Made in Kern County: Ironworks Speed & Kustom

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -

There is a strong car community here in Kern County and Bakersfield. People who love to restore and customize old cars, and there’s great stories behind them—like the story of one Bakersfield business owner who built his business from the ground up and now he’s receiving awards and accolades and the highest level.

On this made in Kern County we meet Rodger Lee of Ironworks Speed and Kustom. 

Rodger Lee has always had a love of cars—but it was 15-years ago he left his small unknown car shop in east Bakersfield, to open what would become one of the most respected custom car shops in the nation. 

Rodger showing us around his shop, pointing out cars ready to be restored—dozens of projects waiting to be competed. It’s a process where every detail is made top priority. 

And when you see what Rodger is doing here at Ironworks, you’ll understand by he—and his shop are in such high demand. ”We just eat, sleep and breathe car,” said Lee. “and I think it’s the progression of trying to make the next one better.” 

Take the 49’ Oldsmobile that sits between two other cars. “it will drive like a new car,” says Lee. “It will make 600 or 700 horsepower and have fuel injection and air conditioning.” Lee’s cars resorted to their former glory, but with all the modern advances. 

Spend time with Lee in his shop, and you realize each of his customized cars are more than just metal and moving parts. ”His daughters have been married in it,” Lee recalls of the 49’ Oldsmobile. 

Each one of Ironworks projects helping their customers reconnect with the cars that are often deeply rooted in their families. 

“He bought it from his dad who had it, and pretty much every dent in the car he knew what the story was,” Lee says of a red and black Chevrolet sitting in the garage, 

His love of building the perfect customized car has propelled him into the forefront of the customized and redesign car industry. 

Ironworks’ cars featured on the cover of dozens of magazines, most recently one of the most respected, coveted magazine in the car industry. 

Ironworks Speed and Kustom’s 1970 Chevelle featured on the October 2014 issue of Hod Rod magazine. And just this week, Rodger and his crew taking two cars to the famed SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Where Ironworks Speed and Kustom will receive several awards. But for Rodger it’s still about working with the customer to see their dreams of the perfect car fulfilled. 

“It’s about helping the customer see their vision complete."

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