To celebrate its 20 years of being in business, Al’s Rod & Custom is hosting a special show ‘n’ shine at its 53 Snider Way location in Sparks on Aug. 26. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Al’s will be treating its customers and classic car enthusiasts to a BBQ, raffles, and in-house handcrafted trophies for the winners in different categories of classic cars.
In 1997, Jason and his dad Al Oppio started the custom paint and fabrication together. In its early years, the shop would host weekly car shows to showcase their customers’ cars. A couple of years ago when the elder Oppio retired, Jason took over the business and did a bit of remodeling which included adding a showroom. Now 20 years later, the classic car restoration shop that started out as just the Oppio family has expanded to seven full-time employees that work out of almost 10,000 square feet of space.
“This is a fourth generation business in the valley; we’ve been through wars and some pretty big events and somehow we’ve been able to survive and flourish. We started out as a mom and pop shop and have evolved into a well-oiled machine that has achieved mid-level success,” says Jason Oppio. However, even growing up restoring classic cars Jason can’t think of a particular favorite.
“All cars have a story and all have their own character,” he says.
“We restore classic vehicles and build them out of steel. We are a metal and fabrication shop; we basically do everything here but upholstery,” says Office Manager Machelle Ervin. Since she’s been with Al’s, one of her favorite vehicles that came through the shop was one that took two and a half years to rebuild. Referred to them by someone at Hot August Nights, the owners researched different builders before choosing Al’s because they wanted to keep their money in Nevada. After the work was completed, the couple entered the 1962 Buick Wildcat into the Hot August Nights Cup.
Throughout the years, Al’s has received stellar reviews mainly via word of mouth and even online. One customer from Fallon said that Al’s came recommended by a friend when he needed work on his 1970 Chevelle that he couldn’t do himself. He took it to Al’s to have it tuned for an altitude difference and have some other things checked out, but Al’s staff went above and beyond in their service.
Leaving the shop, the reviewer says, “The car drove home like a completely different car. I could not believe how much better it ran. Jason and Michelle were awesome; Tom who turned and looked over the car did a phenomenal job. Just step into their show room and look at some of the work they have going on in the car bays. This is a top notch quality hot rod shop, VERY fair priced for the service and quality of work they do, and honest and upfront about everything.”
With Northern Nevada being a hotspot for classic cars and hot rods, Al’s is proud to be a locals’ favorite for their classic car restoration needs. It even extended its hours of operation during this most recent HAN to help keep classic cars running smoothly throughout the event.
Ervin thinks that there are thousands of classic car fans in Northern Nevada, which is why Al’s Rod and Custom is a founding partner of Northern Nevada Motor Madness (N2M2). Through the car club, Northern Nevada classic car supporters can network with other collectors, maybe spot a vehicle that sparks some nostalgia, and have an opportunity to showcase their own pride and joy at a car event.
For its Aug. 26 event, Al’s partners in N2M2 such as A&W Restaurant, Bonanza Casino, RDW Automotive, and Summit Racing Equipment will be involved. “We will have awards and anyone who wins will be invited to a car show at Summit Racing in the fall,” says Ervin. “If you’ve ever won Al’s show ‘n’ shine then this is your golden ticket to the show.”
“We are doing this mainly to celebrate our 20th anniversary and to give back to our customers,” Oppio adds. Plus, for this particular event, it doesn’t cost anything to enter a car. “This is going to be a really laid back show to give back to our customers and the community.”