Meet The Crew
The Bonnell’s Crew is a versatile group of guys and gals. This group has experience in all aspects of the automotive culture. Racing, Hot Rods, Custom Cars and Trucks of all kinds flow though the blood of this talented group.
Scott Bonnell – Owner
Scott’s passion for cars started years ago as he watched his uncle, Rich Bonnell, race open-wheel dirt cars. Scott, after building his collision business, began racing sprint cars at the local dirt tracks. When Scott broke three vertebrae in a racing incident during the summer of 2010, he put his racing career behind him and began focusing on the hot rod portion of his business.
Scott opened Bonnell’s Rod Shop when the demand for quality hot rods outgrew his state of the art collision business. Since opening his collision shop in 1985, Scott has provided his customers with only the very best. Known best for quality and excellent service, Scott knew the best way to continue to provide the services his customers have grown to expect was to separate the Rod Shop from his collision business.
Scott’s vision for the future of the business is to produce quality, one-off hot rods, unique to the Bonnell’s Rod Shop team. He hopes to one day produce a vehicle capable of contending in the ‘Great 8’ at the Detroit Autorama and possibly winning the Ridler Award. Scott hopes to provide local Rodders with high-quality, economical options for all their hot-rodding needs.
Kevin Chess- Manager
Kevin has been with Bonnell’s since 2002. He spent most of his career as the painter in our Erie Collision Shop. Drag racing is in his blood. He has been drag racing his for 11 years. Kevin handles day to day operations of the shop. He will see your vehicle through it’s entire repair process
Phil Palmer -Manager, Marketing, and Painter
Joining the Bonnell’s Team in 2009 Phil brings a blend of talents ranging from metal shaping to custom paint. With a design background and over 20 years of hot rod experience Phil is instrumental in bringing color and shine into your vehicles finish, from multilayer graphics and flames to one off custom colors.
Anne Schwartz – Office Manager
Anne began her career in December of 2011 at the front desk of Bonnell’s Collision Center in Erie. After one year at the collision center, she was moved to the Hot Rod Shop in order to help us keep up with the growing hot rod portion of the industry. Anne helps with everything from customer service to marketing and parts.
Donny Shaner – Lead Mechanic
Donny is one of our Class 1 Inspection Mechanics. Donnie relies on over 10 years of drag racing and 20 years of experience building classic cars and hot rods to perform the day to day repairs that come into the shop. He is also heavily involved in all aspects of assembly on the cars built here at the shop.
Brian Palmer- Body Tech, and Upholstery
Brian started at Bonnell’s Rod Shop in June of 2011. He is a recent graduate from the local Vo-Tech school. Brian grew up around/working on cars in the body shop, and he is in training to be one of the Rod Shops premiere auto body technicians. Brain also handles upholstery at the Rod Shop.
Paul Shallenberger – Artist, Polisher, and Body Tech
Paul is the newest addition to the rod shop team. He is a 4 color process printer and sign maker. He spent most of his career in publishing and advertising at the Erie Times News for 12 years. Paul is a life-long car enthusiast, and he is extremely knowledgeable in car history and culture. He enjoys working on miniature car models and restoring vintage toy cars. Paul truly has a passion for his job, and his skill and diverse knowledge makes a great asset to the rod shop.
Jon Fiolek – Mechanic and A/C Systems
Jon has over 26 years experience working on vehicles and welding. He specializes in heating, cooling, A/C, and refrigerant systems. He also spent a couple years working in small engine and machine shop. Jon is a certified class 1 inspection mechanic, John handles most of our day to day classic car and truck repairs as well as PA Inspections and emissions. This guy will do what it takes to make your vehicle safe and running and sounding great!!
Jesse McClanahan – Metal and Body
Jesse graduated from Tri-State Business Institute with an associates degree in digital graphics and Multi-Media Design. He also attended WyoTech and studies technical degree collision and refinishing and street rod. Jesse can cover any aspect of the build including MIG welding, glass, refinishing, dent repair, powder coating, and media blasting. He is a great new addition to the team!
David Shaner- Body Tech
David has been around hot rods and fast cars all his life. This young gun has a bright future in the hot rod world. He joined the Bonnell’s crew in 2014. David spends his days as a body and metal tech.
Richie Hess- Metal Fabricator
Richie has been with Bonnell’s since 2006. With a vast hot rodding knowledge he is able to handle any area of a Hot Rod build. He has been through metal shaping training with Fay Butler. Specializing in metal fabrication Richie reconstructs or creates your vehicles flowing body lines.
Dan Wike - Mechanic
Joining the Bonnell’s team in 2015, Dan has been working on cars since 2003. Specializing in Engine Performance and Diagnostics Dan is a Class 1 PA Inspection Mechanic, an OBD Enhanced Emissions inspector and an Advanced Level ASE Master Technician. He takes care of most of our late model cars and trucks.
Brandi Casbohm- Office Admin.
Brandi joined the Rod Shop team in 2015. She has been driving and racing pulling trucks for 4 years. Brandi is usually the first person you talk to when you stop in or call.