Hot Rod Repair and Custom Welding Work in Merlin, OR
Meet Bob and Chris. The R and the C behind RCM Classic Car Repair!
Bob’s love for classics started when he was just 14 years old. A neighbor told Bob he could have his old 1936 Chevy truck if he could get it going again. Game was on. Bob was able to get the truck running with some guidance from his older brother before he was 16 years old. The problem with this is that this meant he would be on the road before he had his driver’s license. Mom gave Bob’s older brother orders to keep him off the road until he had his driver’s license. This meant that older brother Dan had to sabotage the truck on a regular basis to keep the truck disabled until he could take his driver’s license test on his 16th birthday.
Since his first truck Bob has been obsessed with what we now call classic cars. He has owned way too many muscle cars to count and has done all of the wrenching and learning himself. Bob also became interested in drag racing and his favorite car to build for the track were Camaro’s from the 1960’s. Having had a lot of success at the drag track the local neighbors found someone who could wrench on their cars and Bob has been doing that since the 1970’s. At one point Bob even owned a filling station in Northern Oregon where he repaired cars.
Bob got his wife Chris hooked on Drag racing in 2002 and they have not looked back. Bob and Chris started RCM in Grants Pass/Merlin in 2008 and in 2012 moved down the street to a larger more modern facility and once again are looking for even more space. Bob loves talking about cars and the customers love swapping stories with him since he seems to be a walking encyclopedia of muscle car madness.
Bob’s other passion is for the customers. He works hard to insure that each customer is treated respectfully as he would want to be treated. He also has a passion for customer satisfaction and works with everyone to insure that the job is done correctly.
Chris’s love of classic cars comes from her Dad who was a Golf Professional with a love for cars. She remembers her Dad trading in the family cars every 2 years because he wanted to insure that his family was safe on the road. She is fairly sure they owned every model of Thunderbird that was produced in the 1960’s and 1970’s. She learned to drive in a 1968 White on White T-Bird Landau with suicide doors.
Chris assisted her dad in the restoration of a 1956 MGB Magnette (4 door sedan) and a 1959 Mercedes 220SL Convertible with a supercharger when she was in High School and College. When Bob introduced Chris to Drag Racing (besides a run or two on local streets with her 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7 when she was a teenager) she had not been in any type of racing environment.
Bob became a great coach and mechanic in her 2001 Chevy Camaro SS. After proving on the track that she had an unusually fast stock SS Camaro, the other Camaro’s and Mustangs would not pull up to race her in the Sportsman class. It was then when Chris told Bob that she wanted a “real race car”! They ended up building out a 1980 Chevy Monza that boasts over 700 hp with over 700 ft lbs of torque. She has had the car up to 133mph in the quarter mile at 10.6 seconds and the car turns heads whenever it is fired up. To go any faster she needs to qualify for her competition license when there is the time. Chris works with customers in the shop, books car shows, handles the accounting, billing, orders parts, runs for parts and helps with the repairs when a small hand is needed to get into small spaces in the repair process. The love of cars and the love of working with the customers is a family effort. Chris’ 1981 Cadillac Coupe deVille is now undergoing a restoration when time allows and boasts a 500ci Eldorado engine installed by Bob. There is also a 1954 Chevy Sedan Delivery in the works.