Custom motorcycle, auto shop moves into old firehouse

Publish Date: 
Feb 10, 2014

DAVENPORT, Iowa – What shadetree mechanic hasn’t dreamed of a garage with bays like a firehouse? Mike Poggenpohl and Paul Papke are living the dream at Convict Customz.

The eight-year-old business moved into its new digs at a retired firehouse about two months ago, using the new space to expand their custom and repair business from motorcycles to include cars.

The old Hose Station No. 7 was built in 1905. It had been used for other businesses over the years, including in recent years as another custom car business. Now Poggenpohl lives on the second floor, where the original hose tower and wood remain.

Downstairs, Poggenpohl does the fabrication and Papke does electrical. They farm out custom paint jobs.

"I like digging through old wiring, repairing and replacing any old problem areas," Papke told the Quad City Times. "I love this. I never knew what I wanted to be. Finally, I found it."

"We started out in a garage, then moved into a small shop in Rock Island," Poggenpohl said.  "We outgrew it within a year. And we wanted to tackle hot rods as well."

The name of the shop raises a few eyebrows, but Poggenpohl explained: "Everybody had a run-in with the law."

Posted by Holly Wagner