Paint My Ride delivers: “Drop dead gorgeous”

NORWALK, Ohio -- Hushed silence filled the hallway at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio where R&R Auto Body unveiled a 2010 Diamond dragster painted for Garry Fleenor from Port Clinton, Ohio.

“They kicked it,” said Garry Fleenor, who won the Paint My Ride program in the Mr. Gasket $50,000 Super Series at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. “They rocked this thing. They treated me like I was paying for it.”Gary Fleenor admiring his new paint job courtsey of R&R Auto Body

To win, Garry Fleenor turned in the best reaction times and dial-in compared with elapsed time numbers for the 2012 season.

“It’s like a batting average type of thing,” said Dave Roemer, owner of R&R Auto Body, 15620 Brookpark Road, Cleveland. “It’s unique. Anybody in any class can win it based on the numbers.”

Dave and Mary Roemer, Avon, Ohio, said R&R Auto Body sponsored the Paint My Ride program for the third season.

Derrick Brown won in 2010 with a dragster. In 2011, Jason Proffitt won with a 1967 Camaro, which won a Best Appearing Car award at the 2012 NHRA Division 3 Bracket Finals in Indianapolis, Ind.

“If you haven’t seen Garry Fleenor’s car,” said Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park, “it’s drop dead gorgeous. R&R Auto Body did an amazing job, detailing every part of that car. It is beautiful.”

The aqua base coat, shown on the last R&R Auto Body and Fleenor Transmission Facebook.com pictures before the unveiling at the banquet, shows through as outlines, Dave Roemer said.

“We have a lot of different pearl colors and candies, which are translucent, which makes it light up,” Dave Roemer said. “He’s been to the shop three times. We went over different line art. We narrowed it down to two visions.The final product! A beautiful dragster painted by R&R Auto Body

“We painted a lot of parts besides the body: the transmission, and the inside of the car,” Dave Roemer said. “In the interior either we do something subtle, or their alter ego. In Pittsburg a guy’s favorite character was Superman, so we did a Superman theme inside the car. To capture somebody’s personality when you do something like that, that’s what we’re trying to shoot for, you know?

“For Junior Dragsters you try to figure out if they’re more aggressive or subtle,” Dave Roemer said. “We let them draw up their own scheme. It’s pretty fun to work with that.”

While gazing at Garry Fleenor’s dragster, most people followed the lines slowly, quietly, as if savoring each detail, each curve, each color change.

Even inside the cockpit, R&R Auto Body splashed bright color and design.

“They did a beautiful job,” said Abby Cottrill, Massilon, Ohio, a laboratory technician who drove a Race Tech dragster for the first time in 2012, and might sign up to race against Garry’s Fleenor Transmission dragster in Mallory Super Pro in 2013.

Like them, Dave Roemer also heeds a call to the staging lanes.

An edge at R&R Auto Body is lifelong fascination and saturation with automotive detailing and racing. So when a racer wants a ride tricked out, R&R knows the tricks.

“I grew up with race cars,” Dave Roemer said. “And a neighbor of ours was a custom painter in the ‘60s. My brothers and friends and I would be over there watching him work on all these Funny Cars. His mom would chase us out of the yard with a broom.”

Dave’s father, Ronald Roemer, worked at PPG, a paint manufacturing plant in Cleveland. After retirement, Ronald Roemer started R&R Auto Body.

Beginning at age 13, Dave learned the business from his dad.

Now Dave Roemer tools to the track with an affection for huge horsepower and heads up racing. And in 2013 he’ll run a limited National Hot Rod Association schedule in Pro Mod.

Most of Dave Roemer’s large family witnessed his 2012 Pro Mod win in the ADRL at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

His 2006 Cavalier, “The Gladiator” sponsored by Kaplan Trucking, with an 855 cu. in. Nitrous Oxide engine built by Charlie Buck in North Carolina, also runs at the Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson October 4-6, 2013 at Summit Motorsports Park.

“Looking forward to it,” Dave Roemer said. For now, he’s pulling together designs and colors that pop whether in bright sunshine or under the dragstrip lights.

“We probably do more custom work than anybody this side of the Mississippi,” Dave Roemer said. “But full collision is our main deal.”

The Paint My Ride program showcases the art of R&R Auto Body.

“We wanted to paint a car for someone who is going to race it,” Dave Roemer said. “We’re giving them that top notch job. We’re reaching back to the grassroots level that we grew up at.”

Garry Fleenor marveled at the dragster, and said the results of the R&R Auto Body Paint My Ride program were well worth sorting through a mind-numbing number of possibilities, scrambling to choose colors, and longing to see the results.

“I couldn’t be more pleased.”

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