Atomic Garage brings fun, expertise to national TV
Spend five minutes with Marty Feher, Ken Flatt and Mike Leyva, and it's easy to see that they love their jobs.
"I wake up every morning and enjoy what I do. Every day is a new adventure with new people. It's pure fun," Atomic Garage co-owner Marty Feher said.
Atomic Garage is a custom body and restoration shop whose services range from bodywork and paint jobs to audio-visual electronic work and the installation of backup cameras. Their talent for rebuilding and restoring cars, however, is what caught the attention of Discovery Channel. Atomic Garage is one of four shops featured on the network's reality show "Texas Car Wars."
"We've [restored] six cars in the last five months," Feher said.
It may be a hectic schedule, but it's one that is getting the garage noticed.
"No one wanted to talk to us before because we were the new guys, but we've got some pull now," Feher said.
Feher, Flatt and Leyva have been working on cars professionally for the past few years, but all three were hobbyists before.
"We've all been doing this as a hobby since we were kids," Feher said.
The three met while working at another body shop. Eventually, Feher, Flatt and Leyva decided to venture out on their own.
"We're three buddies who decided to open a garage," Flatt added. "We're making it work."
Each specializes in one area, but they work together to help each other, too. Feher takes care of bodywork, Flatt is a certified electrician and works on audio and entertainment systems. Leyva is the paint and metalwork specialist. They are hoping to add a mechanic to their ranks in the future. Flatt's wife, Sarah, also works for Atomic Garage, managing the office.
The garage recently moved to a larger, 4,000-square-foot space. The new space has separate areas for bodywork and assembly plus a lounge area for customers.
"A lot of our customers have become friends because they show up at the shop to look around and end up hanging out," Feher said.
Feher, Flatt and Leyva have a passion for what they do, and it shows in their work.
"We are in this for the experience and the adventure," Feher said.
'Texas Car Wars'
According to Discovery Channel's "Texas Car Wars," "Texas is a car-flipping gold mine and has more unregistered salvaged cars than any other state." The show, which debuted Sept. 6, follows four Central Texas garages as they travel to auctions to buy these cars and then try to flip them for a profit.
"We buy a new car on each episode and have about 10 days to completely rebuild and sell it," Atomic Garage co-owner Marty Feher said. "It's insane."
Feher, Flatt and Leyva are billed as the rookies on the show, but they obviously know what they're doing. In the first episode they flip a 1964 Ford Thunderbird for about $3,000.
"A lot of garages aren't open to doing a show like this, but it's been great," Feher added. "If [the network] likes us and wants us back, we're in."
"Texas Car Wars" airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on Discovery Channel.
Atomic Garage, 3566 Rockin J Road, Round Rock, 373-0101, www.atomicgaragetx.com
Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.