Don Garlit’s Drag Racing in Ocala Florida
July 29, 2017
“Reflex is no Mercedes. It’s no BMW. Reflex is the BENTLEY of bed liners. I’m not just saying this to make an illustration. Reflex is really in a league of its own.” John Russo
Bed liner manufacturers like Rhino and Linex are almost household brands nowadays, and there are heated debates on the Net about who’s better. It’s similar to the never-ending debates of Mercedes vs. BMW, where client preference actually sways the argument one way or the other. Nobody in their right mind would call either of these cars “bad”, and the same goes for Rhino and Linex.
However, there are other brands of vehicles (eg. Bentley) and bed liner manufacturers (eg. Reflex). So, after some deliberation here at the Palm Beach Customs Web Marketing Office, the verdict was passed: We won’t make yet another sales pitch text and try to convince you to go with Reflex. It’s not the Bentley style. Instead, we decided to steal mr. John Russo, a bed lining veteran doing bedlining since 1980, and do an interview about these three big brands of bedliner.
I now have no hair and tons of experience. Our shop has completed over 500 classic and muscle car restorations since I started my shop in the early 1980es.
John Russo: We offered lettering and logo design, as well as custom paint jobs and custom graphics. About a year later started a bed lining segment of my biz up in Charlestown RI. Some time after, I also started a gas station, which was unheard of, but I went Way Out of my way to meet all government regulations for safety and hazardous materials handling, and the Charlestown Planning Board decided it’s totally safe and OK for me to run the gas station. Back then I had tons of hair, and very little experience in doing auto body repairs and bed lining. This is why from early on I made it my business to keep up with the latest industry training programs for autobody and refinishing.
Then, in 2010, it hit me: I now have no hair and tons of experience. I had over 500 classic and muscle car restorations under my belt, and countless bedlining jobs so yeah, we now have a lot of experience in the bedlining business, and we also worked on numerous brands models, doing collision repair . Folks say it’s my age that pushed me to leave the cold up north and move here, to Ft Myers, FL. No comment on that one, lol. All I can say is that I love the sun, and I love my new shop here on Palm Beach Blvd.
John Russo: They’re the Mercedes and BMW in the bed lining industry. Both of them have a philosophy of what a bedliner is, so their products differ. Through the years, I noticed that Rhino is very rugged, but it’s not so good when it comes to color consistency. I had many cases where the bed lining was deep black and great to see only for a year. Once the bed saw its fair share of sunshine, it changed color. By the way, this is why they offer a Rhino Restore Package, a DIY repair kit you can use to restore the dull looking liner and bring back the shine for at least a while.
On the other hand, Linex has two lines of products, one is more elastic and easy to work with, and the other is quite rough and is targeting the heavy-hauler folks. The rough material is good, but it easily cracks under heavy loads. The more elastic material is thinner and therefore not tough enough, but has a nice texture and look. I’ve seen many clients that are quite satisfied with their bedliner.
John Russo: Yes. If I had to pick between the two, I’d go with Linex. As I said, Linex has to be applied as a thin coat, so I had many cases where clients came back in with cracks and dents on the Linex lining that needed repair, which is not a pleasant thing to do. There is a lot of prepping work on these bedliner repair jobs. They do recommend using mek and stell wire brush to prepare the surface, but since we’re talking about a polyurethane mas, the patch will never become one with the rest.
John Russo: I’m content with Linex, as were many of my clients… but I wasn’t HAPPY with it. I’m using Reflex bedlining for many years now. It has the mechanical durability of Rhino, flexibility of the Linex thin liner, and there are several added benefits I never thought possible. Now, I’m actually HAPPY with Reflex, and when I tell my clients “The Reflex bedliner is a permanent solution for noise, rust, dusts/dents and chemical spills” I really mean it, and have many happy clients to prove it.
John Russo: Reflex is durable. Brashly durable, to be precise. Compared to Linex, it’s not a full time job to keep a Reflex bed liner clean and sparkly. Thanks to their precision tools I can apply a thick layer of lining and keep it even throughout the bed of the truck. Actually, I found Reflex sprayon tools to be the best in the industry. Reflex over delivers, every time. I’ve sprayed on a thickness of 1/4 of an inch, and never saw any damage do the bedliner. That is simply impossible with Linex or Rhino.
Also, the Reflex pigmentation process is unique, so I can get exactly the needed color shade that the client wants. Most of the times, people love the deep black finish of a properly installed Reflex bed liner, but there are also plenty of people who want the same color of their bed lining to match with their truck’s paint. Thanks to Reflex, I can claim a 100% guarantee of color matching of the Reflex bedliner to the truck. I wouldn’t make that statement if I was using Linex or Rhino.
John Russo: That’s a great question. Reflex is no Mercedes. It’s no BMW. Reflex is the BENTLEY of bed liners. Hands down Reflex is the best bedliner available. I’m not just saying this to make an illustration. Reflex is really in a league of its own:
The list goes on and on, but in a nutshell, these are the most important differences that set Reflex way ahead of competitor brands like Linex and Rhino. For the Florida climate, with plenty of sun, Reflex offers the best bang for the buck with it’s mechanical toughness, flexibility, strong gripping effect for the cargo, UV and spills resistance.
Your car is your life on the road.
Up-to-standard repair work of your vehicle is literally a life-saver. This is why the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers training programs for collision repair technicians.
Palm Beach Customs in Ft Myers is a ASE Certified Repair Shop, because John Russo, the owner and head technician holds the ASE Collision Repair Technician certification.
John Russo has earned a specialty certificate in Structural Analysis and Damage Repair, which qualifies him as an ASE Collision Repair Technician. Coupled with hands-on repair experience since 1980, you can be absolutely sure that your car will be treated with complete professionalism, and the repair job will be to a like-new level.
Thanks to this formal education and experience, your vehicle will be repaired to factory specifications. This means you will have the car back to a pre-crash geometry of the suspension, which ensures your car will not "pull" to the left or right so you won't need to steer it back on track. Also, you will be worry-free because the repair procedure, all the welding and body-work will be done according to factory specifications, ensuring that the vehicle is structurally as sound as it was before the crash.
Palm Beach Customs in Ft Myers is the ideal repair shop for any collision work you may need for your vehicle. John and his colleagues will take great care of your car, and teat it with professionalism. You will get your car back in excellent, pre-collision state so you will be able to safely drive it for years to come.
This is how the ACE Certification looks. You can see it states that John Russo (the owner of Palm Beach Customs), is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence as a Certified Collision Repair Technician, with specialty in Structural Analysis and Damage Repair.
You will get the real expense of the damage
You will get highly professional autobody repair
Your car will be restored to a pre-collision state
You will be treated with due respect and attention throughout the repair process
So, don't hesitate. Rest assured that your vehicle will be repaired to factory specifications, and the paint job will be flawless, for a pre-crash looks of your car. If you are from Ft Myers, Palm Beach Customs is the best place to be for a collision repair. Please use the button below to learn how to go about the collision repair:
Palm Beach Customs has been around since the 1980s and while we have evolved over time, from being a full service gas station, collision repair shop, along with the classic car restorations that are our focus now, we have always been proud of our environmental awareness and cleanliness.
That's a lot of history. The image above is just a small snapshot of our development, where you can see a newspaper from 1992, and how we got the license to start a gas station adjacent to our workshop.
The process wasn't a walk in the park.
There were tons of paperwork to go through, we needed to do adjustments and upgrades to meet state regulations for safety, but it all finished well for us.
This process helped us understand the importance of environmental and health regulations.
We learned what it takes to run an environmentally friendly classic car restoration shop, and we've use that experience ever since.
We also learned what needs to be done for a health hazard-free autobody workshop.
This helped us run a safe and clean business without cutting corners in environmental and health matters.
John Russo managed to come up with a formula to manifest all paint waste on-site, and thanks to this invention, the Richmond Department of Environmental Management issued our shop an exemption as a non-generator of hazardous waste place.
We were the only shop with this exemption.
Thanks to this formula, our shop achieved a green status, and it also cut costs, so it was a double gain for us, our clients, and the environment too.
Also, we learned how to safely store hazardous and flammable substances.
You won't find opened engine oil barrels lying around our workshop, nor will you find any gas spills on our lot. We know what oil-based fluids can do to the environment, and having plenty of experience of running a gas station, we handle oil derivatives and other engine fluids with care and consciousness.
Being gear heads doesn't mean being an environmental hazard. We have a 30+ year track record to prove it can be done.
But we don't only rely on this track record as proof of concept. We diligently maintain our equipment and run regular inspections to make sure everything is in working order and that no accidents happen.
You could say we run a tight ship here at Palm Beach Customs. This is the only way to preserve our environment for future generations without making the Now and Today a bland and boring existence.
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