Click2Daily: Family business creates custom model kid-sized cars in Houston

HOUSTON – Much like the kid-sized cars he works on, Rudy Nava's business, Rudy's Ridez, has evolved over the past few years.

“Rudy’s Ridez is a family-owned business. We do custom, modified Power Wheels. We do custom bikes. We do a lot of custom builds,” said Rudy Nava, the founder of Rudy’s Ridez.

But the business didn’t start that way.

The company began in 1993 as a comic book store where Rudy started to create custom model cars. The cars would often include fully operational radios, headlights and hydraulic systems.

Rudy was also motivated to create customized bicycles and scooters.

“Way back, actually ’94, it’s a comic and car shop and then we incorporated a lot of … custom bicycles, and then we did a lot of custom model hydraulics,” Nava said. “There was a market back in the day. We’re like a niche business. People would come in and say, ‘Hey, can you fix this little model with hydraulics and make it move?’ and I said ‘Oh, yeah.’ And then I started working with little servos (servomotors) and so from the little cars we would do all the mechanical pop trunks and lift kits.”

After several years of building his business, Rudy’s attention turned to Power Wheels.

“My wife had noticed that someone was driving around in a little Power Wheel car and she had turned to me and said, ‘See that, you should start doing those the way you do the little cars.’ So, sure enough, we got one and then from there that’s where it blew up to what we’re doing now -- full custom builds,” Nava said. “We take it to the extreme. We take it at detail, very detail. You give us a picture and we try to match it up as best we can. Another thing is we don’t use no CNC (computer numerial control), no water jet machines and hundred-thousand, million-dollar machines. Everything we do is with hands -- hand tools.”

That doesn’t prevent Nava and his son Gabriel from doing whatever the customer asks for.

“This has remote and the pedal and shifter in it and it’s got a 3 inch touch screen inside. So it’s all touch screen, DVD player, I mean this is, like I said, considered I think one of our best builds,” says Rudy. “You just can’t go to WalMart, Toys R Us and pick up one. You’re just going to get a plain Jane one. What we do is we take them straight out of the box, plain-Jane one, and make them into one piece of artwork. That’s why I consider my cars art pieces,” he said.

He said some of his more elaborate collections included built-in television screens, automatic doors and windows and an array of LED lights.

His custom creations range from $400 to $5,000. The price depends how much technology and detail the customer wants.

If you’re impressed by the Rudy’s Ridez team and want to check out some of the stuff they have for yourself, they have a website and a mobile app.

Did you or one of your kids have a power wheels growing up? I did! But it was NOTHING like these custom built rides! Rudy's Ridez

Posted by FOX 13's Chip Brewster on Tuesday, May 30, 2017