We create custom vehicles that make our customers' dreams come true. If you imagine it, we can build it. We are a custom automotive fabrication shop with the knowledge and expertise to create that dream custom vehicle for you. Most of the vehicles we build are one-of-a-kind and built strictly for our customers' specific needs. Some vehicles are built for show, others are toys built to go, and some like our custom wheelchair vehicles are built for special needs for show and go too.
Have a look though our web site and check out some of the vehicles we have created for our customers.
Who Are We?
At Distinct Images Custom Auto Builders we are a team of true auto enthusiasts. We are skilled in many ways, complimenting each others' skills. Every one of us have our own specialties and experience. This combination allows the creation/development of some of the best engineered customized vehicles.
Best of all, we love building custom vehicles - from mild to extremely wild, for that special needs driver with options like automatic ramps, lifting or linear devices to hand controls
We also modify other type of vehicles for special use, whether it is used for parades or for industrial use.
Clay Hepburn is a 25–year veteran in the metal working industry with 10 years prior in the fibreglass industry, all leading to experience in the custom car industry. He has worked in management leading people, engineering designing products, on the shop floor welding and shaping steel or even laying up fibreglass. He has worked in many industries, Metal Fabrication, Machining, Aircraft, Crane Manufacturing, Tooling, Lifting Devices, Automotive, Cabinet Making and Fibreglass.
He has worked in many management positions, giving him a variety of different experiences -- mostly working with and leading people. He worked to provide solutions for turning around financial down fall, improving low employee morale, and improving the workplace to a safe one. Trouble-shooting problems and providing solutions, is just one of the things he did best. He has a strong background within Engineering and Business.
He has a strong interest in learning and is always adding to his abilities - It is this curiousity which has shaped him into the person he is today. His education encompasses a broad range of skills at many levels. He is a graduate of programs in Business, Manufacturing Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Quality Control, Computer Aided Drafting/Design, General Machinist and Welding.
Today Clay is the President and founder of Distinct Images Custom Auto Builders and oversees the business along with working with the guys to make sure every customer get what they want at the best price possible. He is the driving force to make sure that each and every product and/or vehicle that goes out the door is to the best quality possible and exceeds all safety standards.
Because he has the "need to be different" - it seems every vehicle he has owned, he has made it his own.
In the beginning he started working on cars because he could not afford to have someone else work on it. If he didn’t know how to fix something he would buy books and teach himself how to do it. As time went on with schooling and experience he still bought books and taught himself. Soon he was helping others and teaching them how to do things.
Now he still buys books to learn and to find different ways to do things. He shares his knowledge with the people he works with. That way we all can work together and build fantastic vehicles. He has a very strong passion for customizing things to work better, look better and be different than the norm.
What We Do
We build parts and partial or complete vehicles. We design and manufacture structural components (frame ties, roll bars and cross-members) and complete frames, each made to fit that specific vehicle. We can create custom suspension, in conventional hydraulic shock and spring system, to air, hydraulic and/or torsion suspension. We also install aftermarket braking systems.
We design air ride or hydraulic suspension system for your specific needs. From the initial installation to plumbing the lines to hooking up the electrical we can provide you with the complete service. We use sensors to limit the rise and lowering of your vehicle. We use electric or engine driven air or hydraulic pumps, we even use heavy duty high pressure lines for very cold conditions and industrial use. Sometimes we even combine our systems like in GM four wheel drive trucks we use air ride in the rear suspension and custom hydraulics with the torsion bars for the front suspension giving us 8" of travel in the front and 10" of travel in the rear. This combination gives a smooth ride with the capability of extra load range for the truck. Even for an extra soft ride like in our wheel chair vehicles, we have designed a special air accumulator that dampens the stiffness that air systems get with maximum pressures used to raise heavy vehicles.
Being a custom metal fabrication shop we can make custom panels and/or reshape the original panels. We fabricate fire walls, floor pans, wheel tubs, dashes, interior panels, stretch, relocate or reshape wheel openings and install hood scoops and/or reshape your hood. We can chop your roof, channel your body, give it gull wing or suicide your doors, open your hood or trunk lid backwards or anything else you prefer. We offer the option of opening and closing doors, hoods, trunk lids manually or fully automatic like the ones used in our custom wheel chair vehicles.
We modify Oil Pans (engine and transmissions), design and fabricate custom engine brackets that hold accessories. Design and build mounts (chassis, motor, Trans, and suspension mounts). We design and fabricate custom headers and exhaust systems mixing aftermarket parts with our custom fabricated parts.
Building Custom vehicles and Pro-Street machines requires a lot of custom metal fabrication. All are built totally legal for the street and have all the proper functional safety equipment required for the area the vehicle is to be used. We are widely known for our front wheel drive conversions. Rear wheel drive to front wheel drive has been done for our custom wheel chair vehicles and limos (provides a flat floor). But front wheel drive to rear wheel drive is the most common.
If it's part of a vehicle, we will customize it to suite your needs. We build quality engineered parts and vehicles, that are designed to be safe, strong and durable. All our products are built the most cost efficient way possible without sacrificing our high quality.
We have built: Customs, Rods, Imports, custom wheel chair vehicles, Special Interest Vehicles, Special purpose Vehicles and Pro-Street cars & trucks. We can make your old vehicle new or make your new vehicle look old, getting the look of yesteryears and the technology of today or even the future
We only build quality engineered vehicles for the enthusiast who wants quality and pride put into their vehicle. Safety, properly engineered, and cost efficiency is the most important to us.
All projects are by appointment only. Once we have agreed on what is to be done to your vehicle, we will discuss on a time frame for the project. All projects are on a first come first serve basis (this time is based on time of your deposit for the work). Then we will pick a date to start the project. A date is set on the calendar that is your time frame.
What we can provide for you
- Discuss with you what your dream vehicle is and how you want it to be when it is completed.
- Give you a general quote - written for complete projects cars, verbal for all other partial jobs. All quoted prices are held to within 10%
After deposit for project
- Optionally provide a concept drawing of the vehicle with the changes you want
- Guarantee a time frame for work to be done in the shop
- Set up a schedule to follow so you know what to expect
- Remove all parts from vehicle
- Send parts out for chemical stripping or media blasting
- Pick-up parts from stripper, repair, prime and reseal all parts
- Engineer all fabrication of parts and chassis modifications.
- Look for existing parts that will do the same job (why re-invent the wheel?)
- Discuss with you the different options that may be available
- Order parts and materials
- Work on project
- Every two weeks meet with you (the customer) to show progress, review and changes and provide you with a written invoice.
- After the metal work is complete, assemble the complete car to make sure everything works goodwell.
- If any thing needs repaired or changed we do it now
- Disassemble the complete vehicle
- Do body work and paint
- Repair or replace any worn parts
- Clean and paint small parts
- Send items out for chrome or powder coating
- Order any pre-made custom pieces
- Check wiring for damage, repair or replace
- Start assembling complete vehicle