This story begins about the time cavemen invented the wheel. Now those of you who know Bob Nall can picture him in his caveman suit working on cars….right?
Well, maybe it wasn’t really that far back in time but when Bob was a young boy in Iowa the “car bug” bit, and it bit really hard. His father, Bob Sr. was a bodyman and Bob Jr. started his bodywork experience helping his father in a slave labor position. During the early years Bob Sr. kept a close eye on Junior. He learned to hammer and dolly dents, tin areas for lead, primer, blocksand and paint. With this type of experience on daily drivers, it didn’t take long until Bob began to apply his newly learned trade on some cool cars.
Bob Sr. hated customized vehicles and used to say “when you modify a car, you devalue it,” and in those days he was probably right. Not true, now. In high school Bob Jr. made his spending money making minor accident repairs in his spare time. He worked at a Standard station from 4:00PM until midnight seven days a week. The owner of the station would allow Bob to do minor bodywork at the station after his regular duties were done and for a small percentage of the labor, of course.
He then started buying wrecked trade- in cars from the Chevrolet dealership where his Dad was the body shop foreman. Bob would fix them up and sell them. He had over fifty cars in his senior year but never more than two at a time. He actually bought and sold so many that the State made him acquire a dealer’s license. He customized a few of these and got yelled at a bunch by his Dad. The next time you see Bob, ask him to tell you the story of the family vacation to California when he bought two chopped Barris ’50 Mercurys. That really got Bob Sr. going.
As the years went by, Bob’s career went in various directions but he always maintained his love for hot rods and managed to keep his hobby alive. In 1977 Bob moved to New Mexico, settled into Las Cruces and got into the bar business. The bar made a good enough living but he sure got tired of the drunks. In 1980 he and a friend started the Adult Toy Factory. At first this was supposed to be part time therapy to get away from the drunks. His friend went on to bigger and better things in the teaching world and the hot rod business continued to grow.
In 1980 Bob met Kathy. She was a loan person at a local bank and he thought that by dating her it might be easier to borrow hot rod money. Well, that didn’t work so he married her……. it still didn’t work. By 1990 the business had grown enough that Kathy got involved. She didn’t know much about cars when they met but over time she really picked up on the hobby. She now handles all the books, takes some of the mail order phone calls and tries to keep Bob in line.
The ATF facility has grown over the years. In 1987 a 3,000 square foot building for the rod shop was built, then another 3,000 square feet was added in 1997 for a parts showroom and additional shop space.