http://www.livingstondaily.com/story/ne ... 699998001/
Souped-up, classic and off-road cars and trucks are father and son Mike and Brad Copeland's forte.
Their family business — Diversified Creations — has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and their custom car builds have been featured on television and internet shows.
The family business is growing again.
Father Mike Copeland, 60, purchased Arrington Performance, a vehicle building and parts shop focused on Dodge and Chrysler HEMI-powered vehicles. He is moving the Virginia-based business to a vacant 8,000-square-feet space he is leasing two doors down from Diversified Creations at 7207 Grand River Avenue in Genoa Township. He expects it to be in operation by the end of October.
Arrington Performance had 22 employees, a few of whom are coming to Genoa Township, Copeland said, and he is adding eight brand new positions in addition to the seven people currently employed by Diversified Creations.
"Arrington Performance and Diversified Creations compliment each other and (the purchase) creates diversity for us," Mike Copeland said.
"Diversified Creations does everything for performance cars and trucks, racers, classic cars, muscle cars and all the off-road vehicles," of any make and model, he said. "We're different from most in that we have the experience to repair carburetors from the 30's...and also install the newest technology."
iversified Creations sells parts in the front showroom. Technicians work on hot rods, classic car and trucks and late model suped-up vehicles in the back. The shop also hires other shops in Michigan to manufacture high performance parts.
Arrington Performance specializes exclusively in parts sales, engine assembly and vehicle builds for Chrysler and Dodge HEMI-powered vehicles, and Copeland said he wants to expand his newly purchased company include Jeep and RAM trucks, restoration-modification and off-road vehicles.
From the streets to TV screens
One of the Copeland family's claims to fame is building cars for Discovery Channel-owned shows.
Mike Copeland boasts that Diversified Creations was the first to figure out how to to swap a Hellcat engine into a "General Mayhem" Dodge Charger. The engine swap was featured on an episode of "Roadkill" on the Hot Rod Network.
Their builds have also appeared on "Fast N' Loud" with Gas Monkey Garage and the Motor Trend Channel's "Dirt Every Day."
Son Brad Copeland, 36, has operated the family business since it opened in 2004 at smaller location and watched it grow.
"It's like working in a big kids' toy store, because, truthfully, you don't ever grow up and you have to play sometimes," he said.
When he was a kid, Brad had no interest in cars, but that isn't tolerated in the Copeland family, he said.
"When I was a little older (kid), Dad was drag racing and told me I could be crew chief," he said. "Then my first car build project was a 1991 Chevy S-10 pickup truck. At 15, I spent the whole summer on it and did a 350 V-8 Chevy (engine) swap, and since then I got a little carried away."
The Copeland's family business is source of local pride for Genoa Township Community Development Director Kelly VanMarter.
"They are expanding again after moving into a second location and then a third, and it got bigger and bigger over time," VanMarter said. "So, we are pretty proud to have them as a business here and help them grow. I think they hold a special place in my heart, because a father and son had an idea, took a space in the community and were successful."
Mike Copeland said he started Diversified Creations, in 2004, for his son.
At the time, he was working at General Motors as a performance engineer at the time. He was also Vice President of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering for six years until devoting all his time to growing the family business.
Diversified Creation's staff at the beginning was just the three of them, dad, son and mom, in a 2,000-square-feet machine shop near Crystal Gardens Banquet Center in the township.
In 2006, the business moved to a larger 7,500-square-feet space on property west of their current 16,000-square-feet location, which the family began leasing in 2011.