It’s About the People: Brian Brennan and Naked Street Rodders


The Gearheads sit down and talk all things street and hot rodding with Brian Brennan. As the man with fifty years at the helm of some of the leading magazines in the industry, he has a few tales to tell. Suffice to say, this one is loaded with incredible stories. We go deep into his experiences with legends like Pete Chapouris, Little John Buttera and more, and even get into the life lessons of hot rodding.

Looking toward he future, we come to realize that the industry is doing just fine, and that the hobby is on the path it needs to be to keep kids involved… Even if they’re not into the same cars their parents may have been. Learning just what a positive and adaptable attitude Brian has, it’s easy to see why he has had such a successful career: His finger is squarely on the pulse.


  • The four steps of the magazine business
    – Inform
    – Educate
    – Participate
    – Report
  • We talk about podcasting and what it means to the hot rod industry
  • Brian Brennan launches his podcast “Barn Finds with Brian Brennan”
  • Tales of Little John on the tenth anniversary of his passing
    – Road trippin’ with Buttera
    – Sleep all day, drive all night
    – On being self-taught
    – Starting the billet movement
    – The on-again/off-again Boyd/Brizio relationships
    – On the whole thing being about the people, not the cars
  • The hot rod thing and mortality
    – Brian shares some very personal insight
  • Tales of the Colorado State Trooper
  • Thirteen treks across the county in a roadster
    – People just want to talk cars
  • Brought into the business by Tex Smith
  • Naked street rodders (and drive-by moonings!)
  • Current and coming trends
    – On the popularity of classic trucks
    – Squarebody Chevy trucks
    – The resurgence of the pre-’49 cars
  • On shooting features
    – How social media has altered things
    – On shooting a feature at a show vs on-site
  • Choosing a favorite event
  • The Triple Crown of Rodding
  • Judging for national awards
    – Building the judging team
    – Moving from traditional “show cars” to hot rods in AMBR
    – On the return of chrome brake rotors
  • Opening the model year cut-off in Street Rodder Magazine
  • On a 300+ page issue of Street Rodder
  • On what the new trends may be
  • Why Brian’s screwdrivers are dipped in rubber
  • On the importance of paying dues as a car guy prior to writing about cars
  • On starting out as a muscle car/drag racing guy
  • Fodder for stories
  • Hot Rods as life skills
    – The fine art of bartering
  • The $1/gallon orange paint
  • Return of the return of the junk yard trawl
  • On retaining/inspiring youth involvement in the hobby and industry
  • The pennies-on-the-dollar hot rod resale market and how it’s actually bolstering the hobby
  • Brad’s Semaphore skills



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Brian Stupski

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