Where it all began to where we are today...

Where it all began....

image129

Remember the scene in the movie American Graffiti, where John Milner is cruising the streets, runs into a car full of girls, and asks if any of them want a ride. Well, truth being stranger than fiction that is exactly how Jim and Pat Defew first met.  Fast forward to 1968, and we find Jim and Pat Defew seeking out a living by punching the time clock at an aluminum chair factory in their hometown of Benton, Kentucky. When Jim and Pat were first married and their son Jeff, they set up house in an old school bus. As funds became available, they moved up to a place that included a burnt house and a small one-car garage. They tore down what was left of the house, and purchased a well-used house trailer. The garage was left standing.   They came into possession of a slightly used motorcycle by scrimping, horse trading, and generally just being in the right place at the right time. Jim decided that what their new motorcycle needed was a custom paint job. There was only one problem; there was no money available for the new custom paint job Jim felt the motorcycle needed.   Jim had grown up just two blocks from the local Auto Body Repair Shop. Jim and the owner of the shop rode motorcycles together, but the owner was not a custom painter. Jim got a quick lesson on paint preparation and application, borrowed an air compressor, a paint gun and some leftover paint and painted his bike over Thanksgiving in his one car garage. It took him four tries, but it finally turned out the way he wanted it.    The shop owner saw the work Jim had done and he wanted Jim to paint his motorcycle. One day they were at a bike shop, with their newly painted bikes, and someone saw the motorcycles and asked, "Who painted that?" A few hours later, Jim and Pat had their first job as custom painters. The Defews have painted everything from motorcycles, mail boxes, coffins, artificial legs, live models, kitchen appliances, guitars and everything in between and have been featured in numerous national magazines!  Jim and Pat Defew still live on the same piece of property where they painted that first motorcycle. The used trailer is gone, replaced by a modest sized, custom, cedar home. Then Jeff had a daughter named Jacey who was raised the same way Jim and Pat had raised Jeff, in the shop first playing, then learning and working! Now Jim and Pat focus on having fun and working on the custom jobs, Jeff manages all the auto body repair, and Jacey runs the front office. The shop has come a long way from where it started in a one car garage to a state of the art building and into not only a custom shop but a full service body shop as well.

image130
image131