By Ashley Reyes
Rod’s Restoration Wizards is the latest SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Member Spotlight company. In this week’s feature, SEMA speaks with Rodney Black as he shares his journey of becoming company employee to company owner, details on his company’s breakthrough build, and his ’57 Chevrolet Convertible build that received the Platinum Certificate at the Chevy Classics.
SEMA: Tell us the story of your shop? How did you start?
Rodney Black: I started working at Restoration Wizards in 1993 when I was in high school. In 2010, I was able to buy the shop and renamed it to Rod's Restoration Wizards. We always worked on older cars and also did collision work, but my passion was always the older cars. After I bought the shop I moved to more restoration and hot rod building.
SEMA: What was your breakthrough moment?
RB: I showed my ’30 Model A Roaster Pickup in the ISCA shows in 2012. I ended up winning International Class Champion.
SEMA: Tell us about your business now in 2020.
RB: We doubled the workshop area and bought property next to the shop to expand more. Our projects are getting bigger. We are working on a ’71 Volvo that we are doing a complete body swap on. We are using an ’06 Pontiac Solstice complete chassis and adding modern touches to the body.
We also have a ’69 Camaro, ’73 Nova and ’65 Mustang. I personally have a ’62 Impala and a ’58 Brookwood wagon that I'm building.
SEMA: Tell us about a build you are proud of.
RB: A ’57 Chevrolet Convertible. We did a complete frame-off restoration in six months. After we finished, we showed it at the Chevy Classics. It received the Platinum Certificate and got 990 points out of 1000. It also got best engine department.
SEMA: What advice do you have for young professionals contemplating a career in the automotive aftermarket?
RB: Follow your passion and love what you do. The aftermarket world is always growing.