One of the craziest success stories in the automotive business today is that of Dave “Heavy D” Sparks and his best friend, “Diesel Dave” Kiley. What began as a small used car lot has grown into a massive online truck marketplace (DieselSellerz.com), a custom shop (Sparks Motors) and a popular Discovery Channel TV show, Diesel Brothers. The company’s business plan is pure genius, and its custom paint shop is pure PPG.

Whether by savvy instinct or by being hell-bent on having fun, the Diesel Brothers used practical jokes, stunts, skits and custom-built monster trucks to create a loyal fan following. An April Fool’s Day escapade involving diesel exhaust piped into a men’s room caught the attention of the producers of the Jay Leno Show. The rest is history.

In 2016, the duo’s fame reached another level when the Discovery Channel launched the Diesel Brothers reality TV show. Each segment features two projects, one that is completed and the other that is used as a teaser for the following week. The projects run the gamut: One might be for a high-end collector, another for a celebrity such as Chuck Norris or Miguel Cabrera, or one just to fulfill a vision that Heavy D had while foraging in the scrapyard. The only constant is a high level of hilarity for which the show is known.

The show’s production timeline creates tremendous pressure on the crew, and the paint department is no exception. In March of 2017, Damon Heart, an autobody refinisher from Ohio, was in the Utah area on vacation and was helping a buddy— a buddy with ties to the Diesel Brothers— fix his car. A crisis arose when the Diesel Brothers painter abruptly called it quits: “The painter was given 6 hours to do something he felt he needed 12 hours to do,” says Damon. “I knew that by using EC800 (Ultra Fast 2.1 Clearcoat), I could get it done, and I did. After that, the team said, ‘You’re not going home!’” Damon sold his belongings and moved west to become part of the team.

What’s next for the Diesel Brothers? Like everything they do, the next big thing is hard to predict. But one thing is certain: It will be entertaining to watch.

You can read more on The Diesel Brothers and what Damon's go-to PPG products are by checking out the most recent copy of the Repaint Reporter.


NASCAR’s Ryan Blaney to pace Track Walk fundraiser


STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – July 5, 2018
PPG is on track with its support of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC). For the 10th year in a row, PPG will serve as the sole sponsor of the SCC’s New Hampshire chapter’s Track Walk fundraising event set for 8:00 p.m., Saturday, July 21, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

“We’ve been doing this since 2009, and we are always excited about the Track Walk,” said Mike Patenaude, PPG regional sales manager. “It’s a lot of fun and Speedway Children’s Charities genuinely cares about kids and works so hard to give children in need better lives. We at PPG are honored to participate.”

The annual Track Walk takes place during a weekend of NASCAR racing that includes the XFINITY Series Lakes Region 200 on Saturday afternoon and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday afternoon. This year NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney will lead the walk. Joining Blaney on the track will be longtime SCC supporter and ESPN commentator Dick Berggren along with SCC’s executive director Gen. Chuck Swannack.

This is Blaney’s first year on the walk, and the easy stroll around the track will be at a far slower pace than what he’s used to when he’s behind the wheel of his Team Penske #12 Ford Fusion in Monster Series competition. Through the first 16 events of 2018, Blaney has earned three top-fives, eight top-tens and two pole positions. He also picked up a win in one of the 125-mile Duel races at Daytona earlier in the year.

“I love the idea of walking the track,” said Blaney. “Walking, talking with fans, not worrying about who might pass me, knowing we’re doing some good by helping an organization that helps kids — it’ll be great. I’m really looking forward to this, and I hope we get a big crowd to walk with me.”

According to Hillarie Scott, director of the SCC New Hampshire chapter, Blaney’s wish will likely come true. “We had almost 250 people walking the one-mile track last year,” she said. “We expect Ryan to have lots of company this year. People love to come out, take a casual walk on a track that sees speeds of nearly 200 miles per hour and know that they’re helping us raise money for a very worthwhile cause.”

Scott also noted that the SCC’s Red Bucket Brigade will be making the rounds during Sunday’s race. The brigade, made up of approximately 60 volunteers, will tote their buckets decorated with the PPG logo through the stands during the race to collect donations from race fans. Last year, the walk brought in almost $16,000, and the Red Bucket Brigade collected an additional $21,000.

“We are extremely grateful for PPG’s support,” said Scott. “We could not do this without their involvement. They help make a huge difference in children’s lives, and we invite racing fans and anyone who wants to contribute to join us.”

Prospective walkers are encouraged to visit the Speedway Children’s Charities event page to learn more or to register. Cost of participation is $20 online or $25 Friday and Saturday at the SCC tent located in the display lot at the track. Walkers receive a commemorative T-shirt. All proceeds benefit the SCC New Hampshire chapter.

SCC was founded in 1982 by Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., (SMI) and Sonic Automotive, as a tribute to his son, Bruton Cameron Smith, who died at a young age. The elder Smith was passionate about helping children in need and established SCC to support charities in communities around his SMI racetracks. Based in Charlotte, N.C., Speedway Children’s Charities today provides funding for hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the United States that meet the direct educational, medical, social and financial needs of children. SCC provides generous grants to these organizations through its eight regional chapters. Each chapter determines the needs of its surrounding communities and helps fund local organizations. Since it was established, SCC has supported thousands of organizations that help children lead productive lives.

For more information about PPG, call (800) 647-6050 or visit the PPG website at www.ppgrefinish.com. For more information about Speedway Children’s Charities, visit www.speedwaycharities.org.


PPG has announced its Commercial Coatings division training class schedule for July, August and September. PPG commercial coatings classes cover the Delfleet Essential® and Delfleet® Evolution brands along with the PPG Commercial Performance Coatings product lines. PPG training is the most extensive in the commercial coatings industry and is designed to ensure that paint technicians stay up to date with the continuous technological advances of PPG products.

Expert PPG instructors and trainers lead the one- or two-day classes that include lectures, group discussions and Q&A sessions along with hands-on time in the paint booth. Classes cover topics ranging from an overview of commercial coatings, product selection, color tools and equipment to surface preparation and paint application best practices. The unique requirements of commercial fleets are also reviewed. Technicians also benefit from instruction on the business side of the refinish process and the efficient use of commercial coatings to boost productivity, profitability and refinish quality while raising customer satisfaction.

Commercial Coatings courses for Q3 include:

  • Delfleet Essential® Certification and Recertification

  • Delfleet® Evolution Certification and Recertification

  • Delfleet® Evolution Spot Repair and Color Tinting

  • Commercial Performance Coatings Product Technologies

  • Distributor Fleet Training

The certification and recertification classes for Delfleet Essential® and Delfleet® Evolution products are particularly important. PPG technicians must be certified every two years, and collision centers that want to participate in the PPG Commercial Vehicle Paint Performance Warranty program must have a certified paint technician on staff.

Classes will be held across the U.S. and Canada at PPG Business Development Centers and various additional field locations. Full course descriptions, dates, locations and registration instructions can be found at us.ppgrefinish.com/training or by calling (800) 647-6050. Class space is limited; early registration is encouraged.

For more information about commercial coatings products from PPG, visit the Commercial Coatings web site or call (800) 647-6050.


A little more than 3,000 Continental Mark IIs were built. As rare as they were on the road back in the day, they are even harder to find on the custom scene. Still, when Chris Ryan found a rusty ’56 for sale on Craigslist, the elegant lines shined with possibility.

“I wanted to pay tribute to the custom guys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and early ‘70s—George Barris, Gene Winfield, the Alexander Brothers,” Chris explains. He swapped the stock engine for a Ford Racing Coyote 5.0 and built a custom chassis. His team then modified every panel to make it sleeker and smoother, including the removal the trunk lid’s iconic spare-tire hump.

The Scarlet Lady is a perfect example of Chris’s style—adding modern touches while preserving time-honored design. “Most of the cars I build have white walls on them, which is rare these days,” he explains. “A car that could have been on the custom circuit in 1968, that’s the car I want to build.”

After graduating from Penn State, Chris worked as a mechanical engineer, but he couldn’t shake the car bug. Itching to get his hands dirty again, he opened Ryan’s Rod and Kustom in 2003. To prove his capabilities, Chris built a car for his wife. They showed off the vehicle at Goodguys events around the country and grew their business one order at a time. Today, they usually have 8-10 projects in the shop.

One of the most satisfying aspects of Chris’s business—besides working on hot rods all day!—is the connections he makes with his clients. Projects can take over a year to complete, and he spends hours working with his customers. Building a car is not just a transaction, it’s a relationship. After all, if you’re building someone’s dream car, you really have to get to know them.

You can find out more on Chris Ryan, where he draws his passion from, how he built his company and more in the most recent edition of the Repaint Reporter.


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