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.
Brandi Casbohm- Office
Brandi joined the Rod Shop team in 2015. Brandi is usually the first person you talk to when you stop in or call, she deals with all the day to day functions in the office from customer service to parts. Brandi drove her pulling truck at local events for 4 years, eventually she plans to get back into it!
Donny Shaner – 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.
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.
Josh Demmery- Body Tech and Fabricator
Josh joined the Bonnell’s team in 2015 as a Body Tech / Fabricator. Josh is highly detail oriented. Coming from a long line of mechanics and with a passion for cars he fits in great with the rod shop team! With 12 years of experience Josh can help turn your dream car into a reality. Josh is a blacksmith / bladesmith in his free time which adds to his diversity.
Clinton Rice- Maintenance
Clinton’s responsibilities are cleaning and maintaining the properties, at the Rod Shop & Fairview Collision Center. He is an all around guy who can handle most anything. His 15 years in construction give him the experience in several areas throughout the shop.