Owen Lubenow’s work has been in a major motion picture and on national television, now his work could be on any vehicle in Jamestown.
Lubenow, assistant body shop manager at R.M. Stoudt, helped work on the three 1955 Ford F-100 pickups in the recent film "The Expendables." His work can be seen on the TLC show "Street Customs."
Lubenow was a student at WyoTech in Laramie, Wyo. He finished his classes in March 2009.
"I basically just worked really hard in school and they choose the top three in our class," he said.
The body shop tech in training said he had no idea that his hard work would pay off with a trip to California and appearance on national television.
“We were all excited for graduation then they made us take the finals early and leave,” Lubenow said.
He and fellow classmates Matt Myers from Bismarck and Rusty McClintock from Chicago were interns and assisted the West Coast Customs crew from the show.
The group worked nearly three weeks to transform three 50-plus-year-old trucks into sleek, silver screen machines. The whole time they had microphones on and were in front of cameras for TLC.
“We were always working on it … We’d stay late and come in early,” Lubenow said.
The work was for three trucks, the hero truck to be driven by Sly Stallone himself during the film, and the other two to be beaten up by stunt drivers in a chase scene for the movie.
He said he has yet to see “The Expendables” because of his work schedule, but that he will when he get’s the chance.
Work for the trucks included the floors, shaving custom parts to fit, building firewalls, chopping three inches off the roofs, building up the frames and adding new parts to the engines, Lubenow said.
The hardest part was probably dealing with all of the custom parts for the older vehicles, he said.
Lubenow described the three trucks as unusual, smooth, chopped, hot-rod trucks with custom parts and flat black paint jobs.
“The easiest thing about it probably would have been the work. We knew what we needed to do, we knew how to do it and we got it done,” Lubenow said.
Lubenow, a Casper, Wyo., native, spent the last 15 years in his life in Edgeley before he headed to WyoTech. He now lives in Jamestown after he started work at R.M. Stoudt last October.
Mitch Johnson, body shop manager at the dealership, said he thinks Lubenow will do well in Jamestown.
“It’s pretty cool. It gives the shop a good rapport,” Johnson said.