Nestled on the busy and iconic Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, CA, RDB LA is one of L.A.’s premier shops, specializing in just about everything customization related – from tricking out high-end rides for the rich and famous to doing simple everyday mods for the average Joe. Regardless of your bank account, co-owner Vik Tchalikian and his crew will treat your car as if it were their own because quality work and superior customer service is what they strive to provide to all their customers.
But their Sunset Blvd. shop is actually their second location, with the first on Pico Blvd in the heart of the City of Angels. While the Pico shop focuses more on heavy collision work, it’s the Sunset location that sees all the action. “Since it’s a pretty busy street, we’re always getting walk-ins,” Vik details. “It’s also in an exclusive neighborhood that has a lot of high-end business types and celebrities, so it’s the perfect location for getting customers with Hondas to getting those with Benzes or Lamborghinis.”
RDB LA is known for a lot of things, particularly their eye for dressing up cars with their skilled paintwork. “We’re very quality oriented and have painted every car you could imagine. From Ferraris and Lamborghinis worth millions of dollars to old school and classic vehicles.” According to Vik, even though you can customize a car, it may not always come out looking right, a problem in today’s industry. “Our goal is to make our customers satisfied with the way it looks and if we don’t like it, the customer won’t see it until we do. It’s all about tasteful ways of doing things.”
Although they offer many services that can be done by other shops, besides quality setting them a part, RDB LA does something that no other known shops currently do – provide in-house mechanical repairs for a variety of makes and models. So instead of having to go back to the dealership to get oil changes, alignments and more, you can easily roll up to RDB LA to get your car modified and have the oil changed at the same time.
“It provides our clients with convenience since we really are a ‘one-stop shop,’” Vik mentions. “We’re currently providing this service to a lot of models, but hope to grow into a shop that’s certified to do it for high-end cars like Lambos and Ferraris.” Eventually, he’d also like to spread out business in other parts of the nation and even one day go internationally.
As they work on expanding, Vik has more than his hands full with his current two shops, providing custom work for the rides for the likes of Reggie Bush, Usher, Deadmau5, Jordan Farmar and plenty of well-off patrons. “We did Reggie Bush’s Lamborghini Aventador that everybody in LA has seen him driving. He came to us after seeing the one that we showed at last year’s LA Auto Show that featured a full body kit. We were actually the first to do so and painted it matte pearl white. Not a lot of people know how to work on them and with that one, we basically dismantled it and placed it back to together in pristine condition.”
And that’s another trait that sets apart RDB LA - the fact that they aren’t afraid of modifying some of the world’s already exquisite and expensive cars. “We did a set of black and white McLaren MP4-12Cs for private clients in Miami in only three weeks. We also did a rare Bertone Pirana, which was a concept car produced in 1967 and is the only one in existence, for a customer who wanted to debut it at Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance. He wanted us to fully repaint it and we made sure to put it back together without damaging a single thing. It was pretty scary to do, but in the end it came out great and everyone was impressed.”
They’ve also worked on several classics, making sure to always handle them with care. “We’re always detail oriented and make sure to always stay up to date on all makes and models to provide the best work possible. We carefully take a part these cars and then every screw and bolt is accounted for. At times it can be tough, but it’s something we pride ourselves on doing.”
To add to their already unique offerings, RDB LA also fabricates their own handmade exterior kits for models like Mercedes-Benz and Bentleys and can create one-off creations at clients’ requests. While there are so many customization shops, RDB LA takes things to the next level, enjoying jobs that no one else in the world does. They are actually the only ones in the world to have the guts to open a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren’s taillights, modifiy the design, reseal it and then put it back on the car. “We also made a custom widebody for a Bentley in only a month which is unheard of,” Vik confesses. “The customization work we do is crazy. We do it faster and different than most shops.”
Currently in their garage are a few Aston Martins, Ferraris, Maseratis, with Vik mentioning that the shop gets a lot of Mercedes-Benz AMGs, in addition to the usual Hondas, BMWs, Audis, VWs and the like. But the one car he hasn’t had the chance to get his hands on is a Bugatti Veyron. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before one nonchalantly strolls into the shop!