Road to SEMA Influencer Introduction: John Wargo and The Custom Shop –
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Road to SEMA Influencer Introduction: John Wargo and The Custom Shop


The Custom Shop describes itself as "The Ultimate Paint Shop" and with good reason. John Wargo and his team have customized cars, trucks, and motorcycles for over 30 years. Although they are located in the small Midwestern town of Flanagan, their vehicles are shown all over the world.

The Custom Shop's vehicles have made appearances at SEMA over the years and they look forward to the 2019 show. Featured in magazines like Gauge Magazine, TopSpeed, Super Chevy, and more, The Custom Shop has made a name for itself in the customization and automotive enthusiast universe.


Wargo has worked on cars since he was in high school and dreamt of the day he would open his own shop building custom cars. He bought a closed dealership in town, cleaned it up and opened The Custom Shop in 1988. As business picked up, The Custom Shop added more people to the team, even bringing in part-time help to work when things got really busy.

The Custom Shop SSAWD All Wheel Drive Camaro

Wargo's wife, Kim, also came from an automotive background. She handles the business side of things, in addition to being one of the beautiful models that The Custom Shop features in their automotive photoshoots.


As a copilot on the Road to SEMA, we wanted to get to know John Wango and The Custom Shop a little better, so we asked the team some questions to find out what a road trip would be like with this creative and talented customizer.


Company | Brand

The Custom Shop


John Wargo


Facebook Handle

The Custom Shop  John Wargo

Instagram Handle


What was your favorite road trip and why?

Every year driving 30 hours to SEMA 'cause that means the cars are done.  

What are your top 3 songs you must have on your road trip playlist?

East Bound and Down. Jerry Reed

Bad to the Bone

All AC/DC songs

Who would you choose as your road trip co-pilot, alive or dead, to join you on the ultimate road trip and why?

My brother Jamie Wargo who passed away many years ago!

What is your favorite vehicle/bike you have owned or built?

My SSAWD  All Wheel Drive Camaro

What is the one vehicle/bike you wish you owned? Or what was one you owned and foolishly sold it?

I'm hoping to build a Killer Customized C8 Corvette soon...

What fueled your passion and got you into this industry?

I have always been into cars, even as a kid, so Hot Rod Magazine, Car Craft mag, and other cool cars driving around fueled my desire to be a builder.

Do you have anything coming up between now & SEMA that you would like us to feature?

No, we are working hard trying to get our SEMA Project finished. [We have] no time, working 16 hours days now just to get it all done in time.

Tell us about your experience with CTEK product(s).

We build a lot of high-end custom cars. In the past, a lot of our customers had their cars sitting and only used them for car shows or they park them for the winter.  Then they have a battery that is dead or battery issues.  Ever since we started installing CTEK charger/battery tenders we have never had that problem. [The car owners] are all much happier and [the cars] all fire right up when they are ready to take them out.  Great product and perfect for the show car world.  Every show car or car that is parked over the winter should have a CTEK!


Thank you to John Wargo and The Custom Shop team. Remember to submit your vehicle to be a winner in the Road to SEMA Sweepstakes.

Learn more about the Road to SEMA and the great prizes you can win. Join us on our EPIC Summer Road Trip, culminating in Las Vegas at the SEMA Show!

The Custom Shop Over Lord