Founded by Greg Stokes, GMS Hot Rods specialises in the design and fabrication of hot rods and custom cars with a focus on stance, style and quality. Greg grew up around hot rodding through his Dad, Mark Stokes. This was perhaps one of the most pivotal parts of Greg’s life as he was fully immersed in hot rodding. It was inspirational times as Marks workshop Quality Automotive in East Tamaki, Auckland, specialised in American cars and hot rods as well as general servicing and mechanical work.
Just two doors down, the late Pete Dore had his shop, STR Engineering which to a young boy growing up, this must have been what heaven looked like. The coming and going of Pete’s and my Dads shops were certainly inspirational times with most Saturday mornings looking like a revolving car show. In fact it was Pete’s personal yellow “HIBOY” ’32 Ford roadster which served as inspiration to Greg in which he pays tribute to Pete with the GMS yellow “HIBOY” roadster built in 2010.
At Dad’s workshop Greg can recall the all-nighters pulled on rebuilding his Model A roadster pickup for various Street Rod Nationals, or the couple of seasons Quality Automotive campaigned the late Tim Watkins Ferrari Wild Bunch drag car at Meremere and Thunderpark. Over at Pete’s shop Greg remembers the construction of the Midnite Special front engine dragster and also Pete’s many definitive conversations regarding traditional hot rods usually based around a 1932 Ford!
Growing up fast around older people in the hot rodding hobby, Greg showed an interest in hot rod history and styling. From a fabrication standpoint and learning the graft, perhaps one of the best things which happened to Greg was learning from guys like my father (mechanical work) and also Terry Bowden (TIG welding) and Mike Roberts (TIG welding and sheet metal fabrication) at various times.
Fast forward a bit and Greg held a Sales & Marketing position at Pro Topline, the manufacturers of Pro Action Cylinder Heads – this opened the door to the big wide world working with the likes of the late Art Chrisman, various engine builders and end users while attending and displaying at shows like SEMA and PRI. The networking was huge and deals were done to sponsor cylinder heads to the Tony Thacker and Jimmy Shine street/salt Model A roadster as well as a prize program for Goodguys Rod & Custom Association. This period of time over three or so years gave a good grasp of business marketing and promotional work.
Unfortunately for various reasons this company went into receivership and I ended up at Pioneer Auto Parts and then NZ Hot Rod Magazine due to previous publishing experience with local and international titles including NZ Petrolhead/NZ Rodder, Jammin Gears, Australian Street Rodding, Street Rodder, Street Machine and NZV8. Then for just over four years Greg worked with Graeme at Mac’s Speed. With other changes in his life and the desire to do his own thing Greg plucked the courage to just start working from home.
At GMS Hot Rods anything from a simple chassis modification or a brand new rolling chassis can be undertaken. From there, that chassis can be built to any stage thru to turn key completion. Our experience of the New Zealand and USA hot rod industry ensure’s you are getting exceptional value for your dollar to achieve your ultimate end result. Due to the fact GMS recognises automotive history and design and speed, early vintage style hot rods, race cars and even restored vehicles are all projects which can be undertaken at GMS Hot Rods
In recent times with GMS Hot Rods, Greg’s networking has picked up agencies for Pete & Jakes Hot Rod Parts, Brookville Roadster, Sid Chavers Bop Tops and Re-Tire Whitewall Cleaner. In 2019 and 2020, Greg was invited to join the select judging committee for the prestigious America’s Most Beautiful Roadster which is awarded at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California, USA each January.
It’s all about bringing your new or existing hot rod dream to life with great stance and quality design and engineering principles resulting in an enjoyable driving experience.