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Randy Clark 2006

Randy Clark 2006


Gone Racin’…to see
Randy Clark

Roger Rohrdanz and I traveled to Escondido, California, to see Randy Clark and his Hot Rods and Custom Stuff shop. HRCS is located about a mile from the 78 freeway, west of Oceanside. A sprawling series of buildings contain a busy, but very friendly group of mechanics, body men and fabricators working on 63 cars in all states of wear. Randy approached and greeted us with a warm hospitality. Blue eyed, with a Grizzly Adams beard and strong build, he literally swallows you up with his love for hot rods and customized cars. He showed us around the buildings and explained what each of his 43 employees were doing with a strong paternal pride in their craftmanship. He has no problem at all with customers coming into his shop, pulling up a chair, and asking question after question. In fact, he welcomes such visits. The first thing that he asks a prospective customer is “what do you want to do with this car.” The next question is said openly and fairly, “what do you want to spend on your car.” Randy encourages customers to come down to the shop and participate in the design of their car so that when they drive down the road their pride of ownership will shine. His customers come from all over the world and Randy works with them in person, on the phone, by fax or email, in order to give and receive feedback on their car’s progress. He makes up an album with progress photos of their projects. Some of the cars even grace the website.
Randy says that there is nothing so satisfying as working with an owner to create a customized work of art. His wife, Peaches, said that Randy is a very driven man when it comes to his customized creations and we could see many of the cars nearing completion. The “M80” received the “Riddler Award” and the “Yosemite Sam Radoff Sculptural Excellence Award” at the Detroit Autorama show. Many other custom cars have been shown at the prestigious Grand National Roadster Shows. HRCS will take any pre ’73 car, and some after that date. To build a car takes 6 months or longer, and 9-12 months for a complete restoration. He never hesitated to answer any of our questions.
Randy’s father moved the family from Orange County to northern San Diego County in 1955, looking for a less crowded area to raise the family. Graduating in 1964, Randy opened a small repair shop and gradually, over the years has expanded. In 1989, he opened HRCS at its present location with just one building. With hard work and a commitment to building the best, HRCS has grown to what it is today. Many people, when in the market to purchase a vehicle, will bring the car to him for a prepurchase inspection to insure that they are getting what they are paying for. HRCS offers appraisals, safety inspections, parts, a complete service center, fabrication, bodywork, rust repair, custom paint and upholstery. Randy admits that he is a perfectionist, as Peaches nods her head, and says that he just can’t let a car go until it is perfect.

It was apparent that his employees have a great respect for him, and are at ease working for a gentleman with such high standards. Randy is especially proud of the new “American Peerless” car, and those who are helping him. It is a Ford ’32 Deuce Cabriolet with removable hard top, air conditioning and a cool front end. He says that much of his success goes to his employees with their craftmanship and dedication. He says he “hires, the best, pays them the best, and keeps his standards high.” “Money,” he says, “isn’t everything, but loving your work is.” This man and his staff love to create beautiful cars. “I have no time to play,” he says, “there are cars to build.” The Michaelangelo of custom car building shook our hands warmly as we left and went back to the work that he loves.

Gone Racin’ is at