Drew Carey had a good point when he said “Vegas is everything that’s right with America. You can do whatever you want, 24 hours a day.”
Whether you’re looking to get married, watch some Zombie Burlesque or eat until you actually die at the Heart Attack Grill, Las Vegas is a has it all. It’s a monster of a city, and that’s why we love it.
Standing out enough to make a name for yourself in a place like Vegas isn’t easy. The place can eat you up and spit you out faster than an ATM dispenses $20 bills.
But for one group of madcap fabricators, that’s exactly what they’ve achieved, thanks to a can of gas, several tons of steel and a whole lot of skill. Welcome to the world of Welder Up.
With a name like Welder Up, they knew that they were never destined to be mail-order retailers. Fronted by the evil genius Steve Darnell, Welder Up has established itself as the undisputed king of bespoke fabrication in the US.
No job is too wild or farfetched, and the results are nothing short of mind-blowing, even by Air Lift Performance standards!
It’s hard to look at each car, truck or rig as just being a method of transport. They’re pieces of art – each one themed, but in a non-cheesy way – and always built in an impeccable way, to a usable standard.
Approaching the entrance of the shop, there’s no questioning where you are. On the right, there are slammed and chopped big rigs, and on the left there’s a ’64 Dodge Power Wagon nicknamed “Ranch Rod.”
Welder Up knows how to make an impact, right from the get-go. It doesn’t have the polished and ‘corporate’ feel of a traditional big-scale fabricator, and that’s exactly what makes it so damn cool.
Inside the shop the rust and rods theme continues. There’s random tat littered everywhere, but not like your grandma’s front room. Every piece has been carefully crafted and perfectly placed – everything from the neon lighting to the old-school gas pumps behind barbed-wire fencing.
If you peek past reception, you’ll find most of Steve’s infamous builds including the “Quit Your Bitchin” 1930 Ford Model A and the tire-shredding Diesel Rod, based on a 1928 Dodge sedan.
Don’t be fooled by the surface rust. Each build boasts mega horsepower, total drivability and bags of attitude.
Speaking of bags, many of Steve’s creations have made the switch to air suspension recently, thanks to the massive practical and performance gains to be had from a proper setup. In order for their customers across the US (and some even further) to enjoy each build to the fullest, they need to be able to adjust ride height quickly and easily, something that Air Lift Performance is honored to be a part of.
Take the “Lambonator” truck (pictured above), for example. Built for Tommy Lamberson of Lambo’s Chop Shop, this badass “Rig Rod” started life as a humble IH (International Harvester) single axle truck before undergoing a full Welder Up conversion, complete with a big-boost 24v turbo-diesel motor powering the rear wheels.
With Tommy located some 1800-miles away from Vegas, in Nashville, Tennessee, the Lambonator needed to remain drivable in all circumstances, especially when towing his merchandise trailer around the USA.
Being a truck isn’t an excuse for poor ride height, so Air Lift Performance bags were fitted all round and paired with the AutoPilot V2 digital management tool, for instant ride height adjustment when it’s needed.
The end result? Nothing short of awesome!
Welder Up reminds us what we love most about car culture – creativity, skill and the attitude to do whatever you want.
We’d like to send a massive thanks to Justin and the Welder Up team for allowing us to poke around their HQ. We look forward to working with them in the future on even more badass projects.
Until then, check out more from the team over at: https://www.facebook.com/Welderup-140791382642269/