Simple is Hard to Do: Steve Cook Creations


Steve Cook Creations has a reputation of building incredibly clean, detailed and subtle cars, and on episode thirty-eight, the Gearheads got a chance to sit down and talk with Steve, his son Mike, and Alan Childers. We dove deep into the design sense and philosophy of the build team. Steve lays out a lot of insight and perspective on cars as a passion, and the realities of building them as a career. Yep, realities. There’s a lot more dimension to putting together an award-winning vehicle, especially when it’s for repeat clients who are every bit as passionate about their cars.


  • Steve talks about the passion of building cars
  • The importance of focusing on quality in every aspect of a build
  • Early automotive influences
  • A great comparison of generations and the sources of their influences
  • Alan’s early inspiration via the magazine aisle at the supermarket
    – WyoTech and an art degree come together
  • Cars run deep in the Cook family
  • From motorcycle acing to Mom the Machinist
  • Struggling with being a workaholic
    – Trying to find a life-balance
  • Being “so quiet, it’s scary”
  • The life of an introverted car builder in a very social society
  • “Simple is hard to do”
    – Keeping things clean, neatly-packaged and subtle
  • When Dad doesn’t understand modern color choices
  • Building cars from memory
  • Make everything look like it belongs
  • Revisiting the theme of the car as a whole, from stance and overall look to the sound and more
  • “Smell the ozone coming off of that electric car!”
  • The fine art of patience on a build
    – Keeping things moving forward over a three to five year build
    – The evolution of a project over time
  • On building a car that turns out to be ahead of its time
    – Staying conscious of the car’s “right” timing
  • On the value of research and communication in the shop
  • Where inspiration lies and gets dug up from
  • How being old school lends a unique thumbprint to build style
  • The honor of being selected for a SEMA panel, and making the most of being the “odd man out” sometimes
  • Building what the client remembers the car being, even if it is miles apart in terms of fit, finish and performance
  • Hand-whittling a Duvall windshield by hand over in the corner
  • The “hot rod family”
  • Brian lays out the plan for the zero-gravity paint booth
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