|Rodger's Body Shop |
Location: Louisville, KY
Type: Collision and Car Restoration
Facility Employees: Six
In business since: 1973
Number of Locations: 1
Combined Production Space: 20,000 square feet
Rodger's Body Shop has been using the Matrix Premium Basecoat (MPB) solvent line since late last year with outstanding results. Although they were happy with the quality of their former paint, and their former paint vendor of more than three decades---in the end it came down to profitability.
Rodger Weihe is 71 and still fully in the collision game, but he is now depending more and more on his two sons, Jeff, 46 and Jay, 37 to run the business. "Jeff is my main painter and Jay manages the front office, dealing with the insurance companies and doing all of the customer service," Weihe said. "They work well together and when the time comes, they will be running this business."
From left, Rodger Weihe with his sons, Jason and Jeff run this highly successful shop.
In addition to fixing approximately 40--50 cars every month, Rodger's is well-known for building some of the finest hot rods in Kentucky. Over the years father and sons have restored at least 300 hot rods, according to Weihe Sr. The shop won two ISCA Paint awards at the 53rd annual Carl Casper Custom Auto Show in Louisville earlier this year, along with the Best Street Achievement Paint award, the show’s most coveted honor.
They all have other interests---Rodger is an avid fisherman; Jeff is a former offensive lineman for the University of Kentucky and Jay trains Mixed Marital Arts fighters. But hot rods are #1 in all of their lives.
The shop restores cars for customers, of course, but they also have their own fleet of restorations. "I'm down to six now, but I used to have 10," Weihe Sr. said. "My sons have half a dozen between the two of them, mostly Chevys built in the late 1960s. We all get a lot of satisfaction out of entering our vehicles in car shows and getting them into car publications."
As the shop's painter, Jeff Weihe works with Matrix every day. "We're saving at least 40% over the brand we were using before, which is awesome," he said. "All we needed to do was get used to the different basecoat numbers and the application was easy. The clearcoat from Matrix is also a lot better, because it lays done slicker and it's just easier to spray. I don't have to fight it, which makes my life a little easier."
The Weihe family appreciates the company and their jobber for its products and support. “It’s been a great relationship and we couldn’t be more pleased with Matrix," Jay Weihe said. "With all of the pressures in this business—price pressures and push back from the insurance companies, etc., we’re happy to not have to worry about our paint and the finished product.”
This 1969 Chevelle is a prime example of the award-winning hot rods that Rodger's Body Shop is well-known for.
Jeff Weihe also values the support and quick service from Keystone/LKQ, his jobber, but also stays prepared in case of a rush. "I like to have two of everything here in the shop, just in case one car uses up a lot of a certain color like red, white and some of the silvers, for example. So, we go two deep on our inventory, but if we do need something fast, Keystone will get it to us the next day."
Jay Weihe said it wasn't painless to switch paint vendors, but in the end it was an easy decision. "We really liked out former jobber, but we finally realized hey, ‘we're in this business to make money and not throw it away.’ "We started getting price comparison sheets from other paint companies and saw that we were paying too much for what we were getting. The Matrix is just as good or better than the other paint and the price makes it a better solution for us."
Founded in 1983, Matrix is acclaimed worldwide for its quality high performance clearcoats and primers, but it’s also known for its amazing color and the ability to come up with consistently precise color matches. In 1994, the company began developing its revolutionary AccuShade® computerized formula retrieval system. Painters love using it because it’s fast, accurate and easy-to-use and gets them color matches they can’t find anywhere else.
Will Rodger's Body Shop keep playing a dual role---fixing newer damaged cars and restoring old classic ones? "Definitely," Jeff Weihe said. "When we work on hot rods, we're making them look better than before, but when we do collision repair, we're just putting them back together. One pays the bills and the other one gives us a real sense of accomplishment, so it all works well together."
For more information about Matrix Automotive Finishes (a Valspar Automotive Brand), visit www.matrixsystem.com or call 1-800-321-0672. Find them on Facebook at facebook.com/matrixsystem or on Instagram at instagram.com/matrixsystem