Councils & Networks

PRO Member Spotlight: Big Shot Rides LLC

By Ashley Reyes


The SEMA Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) has named Big Shot Rides LLC as the council's newest spotlight member. Get to know the story of the company in the SEMA News interview with Big Shot Rides' owner Chris Joerger below. 

SEMA News: Tell us the story of your shop. 

Chris Joerger: Big Shot Rides starts like almost every car enthusiast story. As a kid, I spent most weekends at Atco Raceway (in Atco, New Jersey, now permanently closed) and Englishtown Raceway (in Old Bridge, New Jersey) with a pit pass and a pen for getting autographs from my favorite drivers; then as an early teenager in a garage with a box of Craftsman tools and Chilton's book and had no clue what I was getting myself into. 

Fast forward to my 30s, I started Big Shot Rides from my home in a two-car garage in Davie, Florida. I got my first break building celebrities' cars early through a personal friend who hooked me up with some NFL players who started shipping me vehicles from all over the country. I quickly outgrew the space and went and signed my first lease in 2014 for a 5,000 sq. ft. shop.

It was a big mistake. I bit off way more than I could chew to get started. After we signed the lease and started the buildout for the new shop, we had to take a step back and relocate to a smaller 3,600 sq. ft. shop after a landlord-tenant lawsuit ensued due to a roof leak that kept us from opening for eight months.  

Heartbroken and broke--like digging in the couch for change broke--my dream shop was tainted with stress, anxiety and legal bills for my family and me. But we pushed forward in the new smaller space and got a chance in 2015 to bring two cars to the SEMA Show. Since then, we have had several cars showcased at SEMA, including our Ferrari 488 Novitc Widebody featured in the Forgiato booth in 2019. In 2022, we moved into a 6,000 sq. ft. facility and have restyled vehicles with eight-figure price tags. Although it was a very stressful start to my dream, my family has always given me the support I needed to keep pushing forward.

I do hope that new builders read this and understand nothing is ever easy, and many times almost seems impossible. But if you really want it, I mean really want it, nothing is impossible! Happy building!

SN: What was your breakthrough moment? 

CJ: Our breakthrough moment was when my wife kicked me out of the home garage because I had too many Lambos on the lawn. She told me to go get a shop, and it all started there. 

SN: Tell us about your business now and the projects that you are working on. 

CJ: [The year] 2023, like for all of us, seems like we are all learning how to walk again. The market has forever changed for us all and having to rethink our marketing strategies, operating cost, parts supply chains, investments and hiring have all been the struggles we face. 

I'm not saying that 2023 is all doom and gloom, but it really made me want to dig deeper into understanding not just building badass rides but understanding my industry more, hence why Big Shot Rides has finally become a member of SEMA this year. 

Currently, the shop had just invested in all new Hunter Engineering equipment and will be starting a wheel and tire division. We also will have our new online store up and running before the holidays. The shop is always growing, not just with new equipment but also with new craftsman and craftswomen who are truly dedicated to the art of building. 

SN: Tell us about a package/product that you are proud of. 

CJ: There are many proud builds and lots of SEMA builds, which are the holy grail, but one that really made not just me proud, but I got to share it with my entire family. In 2023, we built a custom Fanboni for the NHL Hockey team, the Florida Panthers. Not only was it a hit for the team and its fans, but its debut on the ice was also on my 43rd birthday. The Panthers gave us a box for us to invite the shop and my family to the Stanley Cup playoffs, where they showed highlights of the build on national TV and on the jumbotron for my whole family to see. It was a super proud and humble moment of where this all started. 

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

CJ: Never pass up an opportunity to get paid to learn something. I have always done things that I have never done before, and if I said no because I didn't know how, I would never have gained the experience and confidence I have now. Plus, who doesn't like money? 

Fill out a PRO member spotlight form to highlight how you or your company are contributing to the automotive restyling industry. Selected candidates are eligible to be featured on PRO's social media, SEMA News and future PRO-member updates.