RUPES Sponsors 2nd Annual Art of BigFoot Competition


Top automotive painters compete for charity in one-of-a-kind contest

After a wildly successful inaugural contest in 2017, RUPES has once again attracted top automotive painters to customize their iconic BigFoot random orbital polisher for a fan vote. The customized tools will be on display at the 2018 SEMA show where visitors to the RUPES booth will be encouraged to vote in a variety of ways including the use of social media hashtags. The entry that receives the most votes across all platforms will receive a $3,000 donation to the charity of the painters choosing as well as $1,500 in RUPES equipment for their shop.

The participants in the contest are invited based on their unique skill and reputation within the automotive industry which results in a gallery of creations that all represent different styles and themes. While some of the competitors are skilled airbrush artists others are known for their pinstripe work and some for their overall painting skills, but one thing is for certain – each creation is completely original and will capture the attention of fans as they attempt to decide which is their favorite.

“We reached over 4 million unique impressions last year across all social media platforms and other participation.” says RUPES USA Marketing Manager, Dylan von Kleist “I’ve got a feeling we can top that this year!”

In 2017 the team of John Ward and Keith Eccles, known for their superhero-themed motorcycle builds, took home top honors for their Wonder Woman themed creation. They gained an edge on competition by inviting a costumed version of the super-hero to pose with fans next to their tool during the show. After winning the 2017 contest they were excited to participate again this year along with a few returning artists and a mix of new competitors. All the participants in the contest are well-known names in the world of automotive paint and customization:

  • Steve Gibson of Air Oil and Lead
  • Craig Fraser of Craig Fraser Studios
  • Ron Gibbs, otherwise known as the “Canadian Rat Fink”
  • Winner of the 2016 SEMA Battle of the Builders, HS Customs
  • Beth Kearney of Lil’ Dame Pinstriping
  • Dez Ferrel of Nessy’s Kustoms
  • John Ward and Keith Eccles of RawTin Garage
  • The worlds first non-profit custom shop, Swag Custom Rides
  • Scott MacKay of Thin Air GraFx
  • Mike Geier of Tikana Motorsports
  • Randy Weaver of Weaver Customs
  • Famous German painter, Thomas Zahn

Bursting onto the US market just 7 years ago with their innovative BigFoot large orbit polishing machines, RUPES has seen its tools and systems change the way detailing technicians and autobody professionals approach the process of surface preparation and restoration. The tools have even become so popular its not uncommon to see them being used in the background of popular car related television shows and in the most prestigious shops and garages around the world.

“The connection to paint and cars is so close with these tools that it makes perfect sense that we ask these artists to customize them for the contest. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to see people react to them in the gallery.” says Chip Case, CEO of RUPES USA. With their polishing systems becoming a mainstay in top shops around the world, and the more recent popularity of their world-class sanding and dust extraction systems for bodyshops, it is no wonder the RUPES brand is attracting so much attention from anyone who likes clean, custom, and shiny paint.

At the conclusion of the 2018 SEMA show the Art of BigFoot tools will join the creations from the 2017 contest on permanent display in the RUPES USA headquarters near Denver, Colorado. The entire gallery of tools from the 2017 contest are available to view online at