LEFT: Chris Chudy started ELC Limo Design
to create unique, custom limo buses and also repair and refurbish other limo buses in his area.
RIGHT: An example of one of ELC Limo Design’s completed interiors. The lighting, trim and acrylic ceilings are all custom made based on client preference.
Chris Chudy founded ELC Limo Design last year with inspiration from his limo operation, Exquisite Limousine Chicago. He became frustrated with the cost and time it took to repair his party buses. This led him to hire an in-house mechanic, but soon he hired a full crew for custom interior party bus work. ELC Limo Design was born.
The company specializes in custom limo bus interiors and works closely with limo operators to meet their specifications. Most requests concern how many guests each interior can accommodate, but the company has carved out a niche with its flashy designs and unique entertainment systems. The completed results speak for themselves, Chudy says. “When I try to sell a bus, I say, ‘Step into this bus, and then step into a competitor bus and see the difference.’ There’s a definite wow factor with our vehicles.”
The party buses at ELC Limo are built on Glaval Bus chassis, and three options are available: the Freightliner, which holds 36 passengers; the F-550, which holds 26; and the E-440, which holds 16. Each vehicle interior is custom made to client specs. Chudy says such a flexible approach gives him an advantage over competitors. “Some party bus builders will only have a few options, whereas we will do everything custom.”
ELC Limo Design begins with wood frames and shapes them into unique angles that create a custom look and feel to each vehicle interior.
Repairs And Refurbishing
ELC Limo Design also has a full-fledged party bus mechanic shop in-house that regularly services broken down buses from other transportation companies. The headquarters and a 20,000-sq.-ft. facility in Elk Grove Village, Ill., near Chicago, employ 10 workers and produce two to three new custom party buses a month.
Chudy is capitalizing on the recent upswing in party bus business, which has been especially popular in Chicago. “The industry here in Chicago is going crazy with these party buses. There’s a lot of weddings and birthday parties that are opting for party buses instead of limos. It’s easier to stand and walk around in, and easier on the dresses for the weddings.”
One characteristic of ELC Limo Design interiors that sets it apart is a frequent clear partition in the cabin that shows off the various amplifiers and electronics that power the sounds, TVs and lights. “Most companies hide this type of equipment, but we try to show them off and make customers see it as part of the design,” Chudy says.
The crewmen in the manufacturing bay are experienced professionals, having worked on vans and shuttle vehicles for many years. They have become expert mechanics on party buses in the Chicago area. The crew can service up to eight vehicles at once, and maximize use of the facility to streamline workflow.
The most difficult part of converting buses is making the seats, Chudy says. “The seat deck is the hardest. We try to make the seats as perfect as possible.” ELC Limo does triple-stitch sewing on the upholstery that is hand made at the shop.
Chudy hopes to partner with other bus builders to do more custom interior work, and looks forward to putting more quality interiors into different bus shells.
ELC Limo Design
Location: Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Owner: Chris Chudy
Service: Custom party bus interiors, bus maintenance, and upfitting
Contact: (773) 877-3060