We sat down with Scott Edwards, the owner of Perilous Customs to find out what its like to be a fabricator NOT on the west coast. Heres the story…
Perilous Customs, LLC
Perilous Customs, LLC, was started in 2007 as the answer to a need that owners Scott and Andi Edwards saw in the off-road racing community. “We wanted to start a business that combined highly competitive and customized work with strong business ethics,” states Scott. “It’s not a combination often seen anymore.” Perilous Customs started out in the garage of the Edwards’ home in Phoenix, Arizona. In the past five years, the company moved from Phoenix to Houston, TX to Carthage, MO. Carthage is the business’ final stop, where it is now housed in a large shop with the Edwards’ home on 75 acres of woods and pasture, including their own test track. From that shop, Scott works on his passion—custom off-road race vehicles that are specifically tailored to the buyer. His focus is on making a vehicle that fits each customer’s needs and wants; there are no kits or carbon copies here.
Scott made some of his best memories, taking his motorcycle or Jeep out in the desert to ride, after moving from Chicago to Phoenix in the eighth grade. He has participated in racing in every aspect all over the West Coast. Regular trips to California to play at Glamis or attend racing events were always a must. He also worked for a couple of off-road vehicle manufacturers in the area. From that experience, he developed a love for racing and a passion for fabrication. Having lived in Arizona, in Texas, and now ending up in Missouri, Scott has seen the advantages and disadvantages to racing and building outside of California and what is considered prime off-road territory.
“We are entering a new era of racing,” Scott’s wife, Andi, says. “As environmental laws become more stringent on the West Coast and Baja more dangerous, we are seeing off-road racing pushing east. We want to be an integral part of that new era.” That is one of the main advantages the Edwards see to being centrally located. New racing avenues are opening up all around them. The rise of Extreme Desert Racing and Baja Racing of Texas are two racing series the Edwards have participated in themselves and from which they have also gained business.
The advantage of being centrally located is, of course, answered by a disadvantage. The off-road racing industry is still relatively new to the area. It is an arena seen more as a hobby to most here instead of the cutting edge, competitive sport that it is on the West Coast. Changing the perspective of the community is one of the biggest struggles the Edwards face with their business. They also desire to have a nationwide presence someday, meaning they must prove to the racing community that high quality, custom vehicles can be purchased outside of California.
Another advantage of being off the West Coast is the cost involved. Missouri has a low cost of living; that lower cost allows Perilous Customs to offer very competitive pricing. “We aren’t trying to get rich,” says Scott. “We just want to do what we love, do it well and pay our bills.” However, as the industry is new in the area, a lot of parts must be shipped from around the nation. Perilous Customs considers itself a community-oriented small business, and they do what they can to buy parts locally whenever possible. As the industry grows, they are hoping to support the efforts of others like themselves who are seeking to bring the racing community here.
One of the main reasons that Perilous Customs found its home in Missouri is the mindset of this part of the country. “We know what it’s like to be told we won’t be able to ride at our favorite places anymore because lands are closing to off-roaders. We’ve seen the effects of noise laws. We’ve been dealt with unprofessionally and unethically. We want to see a different kind of racing community built, and this part of the country is open to that,“ says Scott. Racing events here are a family oriented experience. The Edwards can take their two boys along and feel comfortable with them there. They can drive night and day on their test track, and no one will say a word. The laws in place support their freedom to build what they want and do with it what they will. The people of the area tend to deal fairly with one another.
Having been in both worlds, the Edwards have chosen to make Perilous Customs’ home outside of the standard racing community. Their hope is to be a community based business that serves the off-road sector across the nation. They want to make a mark on what they consider to be off-road racing’s next stage by providing superior work that one can’t get anywhere else—even California.