Progressive Autosports isn’t normally open on a Sunday, but that doesn’t stop the phone ringing or people rolling up wanting to come in and browse the huge selection of high-end rims on display.
More than once, owner and manager Taz has to tell these folks that they’re closed, but you can tell it’s not something he likes to do. After all, it took a lot of hard work to make Progressive one of Houston’s premier vehicle customization facilities, so turning customers away isn’t a something that comes naturally to Taz. The only reason he’s even here on a Sunday is to talk to DUB Magazine and show us a few of his clients’ cars to give us an idea of the kind of work Progressive Autosports is known for in the Bayou City and beyond.
Progressive Autosports is about the cleanest auto shop we’ve ever seen. You might expect the wheel showroom to be well maintained, but even the storage areas and the seven-bay workshops are absolutely spotless and meticulously organized.
“It’s like a flaw I’ve got,” explains Taz. “The guys are like ‘Damn, dude, we gotta work out here.’” But that’s the standard that Taz expects, and it’s that incredible attention to detail that sets Progressive apart from most of its competition.
Taz started Progressive Autosports only 10 years ago, with just eight wheels and a shop the size of the office we’re currently sitting in. He had been working on cars and mini-trucks since he was 16 and always had an eye for customization and personalization. When his father, Quaid, retired from his sign business for health reasons, he gave Taz the money to start his new wheel and tire business, and Taz didn’t squander the opportunity.
“I used to sell wheels from 10 a.m. in the morning until 6 p.m. at night and from 6 a.m. until midnight I would install them.” It took about a year before Taz was ready to take on his first employee, who would help him install wheels into the early hours each night. By 2001, he was ready to move into his current, purpose-built location. However, after being robbed at gunpoint, there were doubts as to whether he would be able to complete the building.