Meet The Crew

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.

Phil Palmer - Shop Manager

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 will tailor the repair process to you and your vehicles specific needs.

Anne Schwartz Operations

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.

Zach Arlen- Body Tech, Polisher, and Fabricator

In his short 3 years at Bonnells, Zach’s love of hot rods and his attention to detail helps make him one of the rising stars in the industry. He is responsible for the fine detail work required to finish prep your vehicle for paint. He is also responsible for body work and all the shiny polished parts of your vehicle.

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 does upholstery at the rod shop.

Donny Shaner – Mechanic

Donny is another 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.

Paul ShallenbergerArtist, 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.