Episode Forty-One: Josh Mishler, Codename Chromefinger


We start the new year with a fresh season of the podcast, and our first guest of 2019 is a guy who was one of the first on Brian’s list, Josh Mishler.

Having started his career very young, writing for the Goodguys Gazette at seventeen years old, and moving up the ranks in the magazine world, Josh has a lot to offer by way of career advice. If you’re a young writer or photographer looking to break into the field, you can learn a lot from his story. It’s hard work, tenacity, a willingness to learn and networking.

Josh is a guy who defines “truly connected” in the industry, and is a testament to how being a considerate, hard-working member of the community can pave the way to a long and fulfilling career.

We get into tips and tricks to help make your custom plating experience a breeze, too. A value-packed episode indeed.


  • The big August fire at Advanced Plating
    – Resilience in the hot rod industry
    – Looking back on the flood of 2010
  • On starting out in the Hot Rod Industry
  • Climbing the ladder in automotive publications
    – The importance of thanking those who helped to get that first foothold
  • Writing for Goodguys Gazette at seventeen years old
  • Josh’s career path and a lot of great advice for anyone looking to make their break
    – On “knowing someone”
    – Shadowing the legendary Steve Anderson
    – The value of learning as you go
    – From Goodguys to Buckaroo
    –On looking up to Scott Killeen’s work and meeting him
    – Learning more over a weekend than at school
    – Freelancing while still in school
  • The whole midwest explosion
    – Location, location, location
  • First publication in The Rodder’s Journal
  • Differences in shooting in the studio to outdoors
  • Nightmares about lighting
  • Brian picks on Brad’s lighting set-up
  • Josh on school
    – A discussion of completing a degree
    – Josh and Brian on presenting nothing but automotive art through school
    – The value of a rounded education through formal lasses
    – The benefit of formal critiques strengthen and prepare you for having a sense of reality about your work
    – On being diverse in your skill set
  • On being elected to the SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance, and taking over the Education Days at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals
    – Josh’s focus on educating and promoting the industry to the youth
    – Granting knowledge from industry leaders for free to those willing to learn
    – Making knowledge accessible to all to help solve common issues


  • Josh and Brian reminisce about finishes on the Nailed Buick by Rad Rides
    – On pushing the envelope with finishes being used in unique ways
    – The hard work that goes into satin and brushed finishes
  • Tips for prepping parts for plating
    – Make a detailed packing list
    – Disassemble parts s far as you can
    – Don’t grind; electrostrip
    – Don’t grind your welds
    – On filling and the copper stage
    – It’s all about the prep work
  • Don’t say “dip it” to a chrome plater
  • “Show chrome” VS “Triple Plating”
    – Any bumper is going to have at least three passes though plating; “show” refers to the extra prep work
  • Hexavalent VS Trivalent chrome plating
    – How the nickel solution affects the finish
    – Chrome is a transparent deposit
  • Exploring chrome quality by application
  • How quality trumps factory-authentic flaws today in a restoration
  • “Aged chrome” meets Alex with “chrometina”
  • Plating parts for cars competing at the highest level
  • Tossing salads… around
  • Josh’s infatuation with Chrysler letter cars, and finally purchasing a ’57 300 convertible
    – Fearing the loss of the car in the big fire
    – Sacrificing a ’32 pickup and a ’57 Chrysler hardtop for the ragtop
    – Doing all of this while his wife was pregnant with their second child
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