A little bit about me, Brent Budgor. Life does not always go the way you plan. Through my younger years till my senior year in high school, I was going to be an architect. It was what I loved and studied for.
Then, as a senior at Mission Viejo High School in 1977, I got a job as a “gopher” at Crown Valley Body Shop in Laguna Niguel, California. I worked for my then girlfriend’s father Bob Burke, pictured at right, for $3/hr, the big-time!
Bob took a liking to me and came to treat me like a son. And I looked to him as a father. He taught me a lot about the business. And to his credit, when his daughter and I split up 4 years later, he encouraged me to stay at the shop and continue to learn the trade. Pictured below from left, myself, Mike Klassen, bodyman Rick Cross and friend Steve Barker. The “crew” circa 1979.
Before long, Mike Klaasen, the painter there, took me under his wing and taught me to spray lacquer. He was a great mentor and friend and the best painter I have ever run across. I realized before long that this was what I really wanted to do. And so I dove into this profession head first, loving every minute. Pictured below, myself talking to Jim Buote, owner of this 1968 Shelby GT500, circa 1981
Over the subsequent years, I learned everything I could to be as good a painter as I could be. I did production painting, custom painting, restoration work, you name it. All during this time, I also became a car guy. And living in Southern California, that was easy. I drove all kinds of great old cars year round.
As the years progressed, I got involved in restoring vintage vending machines, gas pumps, motorcycles, vintage pressed steel trucks and more, trying to put my “stamp” on my work in hopes of turning out a product that the owner could be proud of.
Now, all these years after that wannabe architect that picked up a spray gun, I guess not much has really changed when it comes to my work. I still want to turn out a product you can be proud of at a fair price. Your satisfaction is extremely important to me. I just don’t know what I would do with myself if I could not paint.
In 1998, my family and I moved to Northfield, Vermont, ready for a new chapter in our lives. But in 2005, frustrated with the autobody industry and the stranglehold they allowed the insurance companies to have over them, I stopped working in body shops and started my own eBay business, buying and selling collectibles, vintage toys and more. I still sell under the username “vintage-vendor”.
Then in March of ’07, I went back to my painting roots, initially offering vintage motorcycle painting services on eBay, then through the AccessNorton website, and other vintage motorcycle forums and word of mouth. In 2014, my family and I have moved up here to Burlington, Vermont, along the glistening shore of Lake Champlain, and the business as well.
I am a one-man-show here. I handle every phase of the process, from initial inspection of the parts, all body work, prep, basecoat/clearcoat paint phases, final buffing and careful packing and shipping back to you.
If you are within driving distance, I’m always glad to meet customers in person. But 90% of my jobs come from all over the place, as far west as Hawaii and as far east as England and many points in between. I also personally handle all phone calls, e-mails and texts.
I don’t claim to be the best, but I will do everything I can to make you happy and give you a paint job you can be proud of.
Brent – The Vintage Vendor