Who is
Ace Customs

Ace Customs is a group of companies that provide automotive and marine restoration, modification fabrication and customisation services to the South African market.
The Ace Customs group is led by six passionate petrol-heads:

Undercover Paper Pusher

Serial entrepreneur and fanatical perfectionist


Customisation and car audio guru

The Oracle
van Schalkwyk

Champion racing driver and fabricator extraordinaire


Mechanical magician and all round Mr. Fix-it

The Boss

Electronics & tuning wizard (and general very clever car guy)

The Professor
Du Toit

Master detailer and paintwork expert

Ace Customs was formed in 2013 by two of the six petrol-heads – Exner and Welgemoed

The Exner name was, in earlier generations, very well known in the vintage car restoration world. Welgemoed is also well known in the audio and customisation industry having worked at several large shops.

In 2015, the motorsport division of Ace Customs, Ace Customs Racing was founded – again by Exner but this time in partnership with Grant van Schalkwyk, the multiple championship winning racing driver and expert race engineer.

The van Schalkwyk name is synonymous with motorsport in South Africa with Grant himself being known in the USA, having spent time there as a NASCAR driver and race engineer.

And then, in 2021 Ace Customs Auto was born. Having needed a master mind to head up the mechanical side of the group, Exner was quick to identify a more than ideal candidate in Vernon Bresler when he came knocking at the shop door.

Bresler has been tinkering and modifying anything and everything on both two and four wheels since an early age. Bike racing, drag racing and international vehicle maintenance experience has resulted in a broad set of skills, ideal for the Ace Customs environment.

Du Toit was introduced to Exner by a colleague in the industry back in 2017. Exner immediately identified Du Toit’s passion for perfection and uncanny ability to mix up his own crazy concoctions to achieve phenomenal results with paintwork (and all things detailing). In 2019 Du Toit undertook to build a detailing bay (with his own two hands) at the Ace Customs shop in Edenvale. The result was nothing short of perfection. Having a dedicated detailing division was always on the roadmap, but as a result of unforeseen developments, Du Toi decided to pursue other ventures. Then in 2022, whilst under immense pressure preparing cars for a show, Exner needed someone he could rely on to detail the cars to a “next level” level. There was only one option – The Professor! After two successful shows, Ace Customs Detailing was born and opened its doors mid-2022.

Mckay (RBTS Racing) had been tuning the Ace Customs built cars for many years. Exner was always in awe of his knowledge, not only in tuning, but in electronics, engine building and pretty much every facet of building (and racing) exceptional cars. McKay was sceptical of Exner’s “proposals” of teaming up, but after spending time together tuning the FrankenZ build, McKay realised that Exner was the real deal. The two have grown closer over time, with Exner looking up to McKay’s exceptional level of knowledge and is honoured to be able to learn from him and have his input in Ace Customs quest to push the envelope in building the most epic cars possible. In 2022 a formal partnership was formed and RBTS Racing now forms part of the Ace Customs group.

Together, the six of them share a passion for all things… petrol-powered… or perhaps loud and fast…or perhaps anything with an engine, or more likely all of the above! What is clear is that this collective passion and a desire to make the Ace Customs group stand out from the crowd is what drives them.

What do
we do?

The Ace Customs Group is a “one stop” custom car shop which differentiates itself by offering a range of specialist automotive services, not commonly found in South Africa.

Ace Customs is the banner company under which the group operates and is a full-service automotive and marine customisation company.

Ace Customs specialist services include:

  • Mobile audio-visual systems (including marine, motorcycle and ATV)
  • Custom van conversions
  • Interior customisation
  • Wood, fiberglass and plastic fabrication
  • Custom dashboards, centre consoles and door panels
  • Lighting
  • Upholstery
  • Electrical system upgrades
  • Gauge pods and mountings
  • Body kits and accessories (sourcing and fitment)
  • Wiring

Ace Customs Racing specialises in advanced mechanical, fabrication and motorsport related services, including:

  • From scratch race car design and manufacturing.
  • Complete race car builds (based on road car body \ chassis).
  • Race car preparation.
  • Race engine building.
  • Advanced metal fabrication (roll cages, suspension components etc.)

Ace Customs Auto is the group’s mechanical restoration, performance and maintenance division.

Services include:

  • Exotic, performance and custom vehicle maintenance and repairs
  • Mechanical restoration
  • Engine swaps
  • Performance modifications
  • Aftermarket parts sales (performance and specialised parts and spares)

Ace Customs Detailing is the group’s professional detailing and show preparation division.

Services include:

  • Paint corrective polishing
  • Ceramic coatings (including self-healing coatings)
  • Xpel Paint protection film (PPF)
  • Interior, chassis and engine bay cleaning and detailing

RBTS Racing is the group’s tuning and electronics division.

Services include:

  • Dyno tuning (all ECU’s)
  • Stand-alone ECU installation
  • ECU remapping
  • ECU diagnostics
  • Injector servicing

As a group, the combined service offering allows Ace Customs to build, customise, restore, restomod, modify or tune almost any vehicle.

Where did it
all start?

Exner was born into a car family and from the early days was involved in vintage and veteran cars with his father.

With over twenty vintage and classic cars in the Exner stable in the late 80’s, his father unfortunately passed away and it was at that moment that Exner decided he would need to follow in his father’s car collecting and restoring footsteps. His first car, the legendary Opel Superboss was soon joined by another Superboss, this time with a turbo charger and shortly after that another Opel and so his own collection started, with bikes soon joining the mix. Two of his first three cars are still owned today, one (the Superboss) is being restored, with the other Opel becoming a Time Attack race car.

Welgemoed’s passion for audio started at a young age, with him tinkering in his garage building his own car audio systems.

His first car, a beach buggy (with sound of course), was followed by a Jetta 2 with which he won 3rd place, 2nd place and then 1st place (in that order) in his first three sound competitions. By that time the bug had definitely bitten and car audio became a full-time hobby and was soon to become a full-time job. After climbing the ranks and eventually heading up the car audio division at a large retailer for several years, Welgemoed stumbled across an opportunity at one of South Africa’s best known tuning shops and was appointed as a sales rep. It was here that his fanaticism for the Rockford Fosgate brand began, completing a number of impressive installs based on the popular brand. From there he moved to a large car audio shop in Boksburg where he ran the workshop for a number of years, all the while building his knowledge, reputation as well as his own car’s audio system.

Van Schalkwyk started his racing career at 16, in 100cc karts and then moving on to 125cc.

He won numerous titles in both classes and then moved on to single seaters. In 1989 he won the Castrol 6 Hour Endurance race in Class D for Ford Motorsport. In 1990 he won the prestigious Autoquip ‘Driver of the Year’ Award as well as the Stannic ‘Most Improved Driver’. Between 1991 and 2001 and he won numerous titles (too many to list), in several different racing formats. In 2002 he set the South African land speed record at a startling 388.538km/h, a record which still stands today (for a non-jet powered car). From 2003 until 2007 he competed in the local Wesbank V8 series, winning another title in 2005. 2008 was van Schalkwyk’s last pro-racing year where he competed in six NASCAR ‘Late Model’ races. After retiring from racing, he managed the Nissan Dealer team (350z’s and a supercharged 370z) as well as the Williams Hunt team (Chevrolet Cruze). In 2013, van Schalkwyk retired from motorsport. Well… retired until Exner got him fired up about a new venture that is.

Bresler started at the tender age of 6 with quad bikes and soon progressed to dirt bikes and then street and track bikes.

By 13 he was already tinkering with cars and performance enhancements. By 16 he had built his first car, which he was known for tearing up the streets in. After high school, the car interest soon became a business when he started MAS (Masters at Speed) Import, importing high quality aftermarket performance parts. MAS import quickly became a successful little business but when the opportunity to work in New Zealand presented itself in 2015, off he went. During his 4-year stay “down under” he worked in fleet management and owned and modified several performance vehicles including a Polo GTI and a Mk4 R32 Golf. Upon his return to SA in 2019, he started a mobile mechanical service business, which in turn lead to him visiting Ace Customs. And the rest, as they say, is history.

McKay started out his career in the motor industry at BMW, where he spent several years and qualified as a tech.

He left to join a well-known race shop where he was involved with building both the race cars and engines. It was here that got his first taste of dyno tuning. From there McKay spent time at two well know performance shops as the tuner. In 2005 he decided it was time to go it alone and he started RBTS Racing (the name being based on his family members – Ross, Bernadette, Tyrone and Shelby). In 2017 with one of their first E30 builds (supercharged 318i cabrio), Exner needed someone to tune the car. Welgemoed knew of McKay and RBTS Racing so it was decided that the car would go to there for tuning and this is where the relationship started. Since then, McKay tunes all of Exner and Ace Customs’ cars. In 2021, Exner decided it was time to get McKay on board with the Ace Customs group. After some arm twisting and negotiating, a partnership was formed.

Du Toit, a game ranger at heart decided in 2014 it was time for a new challenge.

After taking up a position as a 4×4 driving instructor, he was, by sheer chance introduced to the then very new concept of “nano coatings”. He was, to say the least, intrigued by this new technology and started to do his own research. It was at this point that his journey into the world of automotive detailing started. By the end of 2014 he had already secured (SA) distribution rights for a then leading coating manufacturer.

The learning curve was steep, with Du Toit developing his own processes and even formulations in his quest for exceptional results. In 2019 his efforts were rewarded when he attained Feynlab Top Tier status. Mid way through 2022, Exner decided that Du Toit was the next piece in the Ace Customs puzzle.


Exner and Welgemoed met after Exner had spent many months trying to find the right shop to install an audio system into his daily driver, a modified Opel Kadett, his fanaticism for perfection dictating that not just any shop and any installer would do.

After visiting a well-known shop in Boksburg, where Welgemoed was working, Exner decided that Welgemoed was the man for the job. After that install, there was another and another, all into Exner and his wife’s growing car collection with Welgemoed being the only one entrusted with working on their pride and joy.

When Welgemoed announced, early in 2010 that he would be opening his own shop, Exner’s interest was immediately peaked with owning a custom shop being a long-time dream. But as Welgemoed already had a partner, Exner did not pursue the opportunity. The two did however stay in touch and after the initial partnership did not pan out, Welgemoed “went solo”. It was at this moment when Exner’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and the arm twisting began. After many months of discussing and much convincing, the then very sceptical Welgemoed finally conceded and Ace Customs was born!
In 2013, Exner was looking for someone to assist him with turning his Opel Kadett into a Time Attack car. After going through several suppliers, none of whom managed to get the car to where Exner wanted it, he was introduced to van Schalkwyk by a mutual friend in the motorsport industry. There was an instant synergy between the two of them with a master plan for the car being defined. The project was then unfortunately put on hold due to Exner having other (capital spend) commitments and the two of them lost touch for just more than a year. Then, when it was decided to reignite the Time Attack Project, Exner’s wife’s 350z track car as well as the long awaited (by van Schalkwyk) Ferrari 312PB replica, Ace Customs Racing was born!
In 2021, who knew that a knock on the shop door would result in a new Ace Customs division. Bresler, who was at that stage operating a mobile mechanical repair business had seen the Ace Customs Edenvale shop signage, stopped by to see if perhaps the business was in need of his services. As luck would have it, some mechanical jobs were awaiting completion and Welgemoed got him going sorting those out. Exner, who had for some time been looking to expand the Ace Customs mechanical capability immediately Bresler’s skill set and attention to detail. Exner could sense that Bresler was apprehensive when he first approached him about joining the Ace Customs team, but once he started to understand Exner’s passion and vision for the Ace Customs group he knew he would be joining a close-knit team dead set on building something special. He now heads up the Ace Customs Auto division.

2022 was a big year for Ace Customs, with Exner bringing to new subject matter experts onto his team of legends. First (Professor) Du Toit to head up the detailing division and then (The Boss) McKay who brings a wealth of tuning, electronics and engine building knowledge to the already epic team. McKay will head up the tuning division in the form of RBTS Racing. These two new divisions represent big steps towards Ace Customs being able to provide all the required services (for building custom cars and race cars) in-house.

Why the 'Ace'

in ace customs?

The Ace itself has many meanings, but the key ones relating to the decision to use ‘Ace’ were “referring to holding the trump card of all” and “not caring for anything lesser”. The Ace is also traditionally the highest and most valued card in the deck of playing cards and is most often associated with ‘high-quality and \ or excellence’.

The Team

Nothing would be possible without the team of legends that work behind the scenes building, restoring, fabricating and creating anything and everything required to make the builds that Exner, Welgemoed, Van Schalkwyk and Bresler come up with a reality!
The small team, big on skills and heart comprises of:

Eva Scooby Girl

Ace Customs fabricator, event coordinator and content creator.

Mike 2J Duke

Ace Customs mechanical tech, parts restorer and take things apart, fix them and reassemble them guy.

Quinton Bush Mechanic Badenhorst

Ace Customs fabricator, parts finder and general get stuff done guy and the shop joker.

Tremayne Mad Skills May

Ace Customs fabricator, apparel designer and all-round go to guy.

Nelis Mr. Bru Rossouw

Ace Customs Racing mechanical tech and bodywork guy.

Bernadette Behind-the-Scenes McKay

RBTS Racing back-office, make everything run smoothly lady.
NB: Don't mess with her!

The team works tirelessly, always giving 150% to ensure that every build is of the highest quality!

In addition, the “team” that does the heavy lifting, working day in and day out without so much as squeak or a creak, is comprised of:


All we can say is – watch this space, big(ger) things are coming. With a race shop (for parts sales) on the horizon and bodywork (metal) repairs planned as well, the group is growing quickly. This growth has resulted in the requirement for more space, so if everything goes to plan a 1000m2 plus facility incorporating the dyno, a spray booth, race shop and showroom will be the next BIG step.

For more information and to stay up to date with us, visit us on social media.