In heart of the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Missouri, and encased in a nondescript brick building is KC Auto Worx. Shop owner, Patrick Cox, prides his small tribe on offering the customer quality automotive craftsmanship, bulletproof general maintenance, and a unique experience unavailable anywhere else. What this young shop might lack in years, it makes up for with a unique take on the classic American service station and a blend of hard knocks old school style and street art culture. "Great Service at a Fair Price" is the motto, KC Auto Worx is the name.
Please introduce yourself to our dear readers.
Pat Cox: My name is Patrick Cox, owner of KC Auto Worx, and we specialize in automotive repair and custom fabrication.
MT: How long have you been in your current location? Looks like you have an awesome setup!
PC: Yeah we moved in last summer. The shop is located in the arts district of Kansas City, so I'm doing my part to bring the artistic side to the automotive world.
MT: So we saw on your website that you guys offer the basic of services from oil changes to engine swaps, but the sign on the front of the building says you also do bodydrops? Is this really true?
PC: That's a good question, I'm actually looking at a new fab shop just down the street. But we do offer full custom fab along with general repair, although most people love taking their car to KC Auto Worx just for the experience.
MT: Maintenance and customization—the perfect combo. And what experience would that be?
PC: I put down the grinder and stop working to greet any customer who walks in. More often than not, I'm talking to my general repair customers with my welding hood on. Apparently, that image is working because the shop is busier than ever.
MT: How many employees make up KC Auto Worx, and what do they specialize in?
PC: We currently have 3 employees: Ross Thompson, who specializes in going fast/engine building, shop manager Tyler Lieurance, who is in charge of general repairs and helping tame the madness, and when not fabricating, I'm in charge of paying the bills and customer service. I have the perfect team and I'm so thankful.
MT: So are there any vehicles or jobs that you won't even think about accepting?
PC: It's a constant battle. I don't ever want to turn a customer down but sometimes it's just not worth the hassle.
MT: What percentage, if you had to guess, of business comes from minitrucks or custom trucks in general?
PC: I always have a customer project. I'm currently working on a bodied '71 C10 but if I had to guess, only about 10-percent makes up our business, but that number is growing fast.
MT: Is there anything in particular you see in the minitruck world right now that you're totally digging?
PC: All of it! I love the minitruckin' scene, and I love watching the younger generation come up and make progress on innovative builds. It takes a much higher skill level to have something stand out and stand tall while being outside the box.
MT: On the flip side to that, anything that you just can't stand?
PC: Yes—trucks with no balls! As Ross would say, “what good is it if you cant drive it?”
So, what do you drive on a regular basis?
PC: Well, I sold everything I had to open this new shop, but on the daily, I drive a '94 Nissan Hardbody. Most people think it's a trailer queen but it gets driven every day.
MT: Oh, so that's your Hardbody, huh? We should totally feature it sometime. So do you have any plans to rebuild your personal stable?
PC: I just picked up a '54 Chevy Bel Air that I plan on doing a full custom overhaul on and I'll be turning that into my new daily.
MT: Hope we get first dibs on the truck if you decide to off it. Well, we can imagine that dealing with the general public is not always pleasant since people suck for the most part. What's the most annoying thing you hear from potential customers?
PC: The most annoying thing about the business is price versus dependability. We pride ourselves on fixing your automotive issues but sometimes people don't want to pay for your knowledge or honesty.
MT: Damnit, we're just about out of space here. Now's the perfect time to shamelessly plug in your contact info and a few last words!
PC: I just want to thank everyone who has ever supported KC Auto Worx. It is truly more than a shop, it's a movement and I'm very proud that it's part of my life. Oh, and catch us online at www.kcautoworks.com.