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Wednesday, July 19, 2017


The new Discovery Channel show ‘Carspotting’ has some local connections ........................C3 Heavy Metal Custom Shop can tackle just about any custom car job...........................C6 Northwest Rally Sports provides service for Subarus ...................................................... C10

A supplement of the


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record


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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record


TV show ‘Carspotting’ features Lynden site

From left, Pedro Becerra, Niko "the car savant" and Carlos Becerra hunt for classic cars on the new Discovery Channel show "Carspotting." (Courtesy photo/Discovery Channel)

Coming to the Discovery Channel, car restoration is in former Pioneer Ford building on Guide By Ashley Hiruko

LYNDEN — Beginning in August, Whatcom County residents may recognize a few of the sights in scenes of “Carspot-

ting,” a new Discovery Channel show.    Carlos Becerra, 26, who hails from the area, stars in the show that focuses on his searching for abandoned vintage cars in the county. Every episode features owner Becerra and his team finding a car in an interesting way and in an interesting place.    “We were just having fun with finding cars in crazy places,” Becerra said. “We end up in really cool spots that most people wouldn’t see.”    After relocating the relics back to the shop in the former Pioneer Ford building at 8038 Guide Meridian Rd., the work be-

gins and the magic happens. Old cars are brought back to life through a restoration process and then sold to buyers.    “(The show) tells the story of us dragging (cars) out with a chain from the forest or field, getting it back to the shop and building it into a badass car,” Becerra said. “Some cars would have otherwise been left for dead.”    Becerra’s infatuation with cars began at a young age. “I’ve been obsessed with cars since I was a little kid,” he said. The first car he bought was an Impala, and some of his first classic cars were a 1951

DeSoto and a 1953 Rover P4.    “I think there’s something about oldschool cars that my heart’s kind of in,” Becerra said. “Nowadays they make cars out of plastic. I feel like none of the cars that are made now are ever going to really be classics. I think that classic cars are an iconic piece of automotive history.”    After graduating from Blaine High School in 2009 and not being able to afford college, Becerra spent time at the library educating himself about the fundamentals of running a business. With the inner workSee 'Carspotting' on C4


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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'Carspotting': First moved to Guide Meridian in 2014

Carlos Becerra restores cars in the old Pioneer Ford building in south Lynden. He is also launching the Cascadia Car Club, a roadside assistance club. (Ashley Hiruko/Lynden Tribune)

Continued from C3 ings figured out, he began his company.    Becerra would ride around Whatcom County on a motorcycle locating rundown cars. Making sure they could be transported, he would then have the cars towed or trucked to his parents’ Blaine house. Using targeted marketing on the internet, he would identify a buyer for a specific vehicle.    Most classic cars were desired in Europe.    “I sent a lot of cars to Europe from my parents’ driveway,” he said. “I could ship a car from Lynden to the Netherlands for less

than two grand,” Becerra said. He would ship one to two cars a month.    Over time, the business started to grow and he began making minor repairs on the vehicles, using connections he had gained through networking with mechanics and auto body guys.    “I would tinker with them myself or send them to a friend of mine to get worked on,” Becerra said. “That’s the network that I’ve kind of built now. I’ve ended up networking with a lot of good talented guys … We ended up joining together under the same roof and starting a company.”    What began as Imports and Classics, a marketing company, was expanded into a

restoration shop, Cascadia Customs — and now it’s all on national television.    Becerra moved into the Lynden building in 2014 as a marketing company, he said. “I would just do a few cars a month and kind of keep to myself. I didn’t have any signs out, very low-key,” he said. “There’s still people in Lynden who don’t even know we’re here.”    He would mostly market on forums and Craigslist, targeting buyers in bigger cities for specific vehicles. It wasn’t long before his clientele began to grow.    And one day when Becerra was only 23, he got a random email about a casting call.

Hundreds applied for the television show with the Discovery Channel. Hundreds, but not Becerra. The channel ended up reaching out to Becerra and awarding him a development deal. “My plan was always to expand as a restoration shop, but we got to do it on television,” he said. “I think what they saw in us was potential. The show they were looking for was mostly for restoration.”    Becerra soon reached out to all the guys he had networked with previously. “We started the shop and it was kind of cool to have Discovery there to document it.”    After negotiations, paperwork, filming

Summer Drive Whatcom and editing, “Carspotting,” the six-part series, will begin airing the evening of July 31.    Moving forward, Becerra, a businessman at heart, is now focusing his attention on launching another project, a roadside assistance club called Cascadia Car Club, or CCC.    He is currently setting up the infrastructure to scale the business on a national level, but plans to keep headquarters local and hopes to generate jobs in Lynden.    What sets CCC apart from similar car clubs is Becerra’s plan to use revenue generated from the car club to soup up cars that would then be given away to subscribers of CCC. The organization will be launching within the next few months, he said.    Becerra can recall a time — before landing the TV show and even starting his first business — when he would see the Lynden car lot riding by it as a child. His grandparents owned farmland nearby when he was a child and even had a strawberry stand near Wiser Lake.    “A lot of people say if you want to pursue your dreams you go to a big city,” Becerra said. “But it’s kind of cool that we’re bringing a big opportunity to a small town. Whatcom County is always going to be home to me.”

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record

"Carspotting" will air as a six-part season, beginning on the evening of July 31. (Courtesy photo/Discovery Channel)

Doing the Right Thing Matters




Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Custom Shop grew out of couple’s passion for cars It opened May 1, anchored by Paul Teigrob’s ‘rat rod’ showpiece By Brent Lindquist

Jennifer and Paul Teigrob stand between two of Paul's customization projects: a Cadillac nicknamed "Tina" and a truck nicknamed "Bruce." (Brent Lindquist/Lynden Tribune)

L-R: Cody Hudson, Vince Hill and Tyler Huartson

BELLINGHAM — A few years ago, Paul and Jennifer Teigrob found themselves at a crossroads. Paul had worked as a master-certified Volkswagen technician for about 15 years, but he was ready for a change. Both natives of Bellingham, the husband-andwife team share a passion for cars. “We had a talk about jobs and career paths, and (Jennifer) asked me, ‘What would be your dream job if you could make enough money at it? What would you want to do?’ I said, ‘I want to build custom cars,’” Paul said. They decided to take on custom automobile work as a side project to tackle on evenings and weekends. The plan was to do that for three years and then reevaluate the possibility of taking on custom work as a full-time job. The side-project endeavor turned out to be very successful, Paul said. “The work just flowed in,” he said. “Between that and the day job kind of being stagnant, we decided it was time to go for broke.” In mid-2016, the Teigrobs began looking for a shop. They found one in November, located on Bakerview Spur in Bellingham. They spent the winter getting the shop ready for business and transitioning See Heavy Metal on C8

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Heavy Metal: International rat rod was 'proof of concept' for business

The Teigrobs' rat rod was built from a 1936 International truck (inset), and just about every component of the vehicle has been customized. (Brent Lindquist/Lynden Tribune) Continued from C6 into a new stage of their lives. Heavy Metal Custom Shop opened its doors on May 1, 2017, and business has continued to pour in from as far away as Alaska. Back when Paul and Jennifer decided to make a livelihood out of car customization, they also decided to craft a car that truly showcased Paul’s customization abilities. Out of that project came Paul’s favorite customization work piece to date: the International. Paul chose to build a “rat rod,” a style of hot rod that is similar to the ones seen

in the early- to mid-20th century. He said he liked how versatile he could be with a rat-rod custom job. “If you can dream it up and make it happen, you can do it,” he said. The problem is, most rat rods are made from cars like Ford Model As and other makes and models from the late 1920s and early 1930s. “Car-wise, you’re spending thousands of dollars for a shell,” Paul said. So, instead of tackling a car project, Paul and Jennifer settled on a truck. They found a 1936 International in eastern Washington and eventually bought it.

“We wanted a way to showcase what he could do,” Jennifer said. “Everything on that truck has been customized. The frame, the suspension, the cab, the engine, everything.” The Teigrobs had originally intended to sell the rat rod, but it remains on display at the shop. “We love it, so it’s still here,” Jennifer said. “Technically, we built it to sell. Who knows if it’ll ever leave.” The rat rod helped prove to people that Paul can do just about any kind of custom job. Currently, he’s working on a vintage Volkswagen Beetle for a customer

in Alaska. It’s Paul’s task to repair the car so the man can fly down to Bellingham from Alaska, pick it up and take it on a road drip down to Oregon. Also in the shop is a 1953 Cadillac with hydraulic power windows that don’t work, and Paul is fixing it. On top of that, he runs HMC Volkswagen, where he continues his technician work independently. For Paul and Jennifer, cars are an integral part of life. When they go on vacations with their kids, it’s usually focused on cars. Their first date involved fourwheeling, and they have attended SEMA

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record


Heavy Metal Custom Shop's "Down and Dirty Bonneville" features the popular worn "patina" look and its own hashtag. (Brent Lindquist/Lynden Tribune) (Specialty Equipment Market Association) car shows for their birthdays. Their new business is an extension of that, and developing relationships with customers is very important to Jennifer and Paul, she said. “We’ve met some of the coolest people,” Jennifer said. “It’s like a family. We’re friends for life. That’s the feeling that we’re going for here, just to be a really cool place that is trustworthy.” Heavy Metal Custom Shop is located at 3819 Bakerview Spur in north Bellingham. Find the business at or on its Facebook page.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record


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Northwest Rally Sports provides honest service for Subaru enthusiasts Adam Gormley started local maintenance shop in August 2007 By Nick Elges

Harvesting a passion for cars from a young age, Adam Gormley opened Northwest Rally Sports about 10 years ago, providing upgrades and standard maintenance for Subaru drivers in Whatcom County. (Nick Elges/Lynden Tribune)

Celebrating 59 Years in Specialized Precision Repair! Back L-R: Bill Maier, Todd Maas, John VanderPol, Steven Miller. Front L-R: Nicholas Spoto, Dusty Herman, Audrey Elmer, Brent Maier, Bryan Ramirez. Not pictured: Brad Maier, Barb Maier

BELLINGHAM — Subarus and Whatcom County are a combination that goes together like peanut butter and jelly.    At every turn in the county, you’re likely to see someone driving the popular brand for mountain enthusiasts. If you are among the many in the area who own one of Subaru’s various models, having a reliable shop to perform the necessary maintenance on your favorite toy is as essential as anything.    Right in Bellingham, just off Hannegan Road at East Bakerview, sits Northwest Rally Sports (NWRS) — Whatcom County’s independent Subaru repair specialist — to provide the reliable service you will inevitably need for your ride. Opened in August 2007 by owner Adam Gormley, NWRS has provided standard factory maintenance, performance upgrades and other services for Subaru drivers in the county for 10 years.    Gormley and his crew also design parts and build engines in-house, proving the shop’s expertise and mettle within the auto industry. Among the common upgrade services are tuning and suspension

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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Upcoming car show benefits Skookum Kids

Whether it's a suspension or tuning upgrade or a simple oil change, Northwest Rally Sports strives to make the experience of getting your car worked on as painless as possible. (Nick Elges/Lynden Tribune) enhancements. “My goal has always been to make the process of having your vehicle repaired at least a little bit likable,” Gormley said. “Nobody likes to have their car worked on, but we like customers to know that car enthusiasts are working on your car.” Having a passion for cars since he was a teenager, Gormley was involved in rally driving courses and worked on a pit crew for a rally team in the mid-2000s. Then he decided Whatcom would be the perfect place to do something with his Subaru passion, given the area’s abundance of Subaru drivers. “I decided to go into business for myself, which was the best decision I ever made,” Gormley said. “You’re always going to know someone who owns a Subaru (in Whatcom County).”

Gormley explains that working with cars is a hobby for those who work at Northwest Rally Sports. “We love what we do,” he said. “We’re stoked to be here and it’s fun.” Parts designed by Gormley and crew are branded in the shop and sold worldwide. These parts help with design issues and are sold on popular sites such as Amazon and eBay.    Custom engines are also built in shop, which is a big reason why the company is looking to grow. The shop’s current location in the Irongate area is a bit off the beaten path and limits the services Gormley can provide. “We are trying to grow and find a new location,” Gormley said. “If we grow by 60 percent and have more infrastructure, we can offer more services and better the services we already provide.”

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Northwest Rally Sports is also licensed to purchase and resell used vehicles within Washington state. This allows the shop access to auctions to buy and customize used cars as needed. While NWRS specifically services Subarus — the shop works on other brands on a case-by-case basis — the advice Gormley has for customers when it comes to car maintenance is applicable to everyone. “Stay on top of your maintenance,” Gormley said. “It’s like going to the dentist — nobody likes to go and have their cars worked on. These are mechanical machines, though, and if they aren’t maintained correctly, they will break.” Northwest Rally Sports is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at or by calling 360-510-4378.

LYNDEN — The first annual Skookum Show and Shine will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 1986 Main St. in Lynden, and will be a fundraiser for Skookum Kids.    The show will feature food trucks, raffles and music, along with a variety of cars to check out.    The show’s organizers ask for a $5 donation from cars entering the show, and spectator admission is free. The first 50 cars will receive a free dash plaque. Organizers hope to make the Skookum Show and Shine an annual event.    Skookum Kids is a Whatcom Countybased program to help create a sustainable and thoughtful solution to some of the complex problems surrounding the foster care system in the United States. The program runs Skookum House, a volunteer-staffed facility caring for children transitioning into or out of foster care. Skookum Parents, another program, recruits, trains and conducts home studies for families hoping to become foster parents.    Find the Skookum Show and Shine on Facebook, and visit Skookum Kids at www.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Ferndale Record

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