Roseville Rod and Custom – Flying High Under the Radar
You have heard the Roseville Rod and Custom name before. Being tucked away in the foothills above Sacramento, California they don’t enjoy the mainstream press of the Southern California shops but owner Ben York likes it that way. A quiet man, he lets his builds do the talking. And talk they do.
York and his ten man team build perfect hot rods. Using hot rod as a broad term, they have turned out perfect pre and post-war coupes and roadsters, powerful pickups, customs, custom rods and mighty muscle cars. They have even been known to restore or upgrade a few foreign cars on occasion.
Everything is right when they roll out of Roseville Rod and Custom. York learned attention to detail from his father Ben York Sr as well as his step father Duane “Poncho” Fender. Over the past 25 years of car building, he has made them proud. The shop celebrated their 25th anniversary last year.
Roseville’s builds have won countless awards around the west. The shop’s first “big build” was a 1946 Buick that impressed the troops at the Goodguys West Coast Nationals back in 2002. The first time they ventured east of the Mississippi in 2016, they brought home the Goodguys Hot Rod of the Year award with Brian George’s AV8 roadster. The car, styled in 50s hot rod trim with Ardun power, blew away the field. Famed builders walked by the car and were stopped dead in their tracks. “That’s a damn nice car,” was heard over and over.
But that wasn’t York’s first breakthrough in winning a Goodguys Top 12 award. Back in 2009, a candy burgundy 1939 Ford convertible he built for Indiana’s Marvin Bok won the Goodguys Street Rod d’ Elegance and America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod in the same year. The hits kept coming later that fall when Kirk Johnson’s silver ’68 Ford truck won Goodguys Truck of the Year Late. Its fair to say these builds put him on the map nationally. Its also worth noting that Ben was on the front burner of the recent 60s Ford truck craze.
When Ben Sr retired, he went to work at Roseville full time adding not only a confidant, but a top line mechanic and machinist. Roseville’s shop foreman Mike came along later and Ben’s mother plays a vital role as well. “When Mike and my dad retired in 1999 it was the perfect time for them to join me full time. Mike is our shop manager and has been by my side for 18 years. My dad is our machinist and the two of them, along with my mom, have backed me since day one” York said.
Roseville’s 13,000 square foot shop is a fully stocked, blue collar working man’s haven. Fabrication, sheet metal work, mechanical work and body and paint are all done in house. The CNC machine runs daily whittling unique parts. Only upholstery work is sent out.
Just take a look at these pictures from our recent visit. They give you an idea of just how busy the shop is these days. The vehicles under construction show the depth of their range. Several of the cars and trucks you see here will be out in the summer and fall. And you know they’ll find the winner’s circle.
After 25 years and a lineup of finished builds that rival any shop in America, Ben York is poised to stay at the top by humbly going about the business of building the best.