Keeping in touch

Wisconsin’s Custom Rigs

I love being on the road doing stories and videos for Custom Rigs. Earlier this week I was hanging around T/A Truck Painting & Graphics in Pewaukie, Wisconsin, doing just that.  Editors learn a lot from such outings. At least I do.

Jeff Zimmermann and his business partner, John  Schwartz, couldn’t have been more hospitable. Here they are, bays filled with rigs getting body repairs made and others custom paint/graphics, and they still set aside one bay so Jeff Battler (12ga Custom’s owner) could do a couple custom upgrades on Vinnie Diorio’s Rollin’ truck while I  shot pictures and video to put in the next issue of the magazine and post on our new web site.

12ga Customs owner Jeff Battler readys a new air bag as he upgrades Vinnie Diorio's "Picture Me Rollin'" truck at T/A Painting & Graphics in Pewaukie.

12ga Customs owner Jeff Battler readys a new air bag as he upgrades Vinnie Diorio's "Picture Me Rollin'" truck at T/A Painting & Graphics in Pewaukie.

During the three days Battler and I worked on getting a new model slam air kit on Vinnie’s truck (and a new style twin-stick shifter kit) customers came in to see how their rigs were coming along.

During conversations I learned Wisconsin is a real hot bed of  custom rigs. (And here I thought cheese heads only thought about football.)And I also learned at least a few of the custom truck guys own custom street rods and classics.

Which got me thinking: Maybe we should have a section on the web site where you guys can send us a snapshot of your truck–and your classic or street rod! That’d be sweet.

BWS09WisconsinCR_0207 web

This beautiful '72 Pete Daycab has been 11 years in the making. The paint had barely dried when I saw it earlier this week.

Zimmermann also arranged to have a friend/customer of his bring a ’72 Pete daycab over for me to see. This rig is flat-out stellar. Never been in a show. In fact it’s been 11 years in the restoration and customizing process and was finished just weeks before I showed up. Our Custom Rigs’ web video you’ll see in a few days tells the whole story.

I also spent time with Homer Schultz III and shot his show-winning wrecker, which is used every day in their towing service. Homer says it’s not unusual for him to have a rig on the hook for a 1,000-mile tow.

Anyway, that’s where I’ve been hiding all this week. And next week I’ll be in the Denver area at Outlaw Customs, Colorado Custom Chrome, and a couple other shops doing more of the same.

Maybe I’ll see you along the way…..

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