Devlin Rod and Customs to double its size with new building

WICHITA — Tim Devlin first seriously considered expanding his Devlin Rod and Customs just before the economic crash of 2008.

That put things on hold, but now he’s ready to build a new place.

“Things have come back,” Devlin says.

“We’ve seen our business go through ups and downs,” he says. “We don’t build products people need. We build products that people want to have.”

Devlin is planning to build an approximately 12,000-square-foot building at the southwest corner of Douglas and Hydraulic.

“We have acquired the … old used-car lot that used to be part of Quality Chevrolet,” he says.

That’s just down from his current 6,000-square-foot space at 1811 E. Douglas.

Tim Devlin of Devlin Rod & Customs will bet moving to the southwest corner of Hydraulic and Douglas.

Tim Devlin of Devlin Rod & Customs will bet moving to the southwest corner of Hydraulic and Douglas.

Almost a decade ago, Devlin purchased RK Restorations at that property. He still does restorations, but that’s not the bulk of his business.

Devlin and his staff take old American cars and turn them into fast hot rods.

The business is “now these hot rods and these custom cars.”

“We probably do about four to six cars a year,” Devlin says. The shop handles another 30 to 40 cars in various stages and services older cars.

“In my shop, we do everything as a group,” Devlin says. “I have some great employees, and there’s no way any of this would happen without them.”

Two of his six employees, Ryan James and Kevin Carr, have been with him almost the whole time he’s been in business.

Currently, the shop is in one open space.

“We need the ability to do work in different rooms … so that we can keep things separate,” Devlin says. “Going through all these growing pains, we realized we needed that.”

At the new shop, there will be four separate areas, including three work areas: a body and paint room, a fabrication room and a final assembly room. There also will be a showroom area with offices and a conference room.

Bill Johnson of Evans Building Co. is the contractor.

Devlin expects the new space to be ready at the end of the year.

“I sure hope so.”