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Made Noteworthy 11/2012
Big Happy Rods Moves to New Mesa Shop off Loop 202

Robert Ellingson is shifting his Big Happy Rods shop into passing gear.

His new Mesa location, 445 W. McKellips Road, is just off the Loop 202 and three exits east of Tempe. The building is the former Baker’s Autobody, which is being set up around a courtyard whose walls will be painted with cars and cartoons. His former shop is the city’s oldest commercial structure, built in 1886.

Robert plans a grand opening celebration Jan. 5, 2013, and a car show Feb. 9.

Big Happy Rods specializes in ‘30s to ‘70s cars and trucks. “We started off doing light to heavy metal work and building a lot of Chevy C10s,” he says. “Now we do everything from taking your old Mustang coupe and converting it to a fastback as well as suspension, drivetrain, media-blasting, powder-coating, paint and body to about anything you can dream up,” he says.

“We plan on pushing the design envelope a little,” he adds. “Our style is definitely old school with a new twist — just enough to make the guy or gal in the street: “Is that stock?”

Cars have been his passion since he was a boy. “And I do it for the gratification and because I love it, not for the money,” Robert says.

“Everybody that works here is a car guy and loves building cars every day,” he adds. “And, if it’s worth building, it’s worth building cool. We’re not trying to get rich; we’re just trying to put some high-quality cars and trucks out there.”

Using the best parts and delivering the best service remain the keys for Robert and his crew as they open the new location: “If it’s not right, it doesn’t leave my shop.”

For more information on Big Happy Rods, call Robert at 480.227.4540 or see www.bighappyrods.com.

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