Councils & Networks

HRIA Member Spotlight: Kustom Built Cars Educational Workshop

By Ashley Reyes

The SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) has named Kustom Built CarsHRIA Educational Workshop as this week's member spotlight company. Get to know the company in SEMA News' interview with business manager, Shelby Robison, below. 

SEMA News: Tell us the story of your shop. How did you start? 

Shelby Robison: Kustom Built Cars Educational Workshop is a nonprofit program that teaches valuable skills to students out of high school to rebuild a classic vehicle from start to finish. Our five-month workshop gives students hands-on training, which includes disassembly, basic suspension work, color sanding, rust repair, basic engine rebuilding, assembly, metal work, basic welding, electrical wiring, body work, basic fabrication and painting. Through training and mentorship, this workshop aims to inspire the next generation to acquire the knowledge and skills in the automotive restoration and preservation industry by creating a hands-on experience. For more information, you can visit our webpage at or email us at We are also on social media, so follow us for some awesome builds!

SN: What are some of the program's advantages for students?

SR: Kustom Built Cars Educational Workshop teaches all the basic skills of restoration and gets students into the workplace after five months. The students then get help with job placement after finishing the program in the automotive industry. So far, 100% of our students are now in the automotive industry after completing our workshop! The student's build is then showcased at the SEMA Show, accompanied by all the student builders. Kustom Built Cars also has a booth at Barrett Jackson where the project build is displayed, and the students get to talk about their experience building it. The project build is then auctioned off, and the proceeds come back into the program for the new build and scholarships. We have given $164,100 in scholarships for students to learn classic car restoration. Kustom Built Cars Educational Workshop takes pride in small class sizes, hands-on training and building awesome projects.

SN: Is there a specific project we should know about?

SR: Kustom Built Cars Educational Workshop students will be building/customizing a '54 Chevy 3100 from start to finish. We hope to showcase it at the SEMA Show in October. 

SN: Tell us some other builds you are also proud of.

SR: Each build is special to us, as we have new students and builds every year. So far, we have built a '53 Chevy 3100 and a '51 Ford F1; both were amazing builds.

SN: What advice do you have for young professionals contemplating a career in the automotive aftermarket?

SR: There is so much to learn in the automotive industry and you never stop learning. Taking workshops or classes helps you find what you are interested in so you can further your education and whatever path you choose to take. Always be the best at what you do so you stand out among others.

Fill out an HRIA-member spotlight form to highlight how your company is contributing to the hot-rod industry. Selected candidates are eligible to be featured on HRIA's social media, SEMA News and future HRIA-member updates.