From Japan to Norway and throughout the United States, car enthusiasts the world over regularly seek stainless steel fuel tanks for their prized cars from El Paso-based Rick’s Tanks.
“We have customers from all walks of life,” says General Manager Rick Guerrero. “I’ve sold tanks to people in Mississippi who order it and they’ll make 12 payments over a year. And then we’ve got clients that are, you know, professionals, athletes, musicians.”
The company, in business since 1999, began as an automotive restoration business, where Guerrero refurbished old cars and worked on plenty of suspension updates.
In 2002, however, the company transitioned to a business that did national and international business manufacturing its stainless steel fuel tanks. “We started manufacturing gas tanks for the cars that we were working on. And one thing led to another, and we transitioned into slowly making gas tanks and shipping them out,” he says.
Guerrero, a Cathedral High School graduate, said he’s proud to be doing something he loves.
“I like building these tanks because it allows me to be a part of an industry that I’m very passionate about,” Guerrero says. “I’ve grown up in the automotive industry and been around it all my life. It allows me to provide products for customers that I’ve looked up to — legendary customers that I’ve looked up to for many years in my life.”
Rick’s Tanks makes just under 200 units each month (about 10 of those are for fellow El Pasoans); when they started, they were churning out about 15 to 20 units each month.
Guerrero found a niche doing something he’s passionate about, but it turns out, the only other company that was making stainless steel tanks of their own was facing a tremendous backlog in the early 2000s. The opportunity meant that there was room for Guerrero’s expertise and room for innovation.
“We saw a void, or a need to supply the market with more and also improve on what was currently being offered at the time,” says Guerrero. “And we’ve had several product revisions, as far as inside components, or components that are designed into our tanks over the years, but that got us to where we are now.”