Joe Sulpy Custom Cars – Three Generations of Automotive Ingenuity
Joe Sulpy Custom Cars is where dreams come true for car guys who think outside the box. Joe is a man of few words but posseses many talents and skills in the realm of automotive artistry. If you can dream it, Joe can make it. With his two hands, I might add. Throughout your lifetime you’ll meet certain individuals who boast about what they’ve done or what they can do and how their talents trump anything anybody else does. Some of these people you might even see on your television.
Then there’s Joe Sulpy. Joe’s the quiet reserved type, the type of guy who likes being in the background, almost hidden from public view. He’s not out seeking anyone’s attention or hoping to be the new face of some hot rod series on tv, and trust me he’s been asked. Instead, Joe prefers the hand-formed, custom painted works of art sitting before you grabbing all the attention and accolades, and deservedly so.
Joe is a third-generation self-taught builder and fabricator whose whole entire life has revolved around custom cars. As early as Joe can remember he was around his dad’s collision shop back east in Byram, New Jersey where the family called home. It was here that Joe learned the skills that would produce the high-level craftsmanship and coolness factor he is known for today. Some will remember his wild Air Force fighter hot rod (handmade body and chassis) or the ’57 Chrysler New Yorker Joe and his father built as a clone to The Parisienne. Frank Colangelo’s ‘38 Ford is another you might recall. There are many.
In fact, Joe’s dad is a master painter and airbrusher in his own right who built many radical custom vans that were all the rage back in the 70’s. He also built limos for Cher and painted the famed Starsky & Hutch cars for the popular TV series. He also built his fair share of custom custom sleds and other wild rides.
In 1999, still living in Jersey, Joe decided to start his own shop called Joe Sulpy’s Custom Cars. In 2009, Joe decided it was time for a weather change and he and his family decided to leave the cold and wet northeast for the sunny and rust-free desert climate, settling in Arizona. With the help of his lovely wife Rebecca, who doesn’t get nearly the amount of credit she deserves, the business is strong. Joe works his automotive art while Rebecca takes care of the customers, the finances, as well as being a mom to their two children.
Other than family there were two people in Joe’s life who helped make him the man he is today. Andy Perillo, who was George Barris’s East Coast Rep and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. Both men were monumental figures in Joe’s life. Conversations with Andy and Ed helped sculpt Joe’s interest for the wild side of car building and the thought-provoking builds he would later create. Along with that comes the process. Joe took good notes!
Without giving too much away you’ll see both an Ed Roth-inspired build outside of Joe’s home shop as well as a classic Mustang getting some custom “restyling”. These cars are coming along nicely as you can see.
Joe is active on Instagram. Check out more Sulpy Custom Cars at @joesulpyscustomcars