Story: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography: David Yates
In this economy, longevity as a custom-car shop is seldom achieved. Numerous outfits come and go, with false claims of being a “one-stop shop,” yearning for fame and reality shows. Ultimately, most see a short reign. But with hard work, excellent customer service and a li’l bit of luck, Auto Extremes has become a custom-car mecca of the South.
Originating as a means for founder and co-owner Robert Robinson to channel his fabrication skills in a monetary manner, Auto Extremes jumped off in early 2001, catering to the mini-truck scene and specializing in body drops and air-bag suspension setups. As times changed and styles in the custom world evolved, AE expanded its clientele and breadth, delving into Hondas, Donks and even Bentleys. “Even though the economy has put us in slow motion a couple of times, we have been growing,” explains Robert. “I love that we have had to shut down shops and move to larger ones—it shows people are noticing us more, and we appreciate the love!”
Even though AE had been truckin’ along, the turning point was in 2004, when a certain “rappa ternt sanga” strolled through the doors. “I met T-Pain in 2004,” explains Robert. “After being a longtime, loyal customer, we decided to do a 50-50 partnership in late 2010.” Needless to say, this power move multiplied the clientele quite a bit, with Pain ushering in celebrity friends. And with the growth came even more esteem as the Auto Extremes crew was selected for Discovery Channel’s Ultimate Car Build-Off, in which they were pitted against a rival shop, where car god Chip Foose would ultimately judge their fabrication skills.
In addition to the customer influx and the television exposure, the AE squad contrived a ride that would garner them worldwide attention: T-Pain’s ’72 Impala. With Pain’s artistic imagination and AE’s innovation, the crew created what has come to be known as the Joker Impala. “I’d have to say Pain’s Joker car really put us out there,” says Robert. “The coverage that car is getting is incredible. Everyone talks about it, and we have multiple stops [of people] every day checking out the car in person.”
With a shop filled to the brim with top-secret projects (including Chris Brown’s fighter-jet-themed Gallardo), an ever-expanding customer base and their name buzzing in the streets, Auto Extremes has thrown their hat in the ring as one of the top customization outfits around.
Shop Name: Auto Extremes
Address: 1012 Iris Drive Conyers, Georgia 30094
Owner: Robert Robinson
Years In Business: More than 10
Shop Specialties: “Everything from bumper to bumper.”
Celebrity Clientele: T-Pain, Drumma Boy, Chris Brown, Neyo, Ciara, Keri Hilson, Trey Songz, Tay Dizm, Keith Sweat, Young Cash
Standout Vehicles: 2003 Yukon Denali full custom on 28s; T-Pain’s Joker Impala; 1971 Chevelle (RIDES Oct/Nov 2010)
Average Turnaround Time: Anything from one day to mul- tiple months/years, depending on the job