October '17

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52 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2017 RESTYLING/AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES "Something that looks cool and runs awesomely," he recalls. "I got a dealer's license and had 17 project cars at first." From there he saw the light, literally, when he started adding lighting systems. "All of a sudden the classic car busi- ness went by the wayside. We found we were working on new cars, even though that wasn't the original direction of the business," he says. "Now we're known for cutting-edge, new-age cars. What I started to fund college has turned into a business." That business today embraces everything from parts installation to high-end specialty upgrades. "We do anything from window tint to a $30,000 build," says Copenhaver-Heath. "I often work with large projects online to help DIY folks achieve their vision; they often come here and look at what we have onsite. "Our people are specialists, so if someone wants audio, we have the audio specialist," he adds. "The best scenario for us is the person who walks in and says, 'Here's my budget, here's what I want.' Once we have an idea of what the project is, we source parts from all over the country." The plan from there is to impress cus- tomers and entice them to want more. "Ultimately," says Copenhaver-Heath, "we get the enjoyable moment of deliv- ering the vehicle. It's sort of like a getting a tattoo—once you do one, you want more." SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE NFL wraps, a Jurassic Parkmobile and a Ferrari fall into the Apex Customs' high- profile/special project category, but a favorite project of Copenhaver-Heath's involved a Transformer brought to life. "We've done a number of special projects, including a trailer for the Rolling Stones," he says, "but we also turned a moving truck into an Optimus Prime, which was cool because that was one of my favorite child- hood toys. The truth is that anytime we push the envelope, we love it." Special projects, however, are not the core of the Apex Customs customer base— everyone else is. "I would have thought we'd get the younger crowd the most," says Copen- haver-Heath, "but that's not necessarily the case. We get young, old, female and TOP OF ITS GAME If you have an idea of how you'd like your vehicle to stand out, chances are Apex Customs is already way ahead of you. Copenhaver-Heath and the seven-member team strive to treat people right. The 4-year-old Phoenix shop offers graphics packages and related upgrade items. Because of its quality work, Apex Customs enjoys repeat business and referrals.

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