Details, perfection, and a true passion are what separate those that win shows and national awards, from those that simply show up and look good. Squeeg Kutoms has been creating high caliber, award winning customs with exacting attention to detail since 1964. Now in the hands of Squeeg’s son Doug Jerger, the shop is still thriving and still turning out award winners each and every year.
Recently, Creating Customs took a look at this Chandler, Arizona custom shop. It was the first time cameras had been allowed inside and any extensive filming had been done. What they found is a unique operation, where perfection is the rule, and attention to every detail no matter how small is never dismissed or overlooked. Shop owner Doug Jerger talks about how working with cars was all he ever wanted to do. How even as a teenager while his peers were out chasing girls, he was dreaming of cool cars. Jerger joined his father’s operation in 1986 and has been at it ever since.
Squeeg Jerger started the business in 1964 after capturing the attention of Hot Rod mag with his first build. After a few years in business he moved the operation to Arizona. There have been several off-shoot businesses over the years as well, however the Jergers have always stayed true to what they love, building great cars.
While it would appear that everyone may have their own specialty or favorite area, all the guys are cross trained in every aspect of building. This allows them to pitch in and help out one another and probably also helps to reduce friction between the crew since there isn’t a “shop diva” who claims no one else knows what his part of the job is like. Each of these men is passionate about cars and the art of crafting rolling masterpieces. These guys know that their boss expects perfection and each member talks about how you don’t work a part or detail until it’s good, you keep working on it until it’s perfect.
Every square inch of every car is scrutinized to the very last detail. Even if it may not see the light of day, each part has to be as good as the rest of the car for it to be called a Squeeg Kustom.
This level of detail makes each build unique, employee Moose Graczyk mentions that you can buy an exotic car for a lot of cash, but someone else could buy one that’s identical to it. The flip side is you could come to Squeeg’s and have them build you a unique, one-off, custom car and you will never see another one like it.
The video is populated by some truly beautiful cars. There’s AMBR, the 1934 Ford Roadster, named for winning the 2011 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR Award) at the Grand National Roadster Show. This was a car that Squeeg had built in the 80s for a customer and friend. To his father’s dismay, son Doug, now at the helm of the shop reworked what was an already beautiful car into the modern masterpiece that captured rodding’s most coveted award.
You’ll see a red ’32 Ford in progress as well. It has bodywork similar to that of a ’34. This car features a Boss 429 engine and nearly every piece of the car is custom fabricated, unique to this car only. There’s also the five window coupe with a blown Arden headed engine. This rare combination is guaranteed to make that car standout all on it’s own. This beauty also features more traditional rod styling, the top is chopped, if the body was channeled it hasn’t been by very much, it features an external steering linkage, exposed door hinges, funny car style pipes, and DOT legal slicks on the rear as well.
The rod and custom business is tough, and new shops pop up every year, only to seemingly be gone over night. Squeeg’s approach to building has allowed the shop to stay in business now for nearing fifty years. We’d say with this level of quality and detail, Squeeg’s will be building cars for as long as there are still people willing to do the work. We’re sure there’s much more to come!