Chaotic Rods & Customs

October 20th, 2009

Chaotic Rods & Customs

Mike Jones—Owner/Fabricator/Body Man/Painter
Chris Caldwell—Fabricator/Painter
Rocky Fox—Fabricator/Suspension
Joe Garcia—Shop Foreman
Sam Henkels—Painter/Body Man
Jesus Martinez—Body Man/Painter
Rey Martinez—Painter/Body Man
Justin Merryman—Fabricator/Suspension

The foundation of Chaotic Rods & Customs, in Conroe, Texas, can be chased across the branches of owner Mike Jones’ family tree. His grandfather, Curtis, owned one of the largest body shops in Houston. It was due to the fact that his grandfather also built a slew of customs, hot rods and roadsters, which caught Mike’s attention at a very young age, that he got into the industry in the first place. The trade secrets and love for all things hot rod were passed along to Curtis’ son, Mike’s father, Tony Jones. Tony has perfected custom paint jobs and pinstriping over the years.

Mike put his hot rod heritage to work at a young age in various shops. He had barely received his driver’s license at 16, when he took a few inches out of a car’s roof by performing his first chop top. From then on he was in love with building customs and coming up with innovative body mods. At a young age, two well-known hot rod builders, Jesse Vamma and Carl Smith, mentored Mike. Like many shops, Chaotic Rods & Customs started out as a side gig that turned into a full-fledged custom shop.

In 1997, Mike Jones was working full-time at a shop and had opened a small, single-bay shop for side jobs. Those “side jobs” began to overwhelm his normal work, and he decided to open up Chaotic Rods & Customs with help from his wife.

As the shop grew, so did the talent pool, and the guys at the shop have become a well-rounded team. But the shop itself needed some expansion as well. Chaotic currently sits in Conroe, Texas, on a lot that used to be part of a wooded area. The brush was cleared out and dirt and concrete were laid down so that a brand-new, 10,000-square-foot building could be assembled alongside a few skate ramps and jumps, just for fun. They are currently in the process of building a 4,000- square-foot showroom to showcase their work and house a complete wheel and accessory store.

Chaotic Rods & Customs offers everything from collision work and wheels and tires to custom body mods, paint and graphics, air ride, body drops, and more.

The shop is dedicated to innovative work and isn’t afraid to take on a challenge. Mike tests his employees with difficult tasks on a regular basis, to help further their skills and continually improve the work coming out of the shop. Mike recalls painter and fabricator Chris Caldwell’s first day more than seven years ago. Mike put him on a brand-new car, complete with window sticker, with the task of shaving all of the handles and lights. Chris asked where the taillight fillers were, and Mike responded by handing him a toolbox and saying, “We don’t buy anything here, we make it.” A fun shop environment and what they call “executive lunches” balances this out. It isn’t uncommon to see the Chaotic crew rolling in style in their own custom trucks to a sit-down lunch.

The crew is very active in the custom truck and hot rod scene, having dozens of custom trucks of their own under their belts. One of the latest is Chris Caldwell’s 2007 Chevrolet Silverado that graces the cover of this very issue. The truck was the first body-dropped ’07 Silverado on the scene. This is yet another testament to the innovation and challenge-tackling abilities that the shop has. Another first is suspension specialist Rocky Fox’s body-dropped Toyota Tundra, which is soon to be completed. Rocky, along with Justin Merryman, was brought on recently to balance out the shop by offering custom suspension work, including airbag setups and body drops. Be on the lookout for more custom creations from the guys at Chaotic Rods & Customs right here in Street Trucks!

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One of Chaotic’s projects is a full custom ’53 F-100 being built for owner Mike Jones’ father, Tony.
Justin Merryman’s Sierra was well on its way to being a show winner; unfortunately, a reckless driver thought otherwise. Word has it he has a new project up his sleeve.
We caught a sneak peek at Chris Caldwell’s 2007 Silverado redo found on the cover of this issue!
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Highly detailed airbrushing and graphics is just one of the weapons in Chaotic’s stable of custom mods.
Just days before Texas Showdown, Rocky Fox and the rest of the crew brought Le Phong’s ’72 C-10 closer to mother earth.


The daily lunch trip for Chaotic is truly a sight to see around Conroe, TX, when a caravan of custom trucks heads down the highway.
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Chaotic Rods & Customs
Dept. STTR
11066 Hwy 242
Conroe, TX 77385
281.290.6000 (http://www NULL.chaoticrodsandcustoms (http://www NULL.myspace


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