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Thursday, 20 July 2017 03:53

POWER PLAYERS - i95 MOTORSPORTS

Written by DUB Staff | Photos: Solomon Lunger

You’ll be captivated by all the wild customs that I-95 Motorsports has built when scrolling down their Instagram account (@i95motorsports).


image of Kenny from i95 Motorsports

The South Florida shop in Hallandale Beach not only does your typical wheel and tire packages, custom interiors and exterior mods, but they go all out with intricate and elaborate builds that you have to see to believe! From their insane #SwampBuggy to their tricked-out old schools, there’s no project too big or small because they do them all. Owned by husband and wife duo Kenny and Bobbie Jo, they’re the go-to, one-stop shop in the area for unique builds and quality service. Find out below why they’re a power player in the industry!

How did you first get interested in cars and customizing?
Kenny: I have been interested in cars since my dad was building his 1985 Chevy Silverado. I would help him with it and since then I’ve been hooked. I never really wanted to make it a career. I wanted it to be more of a hobby, but when you are around the car show scene, it’s only a matter of time before people/friends are asking you to work on their vehicle.

image of green 1972 Oldsmobile cutlass 442

How did the idea for the shop come about?
Kenny: Our very first shop was Drop Zone in 1999. That was the point where people/friends kept asking me to work on their cars. We also teamed up with a local painter, and that was where it all began. That was during our Lowrider days - hydros, rims, paint and paintbrush was all you needed. To make our shop a reality, we took the last $10,000 we had in our personal savings and got a warehouse, tools, inventory and business cards.

How long did it take for you to set up shop? What challenges were there?
Kenny: As Drop Zone, it only took about a week. Unfortunately, the partnership between us and the painter had its challenges and the business relationship had to be terminated. From there it’s evolved over the years to different shops, including Drop Zone from 1999-2003, B & C Industries from 2003-2010 and I-95 Motorsports from 2010 to present. But we’ve been in the auto customizing industry now for 17 years.

close up engine shot of a green 1972 Oldsmobile cutlass 442

How have you grown as a business over the years? How has your shop’s work/skills/services grown since you first started?
Kenny: We have grown as a business in many areas, we use to just work on cars. Now we’re car builders. We do frame-off restorations. We’re the Chip Foose or Boyd Coddington of S. Florida. We have also learned the business nature of being a shop owner. That it is in fact better to do it yourself than to look for a partner.

What’s your shop’s speciality? What are you guys known for?
Kenny: Our speciality is frame-off restorations. Being fabricators is our true skill and we are known for being top builders of the vehicle known as the donk - 1971-1976 Chevy Caprices or Impalas.

image of 1975 chevy caprice classic

What have you guys been working on lately? What type of customizations have people been asking you for?
Kenny: In the shop we have a variety of vehicles.

    Frame-off restorations:
  • 1939 Ford pickup
  • 1979 Ford pickup
  • 1987 Chevy pickup
  • 1967 Ford Mustang
  • 1974 Chevy Impala
    Paint jobs, stereo, interior:
  • 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass
  • 1973 Chevy Caprice convertible
  • 1971 Chevy Impala
  • 1971 Chevy Impala convertible

image of 2003 ford f-150

What’s been your craziest request from a customer or most wild build and what was done to it?
Kenny: We put an air ride system in a Hummer limo. There was a lot of fabrication done to the suspension of the dual axle 40 foot beast. The outcome was that it was the only Hummer limo with air ride suspension and it could do front/back/side to side/pancake.

What are you most proud of about your shop?
Kenny: I am most proud of the standards we put into our builds. We are known for doing it one way – “the right way.” Our mantra towards customizing is, “You get what you pay for.”

How many builds do you have in the shop at any given time?
Kenny: We usually have anywhere from 15-20 builds going on at the shop. Some are quick jobs and some builds can last up to two years.

Any notable celebrity clients?
Kenny: Celebrity clients include: Al Harris, Jerome James, Marquis Daniels, Jason Pierre Paul, John Brown. They are all sports celebrities. Half the time, we don’t even know who they are until a relationship is developed and they end up telling us. Because, all our customers are treated equal whether you are a regular Joe off the streets or a celebrity. Prices nor quality of work does not change regardless of status.

image of the swampbuggy

What does the future of the shop hold?
Kenny: I can’t predict the future but my wife and I live by the slogan, “You never know who is going to walk through our door.” But, we hope for a reality car builders series one day. We have done a few pilots for people just waiting to see the response. You never know with this industry.

How do you compare yourselves to other shops?
Kenny: We don’t compare ourselves to other shops due to the fact we know the quality of product that they use. As well as the fact that if you go visit other shops, they usually only do one thing there and subcontract the rest of the work, which makes the car go from shop to shop. We are known for being a one-stop shop. You don’t have to worry about coming to see your car and it not being there. This is why we compare ourselves to car builders Chip Foose and Boyd Coddington ‘cause they are true car builders, not just a shop.

Can you predict any customizing trends we should look out for in the future?
Kenny: Chrome is starting to become a thing of the past. I see a lot more powder coating, painting, gold plating, anodizing, wrapping, etc. of rims.

What personal rides do you have and what kind of builds are they?
Kenny: I own:

  • 2003 Ford F-150 that has been completely converted to a 2003 Lincoln Navigator front and rear. It features a flame red customized interior, custom sound system, custom suspension and 22x13 wheels with 37” tires.
  • 1973 Chevy Caprice convertible painted kandy brown complete with a custom motor, interior, sound system and 26” wheels.
  • 1987 Chevy Caprice 2-door hopper with custom paint, interior, 4-pump and 12-battery set up.
  • 1950 Dodge rat rod with custom paint, airbrush and rims
  • Factory stock 2010 Ford F-150 for towing and parts runner

Sources
I-95 Motorsports
i95motorsports.com | www.facebook.com/i95motorsportsfla | Instagram.com/i95motorsports/

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