The Scoop on Squeeg’s Kustom

Welcome to Squeeg’s Kustom out of Mesa, Arizona. The shop that started doing custom paint back in 1964 now has about 18 (or more!) giant projects going on right now. I met with Doug Jerger down at the shop so I could see what they’re up to and follow up on the pictures I took of their new roadster. Doug gave me the grand tour and introduced me to his crew.

Squeeg Squeeg's Custom

I hope you aren’t misconceived by the American Hot Rod show with Boyd Coddington… not all custom, high-end builders are miserable asses that treat their crew like crap. To the contrary, Doug gives all credit to his crew and reminded me more than once that it’s the SHOP that turns out the great work. Doug quickly stepped into the background more than once. It seems to me, the team attitude and hard work are just the way things are done at Squeeg’s. Doug explained how he bills by the hour and keeps meticulous records of what’s been done. He also NEVER takes a deposit, so there’s never the Unique Performance-style risk that’s left a few rich suckers pissed and looking for their Elanor clones! After only a few minutes, I wished Doug was working with me on one of my (too many) projects! Here’s a picture of a few of the crew members and the just finished Hammerhead shark they did-up for one of their best customers for Christmas.

Squeeg, Squeeg's Custom, kustom

So about these projects… Most of them start out the way all big project should, with a concept illustration. Squeeg’s hires the very talented Jimmy Smith from Jimmy Smith Hot Rod Design and Illustration in Glendale, AZ. It was cool to meet Jimmy down at the shop since he’s got a garage here at! (Jimmy’s Garage) I grabbed a few shots of the projects going on… You’ve got the Nostalgia Funny car (Squeeg’s does lots of those…); the stretched Hemi powered and injected deuce; a few paint projects; the obligatory hot rod shop truck; and other full-tilt customs in various states of finish… and this is the pre-Christmas lull!

(Click on ANY picture to see it full size)


And you know it’s a great team when they haven’t even finished their own projects like this little roadster waiting to do it’s thing…

black 27 ford roadster

The projects are only a teaser for the roadster that should put Squeeg’s on the worldwide map. This roadster’s getting tons of attention after being selected as 1 of 12 contending for America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR). There are only a few SUPER high end awards and the AMBR from the “Grand Daddy of them all,” the Grand National Roadster show in Pomona, CA is certainly one. The show’s January 25-27 and I hope to be there…

img_5357.jpgimg_5358.jpgAmerica's Most Beautiful roadster contending Hot Rod 3

If you know of the AMBR, you might know that every car is beyond fantastic. The judges are left with the impossible job of deciding which one’s the best? The only thing the judges can do is find what’s wrong with each car. Wrong is any imperfection or small detail left undone. It’s nit-picking, of course, but that’s the way it goes. Here’s a few shots that show the kind of detail it takes to contend for the big awards. (now, if I was half the photographer I wanted to be…)

America's Most Beautiful roadster contending Hot RodAmerica's Most Beautiful roadster contending Hot Rod 2

img_5659.jpgThe shots above are from the Scottsdale Goodguy’s show. I think Doug’s roadster won the coveted, “Too Damn Cool” award up there… I missed a bunch of details though, that’s why I went back to their shop. I won’t bore you with specific details. It’s enough to say that almost everything’s either one-off or somehow customized.
Dig this front suspension on the left! I’ve never seen anything like it and you’ll totally miss it if you’re not looking closely. It’s a nostalgia style tube front axle, but that’s no buggy spring! There’s two crossing coilovers smoothing out the road. When the now missing side panels are installed, the only way to see it all is to peak through the grill. Trick!img_5657.jpg

Then there’s the detail underneath. The scallops keep going and so do the pinstripes! Chrome and stainless abound and no detail is unfinished. The exhaust was removed to be polished again before the show. It’s the finest detail I’ve seen and really shows what’s possible when you’re focused. Take note and raise the bar…

Thanks to everyone at Squeeg’s! I could have stayed for hours BS’ing and talking about where we are and where we’re all headed. It should be a fun trip and I hope to see more of Doug and his crew along the way. Special thanks to Tony Gabrielli (Tony’s garage) for introducing Doug. If you haven’t seen enough, check out Doug’s wife Melissa’s car. (Melissa’s garage). Her fitting member name, “Htrdvxn” is one of the best on the site.

When I get a chance to feature more of Squeeg’s Kustom’s projects, you’ll know about it. This roadster’s my scoop… you’ll have to wait to see it in print!