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Business Spotlight: Going to the Extreme

A spy car complete with missles, smoke screen and paintball gun. A tricked out '94 hearse with automatic sliding coffin. An iPad controlled console and sound system. 

At Auto Extremes, a custom car and truck shop specializing in high end jobs, these are just some of the wishes they make into reality every day.

The shop is nestled quietly at the foot of the Parker Road Bridge at 1012 Iris Drive, but their cars have been seen nation-wide.

The Conyers based business was recently featured in the Discovery Channel’s "Ultimate Car Build-Off" show, where they went head to head with a shop in Atlanta to turn a 1982 Buick Regal into a James Bond worthy spy car, complete with firing missiles, smoke screen and paintball gun.

"Believe it or not, we don’t get stumped much here," said owner Robert Robinson, proudly. "With the group of people we’ve got here, there ain’t much we can’t do."

The 8,000 square foot shop employs five, besides Robinson, and takes on about 15 full builds a year, in addition to countless walk-in jobs. The average walk-in job ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 while the average build can range from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on what the customer requests.

"We do everything from bumper to bumper," said he said. "Custom paint, bodywork, one-off pieces, interior."

Robinson started the shop in 2001, at the age of 22, after he was laid off from a maintenance job.

"I told myself I wasn’t going to work for somebody else so I started up a shop. I’ve done this all my life. I build cars and my father built hotrods," he said.

Rapper T-Pain recently bought 49 percent stake of the custom shop in January, after having been a customer for seven years. Robinson noted their clientele ranges from 80-year-old grandmothers and average Joes to celebrity customers such as Ciara, Ne-yo, Akon, T.I. and Trey Songz.

Robinson said the shop did take a few cars out to the Fast and Furious filming in town but doesn’t know if they’ll be used. Some of its cars were used for scenes in "The Blind Side."

"We take cars out to all kinds of things," he said. "We’ve had cars in rap videos; they’ve been everywhere really."

Robinson said the economic downturn did hit the shop last year, since their services aren’t necessities for most people. "We were almost to the point December last year that I thought we were going to close down. We were really struggling job to job to stay open." But business picked up again in July, though it normally starts picking up in January. "Now we’re booked until the end of the year. I physically can’t take in any more work."

Robinson’s future plans include opening a remote branch in downtown Atlanta, and eventually owning his own shop space of about 15,000 square feet and paint facility.

"It’s work," said Robinson, "but it is a passion. But it’s work; it’s a lot of work."

"If you don’t like cars, you wouldn’t do this job."

To find out more or see examples of Auto Extreme’s work, go to or call (770) 761-0971.