston, Texas. A third job we had there won Best Rod Paint. Five vehicles that we have been involved in were chosen to appear at the invitation-only Fresno Autorama, where every participant is hand picked by the one and only Blackie Gejian. A vehicle can only go once to that one! Lastly, we had a car chosen to be a feature vehicle at the famous 2007 Supernationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our most recent project, a 1932 Dearborn Duece Ford cabriolet was honored to be the ‘Outstanding street rod’ of the show at the 2008 Detroit Autorama as well as winning ‘Best of Show’ and ‘Gold Class’ at the Pomona, California Super Chevy show. Yes, a Ford won the Chevy show! Also at the 2008 Detroit Autorama, a Chevelle we painted 5 years ago won ‘Outstanding Paint’ of the show. Our projects have appeared in magazines like Super Chevy, Chevy Rumble, Easy rider and Jeg’s catalog. Heck, even one in Hungary that I won’t even attempt to pronounce! We have had a car appear on the popular “Power Block” series of television shows. Lately, we have been the paint and body part of a new bike building show being filmed in Houston called “The American Biker Series”. I say all of this not to brag, but to lend credibility to what we do. We know not everyone is out to build a show-winning piece of art, but we do know how to take a job to that level when the need arises.
We are happy to answer questions when asked. If we don’t have the answer, we will help you find it. We don’t know it all, or pretend to. We are not the fastest, or the cheapest. We want to be neither of those as they breed compromise of the unwanted kind. You are more than welcome to visit us before, during or after your project’s journey with us. We welcome that, and feel free to take as many pictures as you like. We will, too, and you will get a complete pictorial history of whatever we do for you.
I think you will find the most valuable asset we have to offer is honesty. We will not mislead you just to collect a paycheck from you. There have been many times that I have advised a customer to get out while he can, or to not even begin the project, based on what they are starting with, or their budget, or both. Some may accuse me of being a bad business man, but, I am not trying to get rich on one job. I see the big picture and know how expensive these projects can get. I often tell people that it is cheaper to buy something finished than to build it yourself.
Having said all these things, it is an honor and a pleasure to be involved in building something that is part of your dreams. Maybe it is a reward for a life well-lived, or a handed-down family heirloom. Maybe it was a spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment decision or a half-finished horror story from ‘Body Shop hell’. It doesn’t really matter, other than the fact that we will do whatever we can to help you make logical, positive and creative decisions on whatever it is that “moves” you.
Thanks for your time, and now, back to our movie…..