August '17

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60 THE SHOP AUGUST 2017 I could pinstripe the vehicle myself, even though I had never done it before. So, I stayed up all night long teaching myself how to stripe. By trial and error— painting it, then wiping it off; painting it, then wiping it off—it finally looked good by morning! For the most part, I am self- taught as a custom automotive painter. To this day, I just teach myself how to do things, and I love to continually learn every day, whatever it may be. I love working with my hands and creating. SM : With a family business, we grew up around the lifestyle, and the passion my parents had grew on me. I wanted to be a part of an industry where people wanted to be there and who were passionate—that weren't just working a job because it makes them money. I loved that about the automotive world, so it sucked me in. Tell us about your company and its place in the automotive aftermarket. TC : We are a family-owned business that started in 1982 as L&G Enterprises; LGE was an auto body shop that also did custom paint, bodywork, and accessories. In 2001, Custom Truck Shop (CTS) was started with my sister and my dad, expanding the truck and accessory side of it since it had become so popular. In 2012, we came back together so that everyone would recognize us under one name, and LGE-CTS Motorsports was formed. Since its inception, we have been on the covers and in the pages of hundreds of truck magazines, and hundreds of vehicles we have worked on have graced the SEMA Show floor. Today, we have top manufacturers in the industry come to us to build project vehi- cles for the SEMA Show, and we will build 10 to 20 vehicles each year for that show. As a SEMA member, we have always known what a strong influence the after- market has on the automotive industry and how it guides the direction of the OEM marketplace as well. SM : We are a family-owned shop that has been in business for 35 years. We do everything from build project vehicles for different manufacturers, to the simplest dent repair, to selling them aftermarket suspensions. My family has always done all we can to give back, so we like to volunteer and do as much as possible—especially in the auto- motive industry and in our community. We are part of AXC, an automotive center for students to learn about the trade. My sister is doing an amazing job setting up the school and bringing in donations to help support the school. We also volunteer for SEMA Cares and help build project vehicles to raise money for the different charities SEMA supports. I also serve on the committee for SEMA Cares and I am a select committee member LGE-CTS Motorsports opened in 1982 as a custom paint and body shop. It later added truck accessories and began building project vehicles. Now, the shop is known for everything from collision and repair work to the latest custom creations. From left: Alex Xydias, the founder of So-Cal Speed Shop, Theresa Contreras, Gene Winfield of Winfield Customs, and Sara Morosan. "We always say we want to be like them!" the sisters say of Alex & Gene. From painting to graphic design work, Theresa Contreras expresses her creativity at LGE-CTS Motor- sports. (Photo by John Jackson) The sisters hanging out with George Barris. TALKIN' SHOP

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