When we were young, a mildly creepy animatronic mouse and an E. coli-infested ball pit were generally regarded as the height of any respectable birthday party. If we didnâ€™t choke on one of our penny racers or seriously maim a friend with our pet rock, it was a notable achievement. Weâ€™ve come a long way since then. Today, we have the guys atÂ Ridemakerz to make a kidâ€™s every adolescent fantasy come true â€“ without the threat of serious bodily harm. Founded by Larry Andreini, Maxine Clark, and Chip Foose (yes,Â that Chip Foose), Ridemakerz is dedicated to making the thrill of designing your own ride easily attainable by both those living off a meager $10-a-week allowance and those funding it.
The first shop opened up in Myrtle Beach on June 1, 2007 and since then, the craze has spread to ten other states. Two weeks ago, Ridemakerz (and every kid within a 200 mile radius) celebrated yet another grand opening with the launch of their new store at Walt Disney World in Lake Beuna Vista, FL. To kick off the chain-cutting ceremony, Andreini presented the Central Florida chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters with a $1,000 check, a testament to Ridemakerzâ€™ public dedication to supporting those that support them. â€œThe RIDEMAKERZ brand and this shop, in particular, are close to my heart,â€ explained Foose, on hand at the grand opening signing autographs. â€œI learned about car customizing from my Dad, and now I get to help pass that experience on to fathers, sons and families across America.â€
Among those cars available for customizing are theÂ Dodge Viper SRT10 Coupe, Challenger SRT8, and Ram SRT10. On hand to celebrate the launch was a Mopar Viper SRT10 Carbon, which has the potential to play a rather important role in the future Ridemakerz line-up. While nothing has been confirmed, there is a possibility that Ridemakerzâ€™ Holiday 2010 offerings will feature a Viper pre-painted to match the SRT10 Carbon. In the interim, budding designers can still enjoy models from theÂ Dodge performance line listed above.
To score some major points with your kid, or just enjoy a cheap afternoon with your buddies, head on down to East Buena Vista Drive and unleash your inner artist.