STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, Rob Gullery plans on making a scene. Blocking off a decent portion of Hylan Boulevard and filling the bustling thoroughfare with $8 million worth of cars and trucks that his team personally detailed and customized, the local business owner and proud founder of Never Ride Stock in Grant City is teaming up with several of Staten Island’s leading car dealerships and staging a massive police-escorted car run that will slowly snake its way to the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side.
His ultimate destination? A prestigious front-of-house exhibition space at the legendary New York International Auto Show.
“Never Ride Stock is taking over the entire, 30,000-square-foot space of 1D Hall, Level 1 of the New York Auto Show, and we’re driving 52 cars through Staten Island to the event space on Wednesday night,” Gullery said during a recent phone interview, bubbling with excitement over the honor and privilege that his VIP presence at this event brings. “We are the first New York-based company to have this honor in 12 years, and we’re focusing on local businesses to make the event truly special. Our largest vehicle displays will come from Island Auto Group and Dana Ford Lincoln, who we’ve partnered with to create custom rides, fresh off the lot. Hard work gets you to the big stage, and we’re looking to create a Staten Island takeover at the Auto Show this weekend.”
Gullery’s exclusive car procession will be joined by Devarjaye “DJ” Daniel, a 10-year-old Texas boy who is battling a deadly form of brain cancer. DJ, who is on a mission to to be sworn in by law enforcement agencies across the country, became an honorary NYPD officer on Wednesday morning before being invited to join Never Ride Stock’s event.
Gullery, who has been in the automotive customization game for over two decades, creating scores of innovative rides at his mechanic and auto service shop Tire Empire/Wheel Concepts, founded the Never Ride Stock brand two years ago with the intention of building upon the car-focused business that his grandfather created 80 years ago.
“My family has owned and operated Wil-John’s since 1942 so we’ve been in the car business on Staten Island for 80 years,” Gullery said. “My grandfather founded the business, and my dad took it over in 1968. I became owner in 1990, and I’ve been lucky enough to have some great partners join me throughout the years. Christian Zagami, Tony Mendoza, Vincent LoCascio, Joseph Capuano, Vincent Puccio — together we have taken this business to new heights.”
A destination for vehicle customization, sneakers, art, apparel and more, Never Ride Stock now spans multiple buildings on either side of Hylan Boulevard, including NRS Tint Shop (formerly WC Tint), NRS Film Solutions and NRS Kicks.
“Never Ride Stock has been an idea that we’ve tossed around for more than a decade, but we didn’t officially brand it until about two years ago,” Gullery said. “It was born out of Wheel Concepts, which is car customization, but Never Ride offers more. It’s an entire lifestyle brand that includes accessories, fashion, shoes and more.”
And now Gullery’s brand is poised to get worldwide attention at the Auto Show.
“The New York International Auto Show was always the intended starting point for our events, but with COVID restrictions, the dream didn’t come into focus until this year,” Gullery said. “Now we have this opportunity to showcase 52 cars that we customized — we got their attention, so I guess we’re doing it right. It’s exciting for Staten Island, and I’m proud to take this small borough business to the next level.”
In addition to Island Auto Group and Dana Ford, Gullery has also partnered with Genesis of Brooklyn, Bay Ridge Honda and Exquisite Auto Spa on Page Avenue for this event. The cars that Gullery is showcasing range from Ferraris and Lamborghinis to Broncos and Dodge Chargers. There will even be a 1962 Chevy Impala in the mix.
“We put together a nice mixture of vehicles for this show,” Gullery said. “I’m extremely excited about what we’re going to showcase.”
In addition to the showcase of cars, the three-day event will include scooter races, live tint and paint protection installations and a display of electric bikes. Gullery will also launch Never Ride Stock’s new line of clothing and a quarterly magazine at a rooftop fashion show on Sunday.
“Sceery Jones from Z100 is our emcee, and Nems, a local rapper, will be walking in the show,” Gullery concluded, describing his fashion line, which includes hoodies, T-shirts, tank tops, hats and slides. “This is a major event for us, and we can’t wait to launch this line and represent Staten Island on this international stage.”