West Coast hot rod maker moves to East Tennessee

A California custom car company is moving to Knoxville. Scott’s Hotrods ‘n Customs, now of Oxnard, expects to be in business by the end of April.

Owner Justin Scott Padfield flew to Knoxville to pick up the new location’s keys, said Scott’s marketing manager Camren Beattie. Shop machinery should leave California on April 19 and be set up in Knoxville about a week later, Beattie said. “Justin’s been looking for the past 10 years to move, not necessarily out of California,” he said. “Contrary to popular belief, not all hot rods are here in California. Not anymore.” Texas was high on the list of prospects, but 78 percent of Scott’s UPS ground business ships east of even that, Beattie said. Knoxville is closer to the center of business — not only customers, but also the car shows where Scott’s work is on display, he said. Scott’s personnel attend about 20 shows per year, but only three of them are along the West Coast, Beattie said. “Everything else is Midwest, East Coast,” he said. People in the East tend to have more disposable income and are thus more likely to work on project cars and hot rods, Beattie said.

The shop will have a presence at the National Street Rod Association’s 44th annual Street Rod National South, held in Chilhowee Park on May 4-6, he said.

Scott’s opened more than 20 years ago in Ventura, California, and in 2005 moved about 10 miles to Oxnard, according to a news release. The company builds to order chassis, independent front suspension and rear suspension kits for any vehicle from 1925 to 1987.

Scott’s current facility covers 8,000 square feet and has a standard parking lot, Beattie said.

“It fits our truck and trailer and some cars,” he said.

he Knoxville building is 20,000 square feet on 3.6 acres, off Riverside Drive east of downtown. That leaves plenty of room for years of work and parking, and potential to enlarge the building, Beattie said.

Scott’s bought the building, which needs only additional wiring and a few other items to function well as an autobody shop, he said.

Three Scott’s employees will remain in California, but 10 will relocate to Knoxville — and the company has already hired 10 new workers for the new larger shop, Beattie said.

Word that the shop is coming to East Tennessee brought Beattie a raft of requests to check out the new facility, he said.

“I’m probably going to have to make a sign-up list for shop tours,” Beattie said.

Future announcements and tour availability will be posted on Scott’s Facebook and Instagram pages, he said.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Jim Gaines

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org

Published April 6, 2018