He collects sports cars and beer cans. He has a tequila shot saloon in his basement. Iron flames arch across his front door.
Despite the uber-manly facade projected by both the president of Three-C Body Shop Inc. and his 7,000-square-foot home, Bob Juniper says he’s actually a quiet guy who likes to keep to himself.
“I’m shy,” says the tattooed 55-year-old, who built his home on four acres inside a gated community in Blacklick.
Evidence of Juniper’s subdued, slightly softer side can be found outside and within his Southwest-inspired stucco home, which was custom designed and built by Brian Wiland & Associates.
“It has a more ‘out in the country’ feeling, which we like,” Juniper says, noting the solitude attracts a variety of wildlife—including coyote, deer and fox—to his spacious, wooded yard.
“Some of our favorite areas are outside spaces,” he adds. “We have a real nice terrace with a screened-in room. It has a table, and we eat there a lot in the summertime. Then we have the pool area and a pool house out back, a hot tub surrounded by rocks and a fire pit that we use. We spend a lot of time outdoors when it’s warm.”
Juniper’s favorite place to relax indoors is the reading room, tucked behind a double-sided fireplace near the home’s main entryway.
“I like to light a fire and sit there and read,” he says, adding Scientific American and Discover are his magazines of choice.
“I’m really into science,” he says. “I just took up reading the Bible recently, as well, because I never read it and really didn’t even understand much about it.”
Cooking with his wife, Mary, is another pastime Juniper enjoys.
“We’re so busy, we don’t get to do it as much as we’d like, but we like to hang out in the kitchen and cook together,” he says, noting elaborate salads and other healthy dishes are among their specialties.
And though he’s known for his edgy, tough-as-nails persona in radio spots, consider this: He enjoys a good chardonnay and keeps Superman action figures in his closet. He also owns two Pekingese dogs, Oreo and Spooky.
“My wife has always owned Peks,” he says. “So that’s her thing.”
Still, he doesn’t seem to mind the shaggy little pups trailing after him around the house.
“I’m really not much of an image person,” Juniper says. “I don’t really care what people think. I try to do what I’m interested in doing, whether it’s popular or not, or whether it’s liked, or understood, or not.”
Take his choice to build a Southwestern home in a Midwestern city: The idea surfaced, he says, during a trip to Arizona in the mid-1990s, several years before his daughter, Jade, was born.
“We really liked the architecture there, a lot,” he says. “So we sort of brought a part of that here until maybe we can go there and retire.”
One of the aspects that drew Juniper to the Southwestern style was the use of round architectural details, as opposed to square. His home reflects this, with several rounded corners and arched doorways, as well as an array of textured and faux-painted walls.
“I love nice materials,” he says. “I like stone and wood, so we have a lot of tile and wood floors.”
He also has plenty of authentic Southwest decor, including a decorative line of cowboy boots outside the basement bathroom, a large collection of woven rugs, various stoneware pots, painted gourds and a pair of rustic doors purchased in Santa Fe and inset into facing walls high above the foyer.
“When we were building, we were going to set it up so those could be opened and there’d be little balconies into Jade’s room and the mother-in-law suite,” he says. Unfortunately, structural issues prevented that idea from becoming reality, but the doors still lend a strong Southwestern flavor—and a bit of mystique.
Another clever decorating twist involves more than two dozen small ceramic tiles painted with colorful lizards, which are hidden throughout Juniper’s home. One is on the main staircase. Another is incorporated into a large tiled bench in the mudroom.
“They’re everywhere,” he says.
Also whimsical? A mural of a clothesline laden with traditional Southwestern garb playfully borders the laundry room walls.
One of Juniper’s favorite items carries a more serious backstory. It’s a large carving of the Virgin Mary holding a severely damaged baby Jesus.
“We think it might’ve been involved in one of the wars in Mexico because the head of the baby Jesus has been broken off,” he says. “It was common during wars for the military to go into churches and take the butt of the gun and damage the sculptures. So that’s one of my favorite pieces because of its history.”
It’s no surprise Juniper saves the best part of his tour for last.
“I’ve got a couple cool things in the garage,” he says with a smile.
The oldest car in his collection is as old as he is: a 1958 red and white Corvette convertible that was once owned by country singer George Strait. Although he doesn’t keep them all on site, Juniper also owns a 1972 mustard yellow MGB GT roadster, which he describes as “the type of car you would see James Bond driving back in the ’70s”; a 1987 blue Corvette convertible, which he bought new and now has just 29,000 miles on it; a 1993 pearl yellow Mitsubishi 3000; a black H1 Hummer with flames painted on the front end; a white H2 Hummer with the Three-C Web address in neon pink on the rear bumper; and a 1999 Harley-Davidson touring motorcycle.
Despite growing up in the car-repair business, Juniper says he no longer has time to tinker on cars at home.
“Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day,” he says. “Right now my focus is on running the business as efficiently as possible, because that’s important … and on my family.”
He certainly gets his automotive fill in at work.
“I always say it’s like getting to do my hobby 40 or 50 hours a week,” he says. “I wake up every morning excited to get in there. And I’ve been doing it 40 years. That is a gift to be able to love your work. I think it’s the key to success … loving what you do.”
But that’s not Juniper’s only hobby. He runs on a treadmill. He lifts weights. He skis. He enjoys traveling with his family when he can find the time. And there is one more thing.
“Somewhere deep down—or maybe not so deep down—I really like busting up the insurance companies,” he admits. “I like making them deliver on their end of the deal. I get a big kick out of that. So I guess that’s my hobby, too.”