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The Custom Shop Returns to SEMA 2016 with Valspar Automotive

See John Wargo’s 1977 Pontiac Trans Am at booth no. 10851.



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The Custom Shop will present a custom built 1977 Pontiac Trans Am in the Valspar Automotive booth no. 10851 (North Hall) at the SEMA Show this year, November 1-4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. A second feature vehicle – a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere – will be shown outside of the center.

Owned by John Wargo and his wife Kim, The Custom Shop of Flanagan, Ill., is no stranger to SEMA. The Wargos began showing their incredible custom builds at what is recognized in the industry at the biggest event of the year in the late 90s. In 2001, SEMA awarded The Custom Shop the Meguiar’s Shine Award and, in 2008, Best Truck – both vehicles painted in Prospray Finishes, a Valspar Automotive brand.


“We work hard to design, create and build high-end customs for customers across the United States, and all of our vehicles are painted in Prospray,” says Wargo. “I’m a longtime customer of Valspar Automotive and a longtime believer in the line.”

Wargo’s ’77 Trans Am at this year’s show is finished entirely in Prospray colors including Ruby Red (M7-27700), Wilderness Candy (UC-03), Mystical Pearl (FX-708) and Spectra Flair (SF-1-18). Wargo cleared the car with PSC-8500.

“This car is five months in the making,” he says. “The customer really let us get creative, which helps when you’re digging into a custom job and trying to make it unique.”


A complete frame-off, sheet metal, ground up build, the Trans Am features a 450 HP LSX Chevy stacked injected engine with Holley electronic fuel injection, Moser rear-end, Wilwood brake system, American racing wheels, Continental tires and Magnaflow exhaust. It is modified with custom ground effects, fender vents, wicker bill wing and more.

The Custom Shop will also bring a classic 1958 Plymouth Belvedere to this year’s show as well, to be displayed outside the convention center.

“The Belvedere has been about a 10-month project,” says Wargo. “Like the Trans Am, it was a full build. It’s a custom pro-touring version of the ‘Christine’ movie car from 1983 and has a lot under the hood and custom sheet metal work.”


The Belvedere has a 6.1 Hemi engine with a P1SC ProCharger, NAG1 transmission, Moser nine-inch rear-end, Wilwood brakes, American racing wheels, Magnaflow exhaust, modified and tucked bumpers, shaved molding, smoothed window tracks and more.

Like the Trans Am, the Belvedere is finished exclusively in Prospray products, specifically Pull Me Over Red (G7C-130X), Brilliant White (GC-6010-2) and Fine Aluminum Silver (GC-6039-2) for the body colors.

Wargo cleared the vehicle in 8500 and used PSC700 Primer and 300 Satin Clear.

Any repair work on both vehicles has been achieved using abrasives and body fillers by U.S. Chemical & Plastics.

“We use the best products to make our cars stand out, which is why we work with Valspar Automotive and use Prospray,” says Wargo. “We’ve always been known for high-end paint jobs, and it takes a premium product to deliver a premium finish.”


A 1950 Studebaker Dragster will sit alongside Wargo’s Trans Am in the Valspar Automotive booth and a custom trike from Las Vegas’ notorious Counts Kustoms and History’s Counting Cars. Both the Studebaker and trike are finished in Matrix paints, another Valspar Automotive brand. A fourth vehicle is yet to be announced as the coatings company will unveil it on day one of the show.

Outside the show, Wargo’s Belvedere will sit with other Valspar Automotive vehicles, including a 1967 Ford Mustang in Matrix Automotive Finishes by Brandon Knowles of Brand-X-Customs in Everett, Wash., and a 1947 Ford Pickup in Valspar Refinish by Bo Vescio of Vescio Customizing in Minneapolis, Minn.


For more information about Valspar Automotive, visit

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