Jes and Brian Havlik are cousins with a big passion for custom hot rods.
While both Havliks have been working on cars their whole lives, their business venture HotRods by Havliks will celebrate its second anniversary in November.
“One very late night while building Brian’s ’55 Chevy for DragWeek, we joked that when we got back from DragWeek we were starting a shop,” Jes Havlik recalled. “We did just that and have never looked back.”
The duo now builds, fabricates and restores hot rods.
“We have years of experience building hot rods from your simple street rod to all out drag cars,” Havlik said.
“And we pride ourselves in building a functioning car or truck that retains a stock interior and exterior with all the requirements to pass all DOT and racing safety requirements.”
He noted that they are not only a custom fabrication shop, but that they also service and upgrade anything from the 1980s and older.
Havlik said what’s particularly exciting is that HotRods by Havliks recently became the Production Facility for Classic Steel Body, Steelhorse Design and MRC10.com.
“Having built the Midwest Drags giveaway Nova that was on display at SEMA (Las Vegas), PRI (Indianapolis), Detroit Autorama and multiple other events, we had the opportunity to make some great connections and after many talks we started a new venture with one of these contacts,” Havlik said.
They started production of the all steel reproduction body of the 1966-1977 Bronco.
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In the coming months they will start the first in the world reproduction 1955-1967 T1 Bus. And later this year they will have the ability to produce C10 Trucks.
“We have a lot of interest from customers on all these bodies and we are excited to expand with recent hirings and future hirings,” Havlik said, noting that a new facility with more space is in their future as well.
“We plan to keep all operations that we currently offer and include the production of these all new steel bodies.”
The Havliks bring more than 20 years of experience each to their joint business effort, but remain dedicated to learning about what’s new with hot rods.
“The most challenging part is keeping up with this ever changing industry,” Havlik said. “Technology is so advanced and new products come about every day.
“As a business this can leave you behind and once you are behind you’re always behind.”
Teamwork is also at the heart of HotRods by Havliks. “We think what sets us apart from everybody else is that we realize that it takes us, our team and everybody else in this industry to make all this happen,” Havlik said.
“There are other shops and individuals in Cedar Rapids and across the country that have sent work our way and we are greatly appreciative. We never lose sight of those that help us and we do the same in return.
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“Same goes for our customers. It’s not just about us and what we build, we build what the customer wants. It’s our job to make it work correctly, function like it should and provide ideas that set their vision apart from everyone else’s”
The cousins not only love working on cars, but enjoy working together.
“This is a partnership and it takes both of us to run this operation,” Havlik said.
“In the past we used to work all week to hurry up and get the weekend here so we could work on our hobby in the garage,” Havlik said. “Now every day is like going to the garage and we get to do what we love, every day.”
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At a glance
• Owers: Jes and Brian Havlik
• Business: HotRods by Havliks
• Address: 1625 West Post Rd., Cedar Rapids
• Phone: (319) 826-2066