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Chris Jacobs Round Six Podcast Intro

TV’s Chris Jacobs takes a few moments to give an honest intro to the Round Six Podcast. Half-baked ideas being bantied around by pseudo-intellectuals? We can do that.

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A podcast is a free downloadable audio show that enables you to listen, learn and be entertained while you’re on the go.  To subscribe to The Round Six Podcast for free, you’ll need an app to listen to the show from.

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For those who don’t have a mobile device – You can always listen to the show by clicking the audio file at the top of each episode page.

Fifty-Plus Episodes to Choose From

50 Episodes

Here’s a collage of Round Six’s first year! Hold on because it’s only going to get better… Music: That Fire Theme

…and be sure to check out all of the video episodes, too!
You can find those RIGHT HERE!

Episode 63: Joe Yezzi

“HE BOUGHT A LION.”

The Gearheads sat down with Joe Yezzi of Squarebody Syndicate to talk truck builds, lifestyle branding, making a huge splash at the 2018 SEMA Show and hot-lapping at Indy. If you’re into the squarebody GM truck scene, then you know the Squarebody Syndicate brand. What began as a hobby has turned into a serious player in the lifestyle brand scene, and is one of the most recognizable brands in the C-10 community. Joe and Rob Yezzi set the pace, building a killer truck a couple of years back (SS01) that debuted in the Royal Purple booth. This past year, they stepped-up their game and went over the top with their 1976 GMC Indy Tribute, SS02. episode 63 Joe Yezzi Round Six Podcast    

 

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Brian jumps right in like a teenager on Prom night
  • The 1976 Indy Tribute truck – A brief history of the build – The road to SEMA Show 2018
  • Building upon the success of Syndicate Series 01 from 2015
  • A chance meeting with Doug Boles – The SEMA Indy 500 promise
  • The Indy Truck reveal in the Royal Purple booth
  • The t-shirt model car box – The Round Six connection to Squarebody Syndicate – Logos, renderings and promotional materials – Brian’s squarebody therapy adventure
  • Defining “Yezzi Clean”
  • It all declines into a brief shmooze-fest
  • Fusing 1970’s hot rod influence with modern technology
  • “What if you hear a gasp when the cover comes off?”
  • Furthering the discussion of sidewall – Judicious use of the word “bulge” – The Gearheads nearly take the high road – It declines with a comparison of Scott Sullivan’s bulge
  • Experiments and gambles
  • Joe and Brian research and explore wheels
  • The “Keystone Klassic Convo-Pro” that may have been
  • Covering beautiful custom-milled wheels with wrinkle finish
  • The episode goes all Tarantino
  • The road to Indy – Thirty hours on the road with no plan
  • Hot laps at Indy
  • The Indianapolis 500 VIP experience
  • Genesis of the Squarebody Syndicate brand – Organically turning a hobby to a business – Brian crafts a logo or fifteen
  • From apparel to parts – Dakota Digital gauges – Squarebody Syndicate-branded AccuAir controllers – The Syndicate Series Roadster Shop chassis
  • What’s on the horizon – The M2 Machines Squarebody Syndicate lineup
  • – The creeper van – 4×4 market – The diesel market
  • On staying relevant – The people are the Syndicate – It’s not a club, it’s a lifestyle
  • Moving the brand into the future and the next generation
  • The importance of making the lifestyle a family experience

Episode 62: Ziggy Sadler with Carson Lev

“WE HAVE A VERY UNIQUE FLAVOR OF BUILDS.”

The Gearheads were honored to jump a half day into the future and visit with Ziggy Sadler of Ziggy’s Design Driven. Joined by guest host Carson Lev, the talk runs  from SEMA involvement on Australia to four-door hot rods and historical race cars. Ziggy Sadler is directly involved with SEMA’s push to help develop the Australian aftermarket, and we explore that in some detail. Talk naturally turns to Carson’s passion for the Jocko streamliner, and this kicks a number of fun doors open. The gang explores racing history, a number of delicately-interconnected events and people, and even hatches a plan to tour the car in America once again. From humble, early days of sneaking into car shows, Ziggy parlayed that love for cars into a career. Eventually traveling to America in the late-1980’s, his exposure to builders like Boyd Coddington and Troy Trepanier and Chip Foose, he set a benchmark for the work to come out of Ziggy’s Design Driven. Ziggy Sadler episode 62 Round Six Podcast

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The wonder of time travel
  • Australian passion for hot rodding
  • SEMA’s involvement with the Australian market
  • The deal with four-door vehicles
  • The Commodore market
  • Differences between Australian and American cars – Floor pan depth differences – Midsize track and wheelbase differences – Brian explores the exponential price differences in selling twice as many billet hinges and door handles – Trimming a four-door versus a coupe
  • Asbestos removal on imported project cars
  • Brian pitches The DelaHyundai, a pontoon-fendered Sonata swan song

SEMA AUSTRALIA, THE AFTERMARKET AND BEYOND

  • The shortages in the Australian aftermarket, personnel-wise
  • An exploration of import tariffs – The fifty-percent hike in price just in taxes
  • The high level of fabrication skill abroad
  • Working with what you have versus importing parts
  • The “imprinting” of vehicles leading to a resurgence in the restoration/rest-mod markets – Early Commodores with LS swaps – The popularity of this has lowered price points to make the process affordable
  • Regulations presently hindering the Australian aftermarket chassis market
  • The push to change regulations to allow for more aftermarket parts production
  • Challenges facing builders with regard to chassis swaps
  • A market primed for innovation

THE JOCKO CAR

  • Discovering a historic race car in a McDonald’s
  • The story of the Extremeliner
  • “The body flicks off out of the way, and the chassis finds it and lands on top of it.”
  • The gang devises a plan to get the Jocko car to Pebble Beach
  • The Don Garlits connection – Early aerodynamic explorations in drag racing – The blow-overs
  • The Chip Foose connection via his Dad Sam having worked on the car
  • The differences between a Top Fuel and Funny Car
  • A discussion of aerodynamics

ZIGGY’S CAREER AND THE FUTURE

  • Early influences
  • The Spellbound VW as seen in Hot Rod Show World
  • Ziggy Sadler tracks down twenty-two apprenticeships at school
  • Becoming a workaholic
  • Trade School
  • Working in restoration shops – Getting in trouble for over-restoring cars
  • “Reverse-engineering my knowledge”
  • First trip to America in 1988 – The Boyd connection
  • Ziggy’s Hot Rods becomes Design Driven
  • Use of 3D modeling and printing
  • Expansion into the parts manufacturing field

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Episode 61: Art Alvarez

“SQUEEZE THE TRIGGER AND PAINT COMES OUT…”

The Gearheads have some cool friends and colleagues, and all have some superhuman talent, making our relationships that much more incredible. Art Alvarez is one of those gifted people, and the gang finally found a few minutes where schedules aligned, and we get the full Art school treatment. One of the pioneers of the early-1980’s airbrush movement, Art Alvarez forged a path and a name for himself by pushing to learn the airbrush after seeing one in action at a car show. From there, it’s a legendary rise through the ranks, touring with Ed Roth. Where some may have been satisfied at that, Art continued, landing a gig at Disney, drawing custom big rigs, rendering amazing cars, illustrating children’s books and traveling the world as a Fine Artist. Oh, and that’s just a part of the story. Art Alvarez podcast Round Six

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • It all starts with a love for cars and drawing in class
  • Art’s brother’s ’55 Chevy Gasser
  • Managing a Foot Locker leads to a career with an airbrush
  • Growing up in San Ynez and Solvang
  • Learning the airbrush on his own
  • The venerable Paasche Model H
  • Earning a living with the aibrush – Moving back home – Making it big at the La Mirada Swap Meet
  • A chance meeting with Ed Roth – Touring with Ed
  • A portrait of Jackie Gleason opens the door to Disney – Working on backgrounds for Beauty and the Beast – Learning how to brush paint
  • Rehabbing rides like Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Using a dagger brush for all manners of line work
  • Building a portfolio between the Disneyland gig and working as Eddie Young’s apprentice
  • Getting a foot in the door by being driven
  • Making the shift to digital

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We are proud to have this episode brought to you by Trailer Tug. Please visit their website to learn more at TrailerTug.com

Episode 60: It's Booger Time with Jonathan Goolsby

THE JONATHAN GOOLSBY…”

Jonathan Goolsby of Goolsby Customs joins the Gearheads for a very interesting episode sixty! We celebrate with talk of Dusters, late-model racing, red boogers and the only aftermarket wheel you’d really like to hug. A Goodguys Trendsetter for good reason, Jonathan talks early influences, development of a build style, and the value of not pigeon-holing a shop. The guys get into a talk about nostalgia, flipping trends on their ear, and under-car neon lighting. If you thought that you were safe from ever hearing about the Aquarius wheel again, well, find your safe space… jonathan goolsby episode 60

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Episode SIXTY!
  • The Kasper Duster – The interesting history behind the car – Taking design risks – Stepping outside of the comfort zone by using factory stuff on a custom car – “Not the typical Pro-Touring Car”
  • Talk turns to the lack of an overwhelming new trend – Where things are going – The segmentation of trends – Subtlety and modernization are more popular – Drivability versus a show-stopper – Finding balance in the patina trend
  • A discussion on horsepower
  • Brian proposes the flipped trend: Fiero-bodied supercars – The Fiero 4M4, a mid-engine, crew cab concept is pitched
  • The Lightning Round!
  • Guiding a client on a project
  • The ever-growing prices of G-bodies and third-gen Camaros
  • Goolsby and the Funky Bunch
  • Sticker Wars!
  • SEMA Thrash talk – Scheduling, show floor visibility and passion collide with no time – The current “multi-car build for SEMA” trend – SEMA build horror stories – The multi-trailer standby backup plan – Brian pitches the “Build it on the Road TO SEMA” competition – Alex comes up with an interior so tasty you’d eat it
  • Shop management – Building and maintaining a team – Having a team of eleven versus a one-man shop – Planning for expansion – Working within a talent pool
  • Involvement with the Goodguys YoungGuys Competition – A discussion of the passion of the young guys – Young welders and amazing TIG welding
  • Composite materials – Where to go after Carbon Fiber – Spot putty as a trend and re-hydrating bondo dust – Brian pitches carbon fiber teeth for Hockey and Boxing
  • The rich racing history of Hueytown – “I enjoy it greatly”
  • Asphalt VS dirt racing
  • A line of Goolsby Customs parts? – “Your silence is very telling” – “Come cuddle my wheels”
  • The Cobra Kai-fan wheel
  • Glue huffing meets interviews gone awry
  • “Drawing cars and making stupid puns” – “The Weeping Willys”
  • A discussion on when we may see the first late-model Street Machine of the Year
  • Things get sexy

Episode 59: Bert Quimby is a Circus of Paint and Lettering

“THE STREETS WERE LINED WITH FUNNY CAR BODIES…”

Bert Quimby, the multi-talented, laid-back and very-hyphenated sign, lettering and graphics master from New Jersey joins the Gearheads here on episode fifty-nine! Bert was one of the guys putting down pigment on some of the most memorable funny cars of the golden era at Circus Paint, and has been a trendsetter ever since. The gang sits down and talks about the transition from paint to vinyl, and how to combine the two using modern techniques, as well as sharing insight on the technology and trends of the present day. Bert Quimby is one of the leading lettering, sign and graphics painters in the world, plying his craft in his shop, Bert Graphix in Riverdale, NJ. bert quimby episode fifty nine artwork

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Early inspirations
  • SignCraft Magazine
  • Social media and putting work out there – Global versus regional reach
  • The vinyl VS paint argument
  • The $19 Badger airbrush sparks a career
  • First steps in lettering race cars
  • A foot in the door at Mr. J’s
  • The days at Circus Paint
  • Painting Top Fuel dragsters for Joe Amato
  • The difference between East and West coast landscaping trucks
  • The power of improvisation on a tight deadline
  • The fickle nature of reactions to work on social media
  • Bringing back the classic 1990’s dry brush graphic – Brad’s acid-washed jeans – Brian ruins his Dad’s garage floor
  • Traditional lettering on a vinyl wrap
  • Opinions on striping a Corvette
  • “You can’t always tell what the public wants”
  • Taking on jobs just to keep the lights on
  • The unfair treatment of vinyl wrap installers
  • On making a vinyl job look like paint
  • Dennis Ricklefs
  • The tale of 3,800 Schwinn bikes
  • Lettering boats – Boat names better left unsaid – “I don’t want anyone’s Grandma mad at me”

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Episode 58: Shredded Belts and a Howling Rear End

“IT’S SO… FLAMMABLE.”

On episode fifty-eight, the Gearheads sit with Elana Scherr of Edmunds.com to talk careers in automotive journalism, daily driving a classic car in LA traffic, dogs, motorsports, engine swaps, and if you can believe it, more stuff as well. What does ninety-weight smell like when mixed with bananas? We ponder THAT, too. Barbara Walters has nothing on us. Elana Scherr from Edmunds joins the Gearheads for an evening of laid-back conversation. From first cars to new cars, phone connectivity to all wheel drive buggy design and all points in between, this one runs in all directions. If you were a reader of Hot Rod Magazine over the last eight or so years, you no doubt recognize the name Elana Scherr from her byline and her occasional tales of daily-driving a classic car in LA traffic. We discuss careers in journalism, dog ownership to breeding Lamborghins, we go places so that you don’t have to. That said, buckle in an enjoy the ride here on episode fifty-eight. episode 58 elana scherr

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Covering races in Baja – Riding chase though the desert
  • The gang pitches a new brand of motorsport – Elana goes full-size 1970’s car autocross with it – “Carts and Cones”
  • Elana’s career – Sculptor’s assistant to composite fabrication – Working in PR – Freelance writing to Hot Rod Magazine – Current gig with Edmunds
  • Elana’s humble hot rod beginnings – Didn’t learn to drive until twenty-one – The ’73 Duster that started it all with a starter
  • The first engine rebuild – Marrying your engine builder
  • The episode goes from Mexico to Canada, then to LeMans – Pantsless Germans and carnival rides, oh my – “What is the French word for Tilt-a-Whirl?”
  • Crafting a career in Public Relations
  • Networking and the .3-degrees of separation in the hot rod world
  • Alternative career choices
  • Brian pitches a passive-aggressive car magazine
  • Elana’s daily driver troubles – Shredded belts and a howling rear end
  • Alex suggests the banana peel fix for the rear diff noise – “Bananas and ninety-weight” – “Holistic hot rodding”
  • Looking back on vintage new car reviews
  • The “lens of modernity” with regard to old car reviews in the present day
  • A discussion of new car features
  • Talking new car impressions and opinion-changing test drives – Design and luxury versus cost – How cheaper cars “punish” the frugal
  • Vipers and male attraction
  • Working on the Prudhomme biography
  • Talking Lamborghini Muira design beauty

Episode 57: Del Uschenko

“I’M TRYING TO CHANGE THE WORLD WITH EVERY BUILD.”

Del Uschenko, better known in the C-10 and hot rod worlds as Delmo joins the Gearheads to talk trends, relocation and international art heists. Known world-wide as the man behind the “Delmo look,” conversation runs wild from the early days in Canada to what’s on the horizon. A lot to be learned and adopted to any small shop, whether just starting out, looking to re-brand or move… It’s all about recognizing value in relationships a partnering with good people. delmo

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The move to the mountains – Burbank to Prescott
  • Del’s Canadian roots
  • Shop decorating – The General Lee painting – International art heists – The stain on the wall
  • Starting trends – Adopting the brand that fans created from you work – Going at things backward
  • The Round Six connection to the Delmo brand
  • Hijacking your own brand
  • “Forums” and other antiquated methods of communicating in the car community back in the day
  • The AccuAir relationship and the value of partnering long-term
  • Delmo’s hot rod roots
  • The C-10 thing
  • Del’s inspiration – Cadzilla – The cars of Troy Trepanier – Foose‘s clean build style
  • The advantages of being in Burbank
  • Keeping things movie-themed, Brian goes Tarantino with the timeline
  • One-hundred percent organic, word-of-mouth growth
  • The Del S3 vintage-look LS engine
  • The infamous Y-block LS engine post
  • Brian proposes the “DELephant” late-model Hemi
  • Instant gratification on social media with regard to building a brand – Working at creating an audience
  • “Evil Del Wednesdays”
  • More great reality TV show pitches
  • Passion VS Effort
  • The value of deign and creativity when working with a budget
  • Re-purposing and bringing in unique items from all walks of life
  • The million-dollar build VS a restrained and intelligent build
  • The Philosophy and sheer terror of being turned loose, design-wise
  • Building a Street Freak – Brian becomes a lifestyle/style coach – Music selection – 8-tracks
  • The truck trend swinging in a new direction – The “too soon” move from Squarebody pickups to OBS
  • Trends, or the lack of any new ones
  • Tailoring your brand to a demographic and vice-versa

Episode 56: Jimmy Shine

“TWO STEPS FORWARD, NO STEPS BACK.”

Jimmy Falschlehner, better known as Jimmy Shine, the man behind Shine Speed Shop joins the Gearheads on a freewheeling episode loaded with road trip tales, hot rods, history and a re-imagining of where the brand as a whole is headed into the future. Oh, and an explosive Conan O’Brien set. There’s that, too. JIMMY SHINE EPISODE 56

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Talking projects in the shop
  • Jeff Allison concepts for shop projects
  • Early days and getting into the industry – The “Shine” nickname – “Flesh Hammer” – The first car, nearly thirty-four years to the day
  • Exercising restraint on a build
  • Billy Gibbons’ Whiskey Runner – The 24V landing light – The SEMA Ignited traffic story – The Conan O’Brien explosion
  • The ’56 Monterey New Orleans road trip
  • The new shop
  • Future projects in the wings – A lakester
  • The red hat at Bonneville with Tony Thacker
  • Surfing and hot rods
  • On taking the hot rod thing seriously
  • The TV years
  • Getting a foot in the door at So-Cal Speed Shop – The interview with Pete Chapouris – A tattoo bond – A veritable who’s who of hot rodding at So-Cal in the 1990’s – Bunking with
  • Taking a bigger hand in the business side of things
  • “Losing him is like gaining two good people”
 

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Episode 55: Doug Jerger and Tim Benedict

“WE’RE JUST GOING TO SHOW THE CAR AND DRINK BEER.”

Doug Jerger of Squeeg’s Kustoms joined the Gearheads live in The Round Six Experience at the Grand National Roadster Show. He brought along good friend Tim Benedict, who shared some great stories from the old days of hot rodding. The gang had a great Sunday afternoon talking hot rods, history, and the incredible story of the accidental AMBR. If you don’t know it, you’re going to love it. doug jerger episode 55

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The ride to Pomona from Phoenix’s East Valley
  • Tim’s 331 Hemi swap story from the 1960’s
  • The days when even junkyards didn’t want Flathead engines
  • From Ohio to Arizona
  • The Engle Brothers manage yet another cameo appearance
  • Kenny Gartman’s contribution to greatness
  • The 1934 AMBR winner – The incredible history – First go-round – Selling the car in Florida – Tracking the car down in Texas – Rebuilding Dad’s creation – The even more incredible AMBR win – “Somebody in their mother’s basement didn’t like it”
  • The Lithuanian hot rod show scene
  • Almost owning the Jim Ewing coupe (yes, the Super Bell Coupe)
  • The Doane Spencer roadster
  • The Nash Bridges ‘Cuda – The Ray Barton Hemi
  • Comparing the eras of AMBR contenders
  • The value of building a team you can count on
  • Making a living VS making a killing
  • The Round Six $600 Lacquer special
  • Thirty-three years as an employee of Squeeg’s, and running the show since 2004
  • On never giving up or giving in, and appreciating what you do every day
  • A lively discussion on bringing color back
 

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We are proud to have this episode brought to you by Trailer Tug. Please visit their website to learn more at TrailerTug.com

Episode 54: Matt Hay, Pro-Street's Backstreet Boy

“I’VE GOT MY KARAOKE SHOES ON.”

Matt Hay, Pro-Street legend, Indy car parts mogul, Doritos Super Bowl commercial precision driver and all-around nice guy stopped by the Problem Child Kustoms/Round Six Podcast Studio. We had a fun night of laughs, a cruise or two up and down memory lane, and set up a sequel so well that even Peter Jackson would take notice. As conversation moves from the early Street Freak days to the early Pro-Street movement, the gang latches onto what will become a running joke throughout the episode, and the reality of garage-built trendsetting cars get some well-deserved attention. If you missed out on the first wave of Pro-Street, this is the next best thing to having been in the thick tire smoke of it. And if you’re just discovering what was arguably one of, if not the most fun and dynamic eras of hot rodding, well, strap in and hold on, because we’re going for a ride. matt hay pro-street episode 54

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The gang goes off of the rails with reckless abandon
  • The Doritos commercial – The Gary Coleman costume – Learning the ways of production – The on-set experience
  • The brightest of whites
  • The episode goes decidedly Tarantino-esque
  • “The Relics of Pro-Street”
  • The return of the ‘Bird – The fortuitous timing of the Revell re-release of the model kit
  • Taking the gamble on reliving the old days – A second generation appreciation for the car – When a thirty year old build wins “Best Engineered”
  • The overhead garage door as metal bending tool – “Flapjack fingers” – “Identify as an amphibious American”
  • Definitive proof that the show isn’t scripted
  • Why Matt headed toward street machines versus street rods – “What’s up with the zeros?!”
  • The first car, a ’69 Mustang – Matt’s first engine swap – The great driveshaft hang-up
  • The ’66 Mustang – About those gold Centerlines… – A Chevy-powered street freak – The ’78 Street Machine Nationals
  • The loan that secured a narrowed rear end – Debbie becomes the prime mover behind the Pro-Street Hay-days
  • The coining of the term “Pro-Street”
  • The Competition Engineering “rules” – When first through third place were separated by one point
  • Competing against Scott Sullivan, Rick Dobberton, Mark Grimes, Rod Saboury and Rocky Robertson
  • The whole “Dare to be Different” thing
  • The ’79 Mustang – Budget building
  • The Olds – Building a world-famous ride in a rental house – Alcohol and Thrush mufflers – “…but you were buying every round!”
  • The golden age of sponsorships and co-marketing – A fantastic primer on the realities of starting out, building a name and then seeking support – The power of networking – The corporate mentality of trading ad space for feature car coverage
  • The Indy car parts business – The buy-in from Reynard – The power of networking and being timely
  • NCIS leads to a traffic stop
  • Doing some good and giving back with old parts

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Episode 53: Mike Jones, Exile Fabrications

“WHAT IS THIS RUBBER SACK?”

Mike Jones of Exile Fabrications in Apple Valley, California joined the Gearheads in The Round Six Experience at the 70th Grand National Roadster Show. Mike played a BIG part in making the show display what it was by fabricating the e-newsletter sign-up kiosk stands. And when he’s not over-delivering on incredible favors, he’s creating some of the coolest stuff for everything from rock crawlers to custom cars. Mike talks about his focus on off-road or the past few years, and the transition this coming year to fully-finished hot rods. mike jones episode 53 round six podcast

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The gang thanks Mike for his hard work and help with the Round Six Podcast show display
  • Take a kid to a car show
  • Brian makes a very awkward segue – And then doubles-down with an even creepier transition
  • Mike’s background and history with hot rods
  • Mini trucks once again prove to be the gateway
  • Making the transition from off-road to street cars
  • The gang goes flat-billing
  • Current projects in the shop – The twin turbo Lincoln
  • Mike’s 1965 C-10 project – A test bed for new products from Exile Fabrications
  • It all started with a Bug – Mike’s first VW – Learning about air bags on the fly – Fist outing with the bug led to a first place at Severed Ties
  • The Tacoma – From lowering to butchered first mini
  • Learning to MIG weld and TIG weld
  • Entry to the professional side at Daytec welding cycle frames – Crash of the motorcycle industry
  • The move to building drag cars
  • A jump to Trophy trucks
  • Mike’s King of the Hammers ride
  • Billable kilowatt hours
  • Differences between building for off-road versus street cars
 

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BONUS EPISODE: Custom with a K

“YOU’RE LIKE THE JOHNNY APPLESEED OF KUSTOM CARS”

Recorded in The Round Six Experience at the 70th Grand National Roadster Show, the Gearheads spent a few minutes catching up with John D’Agostino. In this special Patreon Supporter-only episode sample, the Gearheads talk about John’s 50th year at GNRS, special awards and traveling the world to spread the hobby of kustom cars. If you’ve ever wanted to ride shotgun all over the world with the Johnny Appleseed of the custom car hobby, here it is. Huge thanks to John for his time, and look or a full-on episode soon, where we’ll catch up on the world tour. john dagostino bonus episode

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Fifty years of attending the Oakland Roadster Grand National Roadster Show
  • John’s involvement with the hobby of kustom cars
  • The Crystal Award
  • Looking back on the “tent year” of GNRS in 1997 – Barely getting into the show prior to cut-off – John invents “traditional racing kustoms”
  • Rainy show weekends and leaky roofs – Brian suggests an interactive salt rock display
  • Kustoms (and the women) of Budapest
  • Car shows in Istanbul
  • Richard Zocchi as ambassador to John D’Agostino – John’s first ride in the ’62 Grand Prix – The Marcos Garcia/Art Himsl connection – Procuring the Pontiac
  • The secret to John’s display set-up
  • On popping a car VS opening all doors – The difference between a first place or a special award
  • The patronage aspect – Elevating the hobby by commissioning builds
  • “When he slams his finger in the door, it’s always an even quarter-inch”

Episode 52: Being Tony Thunder

“YOU WROTE ABOUT WHATEVER YOU WANTED TO WRITE ABOUT”

Tony Thacker joins the Gearheads, and the talk runs all over the place, as can be expected. From early days in England to a career in magazines, and eventually becoming a United States citizen. Let’s just say that Tony embodies the can-do, life redefining spirit of coming to America. In an age when so many take what is on offer here for granted, he spells out just what opportunity and freedom mean, even well beyond our hot rodding hobby. tony thacker episode 52 round six podcast

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Retired life
  • Goodwood Festival of Speed – The never-ending fireworks display – Billy Gibbons and flamethrower guitars
  • Bringing American race cars to England
  • Discovering hot rods in England as a paperboy in the early 1960’s – Seeing the Mooneyes dragster VS Mickey Thompson
  • A career as an Electronics Engineer spurs a change
  • A chance letter to a magazine nets a job – Good fortune in finding a story
  •  The importance of enthusiasm and passion – On not being a good writer or photographer, but still carving out a fifty year career
  • Annie Leibovitz’s leg
  • Brian discovers his new favorite magazine
  • The Sun and page three
  • The drunken Dunlop tire test – Run flats and apple brandy
  • The crazy days of long-term car testing for magazines
  • The nude Camaro burnout shoot in England
  • “We kept the prizes”
  • Mangling a DeLorean
  • Enzo Ferarri’s secretary – Trading cookies for tours back when the plant was off-limits
  • On traditional hot rods nearing the end of their cycle – The aging-out of a segment of the hobby – The future of the industry
  • Rod Millen’s Leadfoot Festival
  • The GM/SoCal Bonneville cars
  • On knowing when to say “yes”
  • An appreciation for the American can-do spirit
  • “The English version of Smokey and the Bandit sounds slightly less exciting”
  • Six years as the Director of the NHRA Motorsports Museum
  • The amazing car collections of Portland – A warehouse full of Ferraris
  • The future of car meets

Episode 51: Creative Management and Marketing

“THE COMPANIES THAT ARE WINNING ARE CREATIVE”

Part two of the Eric Tscherne interview, guest-hosted by his former mentor at Mattel/Hot Wheels, Carson Lev. In this episode, the Gearheads look long and hard at the importance of management fostering creativity. The discussion works toward the successes in having management with a design background, and leading a creative team. This episode builds upon the last, and contains a wealth of information on navigating the landscape of design in a collaborative environment. Learn how a great design manager or management team can lead and clear a path for, rather than fight or derail a designer. We are beyond thankful to our two friends for joining us and presenting this for your benefit. We hope that you’ll adopt many of the ideas discussed. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, that you’ll share them in the comments below. And if you’d like us to bring you more episodes, guests and topics like this, please let us know! Thanks for listening. creative management episode 51 round six

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Birth of the “Audi-Body Experience” off-road ute project
  • Brian pitches “New Crystal Kambucha”
  • A serious discussion on why and how creative companies are winning in the new market
  • The importance of having creative-minded (an skilled) management leading creative staff
  • How “meaning” has changed in today’s market
  • Design beats marketing any day
  • Product development is purely creative – How creative design tells a story, which is what consumers want
  • Fostering creativity by management – The absolute failure of a company that fails to foster creativity
  • The change in retail shopping from big stores to direct and internet sales – Good design can lead the charge versus an entrenched, old-school brand – Designers and management must be linked to be successful
  • Image projection is the most important deciding factor in a purchase, and that is based upon design – Most new cars are sold on phone connectivity and image projection over the model or trim – If you are in management and do not respect your designer, you are dooming your business to fail – Management that won’t take risks never reap rewards – The golden rule of Design Management: Remove the obstacle that prevent your designer from doing their job
  • How instant gratification has altered he design/creative goals of companies

DESIGN AS THE CORE OF THE BUSINESS, NOT JUST PRODUCT

  • Design is the most intellectual process in any company – The Design Department as the central hub of any successful, modern company
  • When design is thought of as a utility, and not a commodity
  • A look at the many facets of design – The discipline of Industrial Design and its many values – “Putting gingerbread on” versus guiding a project from theme to completion – Poor design cannot be saved in the eleventh hour – No part of design is based on “like”
  • “You can hire me at the beginning for this much, or three times that at the end to fix it” – Hiring on skill versus price point
  • The recent trend of “designers” who cannot draw and what this means moving forward – Sketching/illustration ability speeds and enhances the process and improves communication – All sketches are important in formulating/communicating an idea
  • Turnover packages and control drawings being created by the designer – The “control” is in ensuring a cohesive final product/visual identity
  • Anything that you do not understand in the design process will be used against you – Where design fails via ignorance or lack of skill, for instance – The importance of spending the time in learning the manufacturing process of what you are designing
  • Design is not an adversarial process; stop treating it as an “us versus them” thing – Make great friends with the Engineers and even the Marketing people – “Show me what’s wrong,” OR: “Handle the issue in design to prevent seeing the design theme lost”

ON DEVELOPING A SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE TEAM

  • Nobody goes to a movie because they have to; design is about creating that want
  • On building collaborative environments
  • A good designer inspires the other team members to want to bring the idea to life
  • A high tolerance for innovation, but a very small one for failure
  • The snow skiing analogy and acceptance of failure
  • Driving beyond the edge; “success courts failure”
  • On learning where the line is as you cross it
  • How to ace a design team interview
  • Differentiating between passion and subjectivity

Episode 50: Directing a Design Career Arc

“I’M SEEING KIDS COMING IN THAT PLAYED WITH TOYS THAT I DESIGNED!”

Eric Tscherne, the VP of Design at Wicked Cool Toys joins the Gearheads on the fiftieth episode! You may know Eric as a legendary Hot Wheels Designer, having created some of the most memorable models in the modern era, but he’s more than the sum of those die cast wonders. We discuss the early days as an intern at Mattel, to being a part of some very successful lines like PAW Patrol (yep, the Nickelodeon show) working as Design Director at Spin Master and Upper Deck, and working with licensed toy lines like Monsters University and more.

This may be the first time that a podcast has gone masterclass on crafting a Design career arc. And doubles-down by hosting not only a seasoned pro, but his mentor as well. A lot to learn on this one.

We’ll be having Eric back, as his career and accomplishments warrant a much deeper conversation. In this episode, we’re concentrating on the beginnings of a successful Design career arc, and the manner in which an aspiring student or Designer can follow their passion. The timeline here is centered between 1996 and 2005, and gets into the value of having Design-minded management, a passion-centric company culture, and what it takes to follow a dream. A lot to be learned and inspired by. HUGE thanks to both Eric and Carson for taking the time to sit and discuss these often overlooked topics and aspects, and we hope that they help you in your career planning. Please feel free to hit us up in the comments with any questions, and we’ll work to get them into future installments of this series.

ERIC TSCHERNE EPISODE 50

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Our fiftieth episode celebrates a twenty-year friendship between Eric and Carson
  • Eric’s design sensibilities are noted as early as first grade
  • A life-long fascination with cartoons and toys
  • “Toy cars” and tuners/mini-trucks versus the typical hot rod stuff
  • Alex and Brian’s Catholic school days come back to haunt once again
  • Finding early guidance at the Cleveland Institute of Art
    – Life Drawing classes
    – Animating on an Amiga
    – Discovering Automotive Design in a basement
  • “You’ll never amount to anything if you draw pictures all day.”
    – The hopes that a former teacher is buying Paw Patrol toys for her grandkids
  • The hurdles involved with following a dream or passion
    – Relocation
    – Investment of time and energy
  • On interning at Hot Wheels/Mattel
    – Working alongside legends like Larry Wood
    – The first Carson Lev/Eric Tscherne project with Wings West
    – Having a mentor who appreciates and recognizes talent… and utilizes it
  • Getting to imagine future cars without restraint
  • Matchbox VS Hot Wheels
  • The mad rush begins for the lost Hot Wheels Probe (and not just the funny car versions)
  • Walking through the door at Mattel/Hot Wheels for the first time
  • Building and utilizing the morgue file
  • The gas station conference room
  • Having art on possibly one billion pieces of packaging (drink that in for a moment)

DESIGN TALK

  • “Muscle Tone” and the GM Hi-Tech Performance Magazine fifth-gen Camaro article
  • When toy design influences real-world automotive design
    – Uncorking the design crew to inspire fresh thinking
    – Creating a brand that reflected the consumer’s personality
    – Was “Pony Up” an influence on the new Mustang
  • On having wanted to be a car designer to being able to via die-cast car design
    – “Do t! But make it red.”
  • The ’64 Riviera story
    – The Jesse James/Chip Foose connection
    – “I’m also certain that yours doesn’t have purple windows”
    – The Monster Garage “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Scions” episode
  • The importance of being able to translate ideas/thoughts into a sketch
    – Sketching in the moment is the universal design language
    – Bridging language gaps and transcending barriers with visual design
  • The right brain shift/artist’s trance
  • A typical day in the life of a Hot Wheels Designer

INSPIRING CREATIVITY VIA DESIGN-MINDED MANAGEMENT

  • When management inspires and fosters creativity in their staff
    – Working under the legendary John Handy
    – Problem-solving
    – Working with the “next big thing” and brainstorming
    – Brian suffers a Scorchers flashback
    – The 100,000 square-foot Design Center… on steroids
    – Moving from concept to prototype in a week and under one roof
    – “You were never starving for inspiration”
    – Supportive, design-minded upper management and its importance in success
    – How this relates to having an idea or concept fairly evaluated
    – “Cool hunting” and “trend-finding” missions alongside structure and compliance
  • How the Toy industry relates to betting
    – The importance of trying fresh ideas and not fearing failure
  • The genesis of PAW Patrol
    – Allowing creatives to just “go at it” versus a committee mindset
  • On communication between teams and how to navigate the terrain
  • Turning stress to inspiration
  • The reality of Industrial Designer as problem solver

Episode 49: Grille-ing Dan Baker

“YOU DON’T WANT A GRILLE THAT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE KICKED IT IN WITH THEIR FOOT”

Dan Baker of Alumicraft Street Rod Grilles jumps from the road home to the Round Six Podcast and talks all manners of turning aluminum chunks into chips. More than that, we talk starting a small business, career transition, life lessons, and bartering work for a Pines Winterfront grille. Heck, we even touch on the demise of some Schwinn Stingray bikes. It’s got drama, heartbreak and Maytag repair. You aren’t going to find that kind of range at twice the price anywhere else. dan baker episode 49

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Brian apologizes for the great GNRS scheduling snafu
  • Dan’s involvement in a couple of 2019 Ridler Great-8 cars
  • The history of Alumicraft Street Rod Grilles
  • Attending the 1971 Street Rod Nationals
  • Growing up in the industry
  • Starting small in the back room of Dad’s house
  • Using a bandsaw and table saw to craft a grille insert
  • From Maytag repairman to building custom grille inserts
  • The ugly 1937 Dodge sedan that started it all Road trip tales of Dan’s first car
  • Scavenging parts from a “buck-a-whack” car
  • The sad demise of that first car (and some Schwinn Stingrays, too)
  • Life lessons and getting priorities in order
  • Building everything to order
  • Watching the most popular grille go from 1936 Chevy to 1937 Chevy car grilles
  • Having your product ripped-off by one of your dealers
  • The multitude of grilles for fiberglass-bodied cars
  • Making sure that a grille fits when it gets to the other side of the world
  • The Pines Winterfront barter story
  • When to call in a pro
  • Keeping up with trends – When discretionary income dictates a trend
  • Working with a designer versus recreating a factory piece
  • The importance of setting up at shows
  • Go-karting
  • The WD-40 connection
  • Window-licking and wearing a helmet; Brad takes a shot at Brian
  • Dan butters us up
  • Brian sees his shadow and decrees the start of show season
  • Alex explores early-Springtime fashion on the left coast

Episode 48: Banging Metal with Luc De Lay

“AFTER ABOUT FIFTEEN YEARS, I’M LIKE ‘MAYBE I COULD BUILD A CAR!'”

Luc De Lay sat down with the Gearheads in The Round Six Experience at the 70th Grand National Roadster Show. The son of famed metalsmith Marcel De Lay of Marcel’s Custom Metal Shaping (Corona, CA) fame, he has been actively forming custom steel for some of the world’s finest hot rods, custom cars and high-end restorations for over thirty-five years. luc de lay episode 48

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Noting Luc’s involvement in nine of the cars across the aisle from our booth
  • Humble beginnings
  • Getting work with builders like chip Foose, Roy Brizio, Rick Dore, Boyd and more
  • A thirty-year family affair in the shop – Working with his Dad and brother
  • First projects on his own – Having Dad drop in – Marcel finds his way back into the shop after retirement – On keeping up with eighty-six year old Dad – The unfortunate passing of Marcel at eighty-nine
  • The trials of working alone
  • “You don’t see a lot of morbidly obese metal shapers”
  • “Dad’s fingers are smoking…”
  • The story of Marcel narrowly avoiding bombs during the war
  • Learning because you have to
  • Luc discusses his dream car
  • The attempt to round up a tribute retrospective of cars that the DeLays have worked on – A roughly ninety-car list
  • On having shaped eleven Ridler and AMBR cars
  • Brian proposes the “De Lay Memorial Metal Shaping Award” – The gang proposes making the actual award from fiberglass – “Planishing fists”
  • Moving from classics like Duesenbergs and Delahayes to hot rods
  • The Boydster
  • Boyd’s ’36 Roadstar – A discussion on a car being ahead of its time – The Sportstar
  • A discussion of “relatable” cars and design
  • The best bang for your “buck” (…is this thing on?)
  • Always building for a builder – The difference between building for an individual versus a shop
  • On knowing when to stop – Fabrication shop hours VS paint shop hours
  • “How big is your scrap pile?”
  • Riding dirt bikes
  • Having the help of his wife in the shop

Episode 47: Larry Erickson, Cadzilla and Other Things

LARRY ERICKSON GOES FREEWHEELING WITH THE GEARHEADS

The Gearheads had the good fortune to sit down for a while with legendary Automotive Designer Larry Erickson in The Round Six Experience at the 70th Grand National Roadster Show. In keeping with the original vision of the podcast, it’s a free-form conversation with a master… No outline, no agenda, just a group of friends talking cars, and we’re stoked to be able to bring you along. If you’ve ever wondered what influences an influential designer, this one has your answer. We dig deep into the process of deign, the organic nature, and the progression of the skill, and dive into the build history of one of the most significant custom cars of all time, Cadzilla. Talk gets uncensored and real, and you’ll be amazed at just how delicately interconnected so much of hot rodding’s history is. larry erickson episode 47

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The shift in hot rod culture in the early-1960’s
  • The industry-insider’s
  • Larry digs into the genesis of the podcast – That moment when your hero is interested in what you do – Karaoke night leads to a podcast – The other side of the podcast, Stories n’ Steel – Creating something that no one else has
  • Larry on the importance of documenting industry heroes and their stories – Having to add asterisks every year to the Hall of Fame members list – Learning from heroes, and preserving that knowledge
  • On rounding up the cars for a special exhibition – The power of networking
  • Brad and Brian trade jabs
  • The ever-changing aesthetic of AMBR contending cars – Traditional meets Indy car-themed meets early speed product look –Reflection of the time in a car
  • What influences Larry

CADZILLA

  • The Cadzilla project process – Pre-internet collaborative design challenges – The importance of having a team of actively-involved car people – The cost of a marquee build – Billy Gibbons goes down the rabbit hole
  • The evolution of Cadzilla – The Jack Chisenhall/Billy Gibbons connection – The Eliminator Coupe finds its way onto yet another conversation – Getting microscopic on details – On selecting the right car for the project, the Sedanette – Selling the project on one sketch – Staying the course – “Why the Moon tank?” gets answered • “Like Robert DeNiro without the mole” – Another Harry Hibler connection – Air-freighting a 500ci Caddy motor – Art Chrisman’s take on the “junk” motor – Trivia: The 500-inch Cadillac engine was the mule motor for the Presidential Limousine – When things get “too cute” – Driving Cadzilla “You can’t see the road for 1/4 mile ahead of you, but you feel cool“) • Cadzilla in the Detroit snow – The Round Six connection to the Cadzilla tour motorcycles (Brad takes a gamble) – The Mick Jenkins connection

TALKING PERSONAL PROJECTS AND MORE

  • On car ownership, and what happens to a car after it’s built
  • Larry’s 1932 Chevy Roadster – “It’s a six figure car, and I’m a five-figure guy”
  • The cost of detailing
  • A veritable who’s who of hot rodding
  • “Work with what you have”
  • Back to the bikes – The Bob Bauder and Jesse James connections
  • Redefining Cadillac design in the 1990’s
  • Even more macrame’
  • Larry heaps praise on some of our friends, like Dave Lane

Episode 46: James Owens, Car Noir and Residuals

“IN A WORLD…”

James Owens drops into The Round Six Experience at the 70th Grand National Roadster Show, and talks art, acting, cars and the mysteries of the mighty (and oft-misunderstood) Gaffer. In what quickly became our most quotable episode ever,  things immediately slide waaaayyy off of the rails, and from there is an on-the-rails/off-the-rails adventure. From early days in art school and school plays to working with A-list studios, James has had a diverse and creatively-fueled career that beautifully paved a path to his present. Follow along, and get an uncensored look at forging a career path in both Hollywood and automotive art. james owens artist episode 46

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The mysterious career activities of the Gaffer
  • Jim’s hat
  • Alternate-dimension Chip Foose biopic
  • Things go all Maury Povich
  • “We’re definitely using some of that”
  • “Feign happiness”
  • Lay pigment and get paid
  • Founding of the Brush Bastards
  • The thunder of Doc Marten boots, the pitter-patter of Vans and the squeak of Converse All-Stars
  • Stomp’s less-intelligent cousin, Mosey
  • James Owens: the Switzerland of the podcast
  • Painting or acting
  • Jim on the move to Eastern Tennessee
  • From advertising to acting – Making an agent money prior to ever meeting them
  • From the Dad in a Dollywood commercial to the Sultan of Sable – Brian proposes a disastrous ten-year commercial cast reunion project
  • Navigating the LA/So-Cal acting and automotive art worlds – Where the real money is in acting
  • How you can help a fellow artist
  • James’ first commission, Speed Demon
  • “Name that car”
  • Center for Creative Studies
  • “I spent my twenties marker high” – Honing art skills with markers
  • A flood of puns and double-entendres
  • A sexually-induced stupor
  • The genesis of Car NoirTelling a story in the art
  • Avoiding predictability
  • Knowing when to pull the plug on a piece
  • Brian proposes “Frankencanvas,” the ultimate cast-off art show
  • The magic of Fordite – Mechanical dentures meet Fine Art
  • The creative process
  • “Let’s see you act your way out of this, Funny Man”
  • Jim’s Hudson Pacemaker
  • ATM mogul
  • “Neckwear Bouillabaisse”
  • Things get… “furry”

Episode 45: Chip Foose, Carson Lev... and a Skidmark

“WHO LEFT THE SKID MARK IN THE BATHROOM?”

The Round Six Experience at the 70th Grand National Roadster Show was a hotbed of activity, and played host to a number of great guests! Here on Episode forty-five, we’re joined by pat guests (“repeat offenders”) Chip Foose and Carson Lev. It’s a two-fer of the highest order, and these guys were a blast. Chip was being honored as “Builder of the Decade,” and had an impressive display of a dozen cars, right across the aisle from the Gearheads, and talk turned quickly to judging and building cars to compete for the title of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster… As well as macrame, bad puns and poop jokes, naturally. Better than just a social visit, this one goes deep into lessons on licensing, indemnity and marketing, not to mention some great connections with Disney, CarsLand and Round Six. Heck, we’ll even throw in some behind-the-scenes history on a few iconic builds. All of that and some Hot Rod Elvis approval on marketing gone weird with our stickers. Enjoy. episode 45 chip foose carson lev

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Skid marks and giant rings
  • Carson goes sock-free
  • The gang talks AMBR picks – Chip goes outside of the box with his pick
  • The ever-evolving path to AMBR – What it takes today VS in the past – “Beauty” being the operative word VS the entire skill set
  • The process of elimination VS optimization – Good execution of an idea VS poor design/aesthetic of an idea
  • Builder of the Decade, and how that came to be – Even “Hot Rod Elvis” is not immune to oversight – Keeping the spirit of Boyd in a car – Speaking of Boyd… that photo – A discussion of the styling cues on some of Chip’s display vehicle choices
  • The 0032
  • The genesis of Foose Design – The whole story behind the building and the steps that led to it
  • Boydster 1 and 2 – The Boyd bankruptcy
  • The AMBR rules change alleged controversy story
  • The Hemisfear and the JL Full-Throttle story – A lesson in IP and indemnification – Driving a Hillborn-injected 640HP, 2,300-lb car – The last Dick Landy Hemi that almost was – The Tom Gale connection – The cease and desist letter – A lesson in names and licensing – “We don’t have to be right; we just have to crush you” – On not being afraid to change directions
  • The Cars Land story – Brad’s tool box – A lesson in humility and having things work out well – The Round Six/Radiator Springs connection – The Disney security gate/name problem – The last remaining original DisneyLand parking lot
  • Round Six marketing – “Always a Happy Ending”
  • “Cheese, Everyone”

Episode 44: Hanging with Jeff Allison

“IT’LL LOOK GOOD ON THE MENU.”

The Gearheads spent the weekend at the 70th Grand National Roadster Show, and sat with our good friend, Jeff Allison and talked design, careers and rum-based drink concepts. Forging a career with unique art, ideas and a ton of personality, Jeff Allison is presently the Creative Design Consultant at Shine Speed Shop, where he is re-branding what has become an iconic name in the industry, and having a ton of fun doing it. From humble beginnings, Jeff made a name for himself through his art, and is a lesson in success from the “go your own way” school of thinking. As things often do when you put artists at the same table, conversation freewheels and spins delightfully off of the rails. A laid-back time with a good friend at the Granddaddy of them All, this was a highlight of Saturday in the Round Six Experience. Big thanks to Jeff for stopping by, hanging out with us, and letting loose for a while. Look for more with Jeff here ion the podcast, and be sure to check out all of the latest cool stuff going on over at Shine Speed Shop and Allison Design by visiting the links below in the show notes. Jeff Allison episode 44

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The joy of being regular… at any age
  • Jeff taking the position of Creative Design Consultant for Shine Speed Shop – Making your own business cards is a rite of passage
  • An organ stand isn’t a suggestive exercise – Yet another ZZ Top reference on the show
  • Re-branding a company as a day job
  • Utilizing a skill set that many don’t know you possess
  • Return of the Chrysler Airflow
  • Customizing an iconic design – Risk VS reward – Winning Designer’s Choice at Eyes on Design – Revisionist historical tomfoolery for project success – The method design process
  • The gang goes Tiki – Rum-based drinks – Tang finds redemption – The dangers of freeze-dried rum
  • Early art inspiration – CARtoons Magazine, Ed Roth, George Trosley
  • Developing a unique style in a sea of similarly-influenced artists and designers
  • Embracing the digital toolkit
  • Working with Mattel – The Hot Wheels Days – If Hot Wheels weren’t enough, Star Wars Hot Wheels doubles-down on cool – The Jar-Jar concept – The ones that didn’t make it – Actual research VS Robot Chicken-style research – Barbie the destroyer
  • Toy designers want to design real cars; car designers want to design toys
  • There’s always haters
  • The creative process
  • “Compare with…”
  • Jeff goes alternate-dimension on a Jaguar with Rob Ida
  • Jeff plots a simplistic Model A
  • What’s next for Jeff

Episode 43: Gimme All Your Louvers; Dave Lane

“TRY NOT TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE.”

Dave Lane. We could probably leave it at that, and images of perfect top chops and stance and wheel and tire combos would dance in your head all night long. You’re about to embark on a journey that brings oh-so-much more. What does a world-class builder build for himself? What part of a build makes or breaks a man? Has he ever been confused with a guy who fishes for Carp? Some things are better left unknown, but we go there for you because we care. In episode forty-three, leading into the Grand National Roadster Show, we sit with Dave Lane and talk humble beginnings, the process of building a great car, and where stye comes from. We dig deep into the psychology of running a one-man shop, attracting and maintaining a steady flow of work from dedicated clients, and then glance long and hard at what saved the industry back in 2008. If you’re just starting out, or even working to restructure your shop or studio or brand, this one is a treasure trove of insight and a case study in the right way to go about it. DAVE-LANE-EPISODE-43

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Days and days of sanding louvers maketh (or breaketh) a man
  • Attracting the right clients for your shop and build style
  • Retaining a core group of clients
  • How to schedule the next project
  • The value of having your clients communicate with one another – Putting the client at ease – Establishing trustworthiness – Seeking clients who share a similar vision
  • Balancing the car’s budget VS what it needs – Why Dave’s builds don’t have radios
  • Brian throws down the George Poteet/Sparkomatic/Pyramid amp challenge
  • The guys wax nostalgic over a Pioneer Super Tuner and N-50’s
  • A history of building model cars
  • Dave’s first car
  • A chance meeting with Harry Hibler
  • Dave’s affair with the ZZ Top Eliminator coupe – The ZZ Top video litmus test – Brad finds a local tie-in to the “Legs” video – Brian picks on Brad – Every red car was “the ZZ Top car” – The ubiquitous ZZ Top key chain
  • Building a car while working full-time and going to school – Starting out with a Pontiac – Putting every dime into a car project
  • Network design in Germany
  • The wagon – Thirteen thousand miles in three and-a-half months – On building a car with zero expectations – Making memories – The roller skate incident
  • Discussing the importance of staying positive through a project – That feeling of accomplishment overcomes the pain every time
  • Using the overall car as the focal point, versus one or two stand-out parts
  • The thunderous impact of subtlety
  • Moving a ’33 ford grille shell
  • Dave’s first time on a drag strip
  • “Bland when bland wasn’t cool”
  • Building a ’32 roadster in ninety days

AN EXPLORATION OF PATRONAGE IN THE HOT ROD INDUSTRY

  • On training your clients
  • An exploration of “high-dollar” builds – The pricing game – Determining “high-end” VS “entry level” at at what level – Perception of price VS recognition of value – Relativistic pricing – When stainless steel brake line meant that you’d made it
  • How hot rod patrons keep the “car thing” going
  • Survival and growth following 2008 – Keeping twenty-three cars moving forward in a stagnant economy – A love for the hobby and keeping it alive
  • The legitimization of the hobby by Boyd

Episode 42: A Tucci Two-Fer

“HAVE AS MUCH FUN AS POSSIBLE.”

We finally get the chance to fully explore a shop with a true in-house design with Dave and Dom Tucci, a father-and-son powerhouse from Macy, New York. For twenty-one years, Tucci Hot Rods has been building some of the coolest and most finely-detailed and designed cars on the planet, and have forged a reputation a one of the best. A study in humility, this multi-generational family affair is proof that hard work and being of stand-up character will get you everywhere. With Dom leading the next wave and launching his own company, Dom Tucci Design, he’s embraced modern technology, design sensibilities and processes, and is forging his own name into the hot rod industry and beyond. This isn’t merely an episode that walks down memory lane; it’s a study in relationships both in the shop and beyond, and there is a level of sincere respect that just flows at every turn. So much to be learned here from anyone making their way either into or ahead in the industry, ans a lesson in how to take your lumps with grace. Look for more of these guys in the coming year, as we enjoy the heck out of them, and appreciate their friendship. Hope you enjoy learning more about this incredibly talented and hard-working pair. EPISODE 42 TUCCI

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Talking NSRA Syracuse giveaway cars
  • Growing up around hot cars and appliance repair
  • The Keith Black-blown HEMI Willys
  • Dave’s first ride, a 529-wedge motor-powered Falcon – Cruising Genesee Street
  • Working on appliances by day, hot rods by night
  • Rob Ida’s skills are everywhere… even this episode
  • Family discussion leads to hot rod building as a career
  • The green GMC that put the shop on the map
  • The fight to feature the truck
  • A twenty-eight and nineteen year old take a truck to SEMA • Hand-rolling FIVE-THOUSAND posters
  • Repairing a broken show truck on the road – Alone in San Francisco, no luggage… and Roy Brizio to the rescue
  • The VERY last-minute SEMA thrash
  • The Fiesta project for Ford – Establishing a relationship with the manufacturer
  • Dom discusses school and earning his degree in Industrial Design
  • The power of networking and bringing in the right players to your team
  • The growth and ever-expanding capabilities of Dom Tucci Design
  • Building sword guards
  • Brian triggers Dave’s hatred of rust
  • Salt dust – Like Bonneville without the cool
  • Salt-ternatives – “Pickle-scented roads!”
  • Playing with windshields, Tucci Hot Rods style
  • The Nomad
  • Breaking the story on the Syracuse Nationals giveaway car!
  • 181MPH first pass
  • Coolant on fire!
  • Alex gets salty

Episode 41: Josh Mishler, Codename Chromefinger

“THE LONGEST ROADS OFTEN LEAD TO THE BEST DESTINATIONS.”

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. chromefinger episode 41 josh mishler

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • 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

LET’S GET SHINY: TALKING CHROME AND MORE

  • 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

Episode 40: The Year in Review

“A YEAR IN REVIEW EPISODE? THAT’S SLIGHTLY BETTER THAN WATCHING CORVETTE SUMMER AGAIN.

The Gearheads take a look back at 2018, and do their best version of a 1990’s sit-com, and relive the past thirty-nine episodes, the events, travels and terrible puns that made 2018 well… this past year.

HUGE thanks to our friends and family for supporting us as we launched this mess, and to Carson for the representation, guidance, and for pushing us through a few big doors.

To you, our amazing listeners, fans, followers and friends both old and new… THANK YOU. You’ve been there through growing pains, bad audio, questionable jokes, and technical struggles. We get better both because of and for you.

Thanks for being there over the past year, and we hope that you’ll be along for the amazing ride ahead. Good things happening… And that’s because of you.

Merry Christmas, and happy New Year. May yours be full of good health, happiness an peace. Well, except for when those opening bars of the podcast wind up and blast into your ear holes.

We can’t wait to fill them again in just a couple of weeks.

Our sincerest gratitude once again,

Brian, Brad and Alex

year in review

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Every episode, event and a keen look back at some of our favorite moments from the first thirty-nine episodes

Episode 39: Copyright and IP with Carson Lev

“GETTING A CHECK IN THE MAIL IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY.”

Carson Lev once again joins the Gearheads for an evening of learning. This time, we’re starting an on-going series on Intellectual Property, Copyright an brand management, all aimed squarely at helping artists and designers to protect their work, and lay the foundation for a career. We’re joined by co-host Del Swanson, who is nearing completion on his long-term project which has taken him away from the show for a bit, and it’s great having him back with us.

While not an exhaustive course nor a complete resource, this episode gives advice, and sets any artist or designer up with the basics to begin protecting their work, and ensuring that they’re making the work work for them long-term. This will develop over time into an ever-expanding series, and we’ll be bringing in industry professionals, brand managers and even legal counsel to help you navigate the territory. We hope you’ll join us, as we look forward to bringing this and so much more to you in the coming year.

If you’re an artist just starting out, or have been established for some time but may be a bit cloudy on Copyright and Trademark and IP, then this is a great jumping-off point for you. Remember: You may be an artist first and foremost; but don’t discount the fact that you are an artist in business.

copyright episode 39

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Brian drops the sugar-coated approach, and dives right in
  • Return of the running ball gag joke
  • Carson Lev joins the gang
  • Del stops in following his world-wide Viking tour
    – The joys of rapping and pillaging while wearing  horned hat
  • Discussing the effects of stolen artwork on the artist
    – The frustration of dealing with Amazon, et.al. on issues of Copyright
  • The dilemma of putting work out there to promote VS protecting the art
  • Learning the difference between types of agreements
    – Work for Hire VS Consulting Agreement VS Production Agreement VS Licensing or Transfer of Rights
  • The critical importance of properly crafting your agreements
  • Learning licensing by fire
    – Working in licensing for the giants
  • Are you producing work to be transferred to the client, or licensing it?
  • On making protection affordable for artists just starting out
  • International Copyright and formal ownership on the world stage
  • Chip’s work as example:
    – Realizing the difference between building a car or a library of images to capitalize on
  • Value and its attachment to the work
    – Added value versus surface value
  • Playing “hide the sausage” for fun and profit
    – “Phallic extortion” becomes a thing… thanks, Alex
  • Infringement abroad
    – International filing
    – High cost may not even provide protection due to lack of enforcement by foreign governments
    – When a foreign government encourages counterfeiting among its people
  • Del goes worldwide
  • Brian hatches a business plan
  • “Getting a check in the mail is the sincerest form of flattery”
  • When doing work to not take credit is the better way
    – Scaling recognition VS money
    – Artist as a tool versus a craftsman
    – Art VS design, goal-wise
    – Sometimes you’re better judged by what you won’t do

“A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF HOURS FOR A SPECIFIED OUTCOME.”

  • On paying for the experience that leads to the level of work, not simply the physical hours to create it
  • Setting a plan and knowing when and how to alter it and let it evolve
  • On retaining the IP and reproduction rights of a design versus just building the car
  • Perception of the market once a name is established
    – Ridler-winning shops that go dry because people think that’s all they do
    – When reality TV alters the brand message
  • How having a contract places you at a higher threshold and align you with more like-minded clients
  • The Disney Cars Land example of fair contract and creative license
  • Work-for-Hire with recognition can pay higher dividends than owning the IP in some cases
    – When the “cool factor” is a bonus and how to recognize that
  • Transactional VS transformative relationships
  • “Your next raise will be effective when you are.”

Episode 38: Steve Cook Creations, Simple is Hard to Do

“IT’S FUN TO LOOK AT THEM, BUT YOU CAN’T REALLY ENJOY THEM UNLESS YOU’RE DRIVING THEM.”

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 cook creations episode 38

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • 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

Episode 37: Brian Lohnes, High Pants Drifter

“HISTORICALLY, I’VE FOUND THAT RASH REFERENCES NEVER PLAY WELL IN MIDDLE AMERICA.” BRIAN LOHNES BRINGS THE ADVICE.

The Gearheads were honored to welcome the man with the golden voice, Brian Lohnes. Recently named as the Lead Anchor in all NHRA TV broadcasts next year, it’s a dream come true of sorts for a guy who grew up watching it on television. More than just the sum of his manly chest, neck and head that you’ll see on race coverage, he’s a man with gasoline and room-temperature shrimp in his veins.

We talk early days, from his first thoughts (“hey, it’s much colder out here!”) through College, writing for car magazines, and eventually to television. We laugh, we cry, we explore, we invent things, and then we plot a reunion in three to five years. In many ways, it’s a lot like prison, but without most of the pesky romance.

brian lohnes

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Things start off perpendicular to the finish line
  • The “snowball” effect of episode thirty-seven
  • MOPAR guys are the Star Trek fans of the drag racing world
    – The 10,000 RPM limit and HEMI engines
    – Birth of the Polish Pentastar Program (“Number one in Hamtramck!”)
  • On being named as the voice of NHRA Drag Racing
  • The ever-changing demographics of racing and the show here
  • Debut of the Ira Spiderman Old Man-nequin
  • No car enthusiast group is safe from generational ridicule
  • Room temperature shrimp
  • The greatest scam in the history of scams at the University of Massachusetts
    – A Pre-Med, a Pre-Law, an Engineering and an Art History major score a College-sponsored race car
    – The road to announcing is paved with road racing
  • The requirement of looking out of the window versus at a computer screen
  • Moving from IHRA to NHRA
  • Steve Gibbs gives a big break
  • The constant battle of not crying
  • On “not Hindenburging” the show
    – The dangers of mentioning skin maladies in color commentary
    – How digestive jokes will make you the next Dave McLelland
    – Eczema as a career-killer
  • The reality of an announcing tryout
  • The gang goes “Aristocrats”
  • The value of doing your research before calling an event
  • Launching Bangshift and its predecessors
  • A t-shirt with “BS” emblazoned on it
    – The value of a URL like manjunk.com in today’s dollars
  • Why people from Buffalo are the toughest ones on the planet
  • Put Up or Shut Up
  • The Gearheads make their Race to the Moon pitch
    – Private space programs as entertainment
    – Ultimate Capture the Flag TV show idea
  • Searching for old drag strips
    – Brian suggests an Ancient Aliens crossover

Episode 36: Roger Hickey, Gravity and Coyotes

“YOU START OFF BY GOING SEVENTY MILES PER HOUR STANDING UP.” ROGER HICKEY LIKES SPEED.

The Gearheads host entrepreneur, world record-holding gravity racer, aerodynamic expert, inventor and coyote attack survivor, Roger Hickey.

If you’ve never gone downhill on a skateboard at one-hundred miles per hour, been mistaken for an alien craft, or lit off your dad’s fuel car in the garage at eight years old, then you’re not our guest on this episode. Much like the Highlander, there can be only one Roger Hickey, and by golly, are we stoked to have spent the evening with him. From his days as an undefeated gravity racer to his current quest to help a stock-bodies 1953 Studebaker run 400MPH, the guy has nerves of steel, and has broken more bones than Brad has read books. And he’s a ton of fun, too. Lots to learn in this episode, so buckle in, and enjoy this downhill blast.

roger hickey episode 36

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • “Cheese Guard”/Cheese garden
  • Evel Knievel Lite
  • Coming out of retirement to compete for a world championship after winning twenty of them previously
    – “Your old shit ain’t gonna fly here”
    – One hundred miles per hour on a skateboard
  • Let that last one sink in
  • Early attempts at downhill on Kellogg Hill
  • Filming a GTE Superbowl commercial
    – Being mistaken for an alien
  • The case of the fuel car and the babysitter
  • “The boat story”
  • A history of speed in the family
    – Racing since three years old
  • “Control all of your variables and you can’t lose”
  • The high degree of concentration required in gravity racing
  • Researching and engineering in the pre-internet days
    – The school of “crash and learn”
  • The invention of Street Luge on Glendora Mountain
    – F1 car inspiration
  • Getting bit by a coyote at speed
  • “Every rule has an elastic waistband”

INNOVATION THROUGH EXPERIMENTATION

  • Portable skateboard ramps
  • Composites return to the podcast!
    – More pre-internet experimentation leads to innovation
  • Setting Electric Car World Championship records… and then some
  • The Hickey Law
  • The science and theory behind cryogenics
  • Running 326MPH on a 238MPH record with a stock-bodied 1953 Studebaker
  • 6.000 HP on bald tires
  • The modular streamliner design
  • Return of the Saltomasochist
  • “A chess match of nitro and exploding things”

Episode 35: PPG and Camp Wannapaintem

A THIRTEEN-FOOT CANOE, BEARS, SQUIRRELS AND A FEAR OF SNAPPING TOWELS.

The Gearheads went deep into the woods of the 2018 SEMA Show, and wandered into Camp Wannapaintem, PPG‘s latest show-stopping display. We were fortunate to fall under the guidance of camp counselors Cristina Fronzaglia Murray and Jeremy Seanor (of Lucky Strike Designs). We sat for a while and discussed paint technology, creativity, marketing, and the importance of passion Most important of all was the lesson that paint is fun. It’s not merely a tool or just  coating, but a vehicle in and of itself, capable of launching careers and forging lifelong friendships. Even after a certain podcaster suggests a prison-themed trade show booth.

camp wannapaintem sema

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Talking SEMA Show booth themes
    – Gathering items to decorate the booth
  • The “Homeless Chic” John Jackson
  • Where inspiration lives
  • Jeremy paints a canoe
  • Our own Brad’s connection to a past themed booth
  • A terribly inappropriate booth theme idea made presentable
  • Brian chooses a favorite among his sons
  • How to turn a group of adults into a bunch of three year olds (HINT: it involves whistles)
  • Paint is fun
  • Experiencing color in different ways
  • Waterborne and Envirobase paint technology versus solvent-based
    – Adapting the new tech to creative paint
    – Progressing with paint technology in both collision and custom work
  • The changing times:
    – Hot-plating enamels and crushing pigment from leaves
    – Moving cure times from cigarettes between coats to social posts between coats
  • The longevity of Deltron
    – Hosting a fourteen year old paint job in the booth illustrates quality like nothing else
  • Booth design as a team-building exercise
  • The value of not having to be engaged in the “SEMA crunch”
  • Brian offers the then-thousand dollar marketing idea
  • History of the PPG theme booths
  • A custom painter reunion of sorts every year in the booth
  • “The greatest paint in the world, used by the greatest painters”
    – The value and appreciation of humility
  • The “prison” theme booth
    – Alex offers the idea of carving a shiv from a paint stir stick
  • More great booth theme ideas:
    – “Paint Church”
    – “Rascal in a China Shop”
    – “Barefoot on Legos”

CAREER ADVICE FOR THE MOTIVATED LISTENER

  • On the importance of being yourself and making mistakes
    – Career growth through understanding passions
  • Teaching the technical aspect, and the inability to teach passion
  • Four-year education versus hands-on trades
  • The value of a combination of traditional school degrees and trade school/knowledge
  • The misinterpretation of trades being just “dirty work”
  • Recognizing the minds and hands that aren’t meant to sit in a classroom, but rather need to be out doing things
  • The epitome of “self-made”

Episode 34: SEMA Show 2018

THE GEARHEADS GO DEEP INSIDE OF SEMA SHOW 2018 AND SURFACE RELATIVELY UNSCATHED. WELL, MOSTLY.

SEMA Show 2018 winds down, and the Gearheads were granted some pretty hefty access. We took some time to sit and discuss the show from the Magnaflow stage in Hot Rod Alley. We wanted to thank some old friends, recognize some new ones, and reflect on what was easily the most memorable show in any of our memories.

SEMA Show 2018

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The dreaded “SEMA legs” syndrome
  • Cue napkins and dirty words
  • Brad is really old
  • Our favorite vehicles of the show
  • Tim Strange is awesome at hosting vehicle debuts
  • The Squarebody Syndicate Indy Tribute truck
  • Tuesdays with Chip
  • The hot rod family
  • Set-up logistics
    – The weirdness of wandering the SEMA Show floor on Sunday
    – From typhoon to fully-carpeted halls
  • Carson makes it happen
  • The Syndicate Series t-shirt boxes
  • The Engle Brothers slip into yet another episode
  • SEMA Show Zamboni adds to the ambiance
  • Judging the BASF best paint award with Chip Foose
    – Getting a private tour of Impostor
  • Chip’s C/28
  • Strope’s Olds
  • The Speedkore carbon fiber Charger
  • The art of walking ten miles per day
  • The thunder of flip-flops and nylon bags

Episode 33: The Fiber at the Speedkore; David Salvaggio and Lyle Brummer

COOL CARS AND SOME VERY NORMAL PEOPLE FROM THE LAND OF ED GEIN AND JEFFREY DAHMER.

The Gearheads grabbed a few valuable minutes of pre-SEMA Show thrash time to sit with David Salvaggio and Lyle Brummer of Speedkore. To say that we walked in as fans of their work would be understandable. Walking out of the studio as fans of their character and knowledge, well, that’s a no-brainer. Fantastically fun, intelligent and humble guys who are pushing the envelope with technology to build some of the coolest cars out there.

We dig into the business, the tech, the cars, and the carbon fiber in this informative, exciting and laid-back episode.

speedkore dave salvaggio podcast

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The week-before-SEMA-Show thrash
  • The logistics of bringing five vehicles to the show
    – Last minute details and avoiding mishaps
    – Working with carbon fiber and the supply chain demands thereof
  • Discussing the early automotive influences of Dave and Lyle
    – Wisconsin is proving to be a fertile land for breeding hot rodders
    – David’s Grandfather came from Sicily in the early4-1900’s and built and raced cars at Indy (1929)
  • Lyle’s start in cars came later in life
    – Began with engineering and technology
    – Speedkore’s commitment to bringing in the next generation
  • On driving in snow
    – A pitch for the Jamaican Rally Car Team
  • The start of Speedkore
    –On building a scalable business model
    – The problem of sourcing and retaining talent
    – The benefits and advantages of carbon fiber parts and manufacturing them
  • Forays into the motion picture world
    – Providing cars for The Fast and Furious franchise
  • The Chris Evans Camaro
    – The Robert Downey Jr. connection
  • Return of cars as the great equalizer and common language
  • The great things about carbon fiber
  • A degree in Marketing VS working with your hands
  • Digging into the manufacturing and design process
  • On the value of experience over formal classroom time
    – Induction to the Society of Automotive Engineers on a fourth-grade education
  • Talking about the Evolution Charger that will debut next week at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas
  • A discussion of design and the tactile experience
  • Advice for up-and-coming designers

Episode 32: Zane-al Retentiveness and the Cullen-ary Art of Hot Rods

TRENDSETTER, HALL OF FAME MEMBER AND ALL-AROUND NICE GUY ZANE CULLEN JOINS THE GEARHEADS. THEN WE CORRUPT HIM.

The Gearheads spent the evening with our good friend Zane Cullen of Cotati Speed Shop. He’s a Goodguys Trendsetter, a Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame member, a father and husband. Zane is also a new product judge at the SEMA Show. And one of the three behind the Triple Gun of Excellence Award at GNRS alongside Darryl Hollenbeck and Charley Hutton.

We dig deep into the science of running a successful hot rod shop, personnel management and horribly inappropriate jokes. And probably some other things we should have edited. Our lack of detail is your gain.

zane cullen episode 32

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Conversation immediately goes all SEMA
  • Talking radical 1968 Camaros
  • Getting outside of the box of “expected” build styles
  • Getting deep into the HR aspect of running a shop
    – Finding the right personnel
    – The importance of communication
    – Balancing the talking with listening
  • Effective communication between shop and client
  • Evolution of a brand and a business plan
  • The genesis of the shop
  • The evolutionary process and continual improvement
    – Competing against yourself to raise the bar internally
  • Growing from two to sixteen team member
    – Thinning the herd to keep things manageable
    – Finding the “magic number” in the shop to keep things moving in the right direction
    – Maintaining a good staff
    – The importance of getting along
    – Keeping a focus on the work VS making things personal
  • On retaining a client base during the busy times
  • Finding a balance between directing and welcoming creative input
    – Building a complementary team of creative visionaries and detail-minded craftsmen
  • Working to manage egos and behaviors as well as work output
  • The importance of not forgetting the people involved on a project
    – Taking the good with the bad
  • Things go decidedly sexy
  • Brian tales his share of abuse this time
  • “You can’t spell TEAM without T-E-A…”
  • Appreciating your team and employees

ONWARD TOWARD THE SEMA SHOW

  • Behind the scenes at SEMA, judging new products with Dave Tucci and Tim Strange
    – Having the opportunity to actually see the new products at a show dedicated to new products
    – Finding the worst of the rest
    – Brian develops the “Tick-Lock-Tach”
    – Alex investigates the market potential of a build sheet removal tool/kit
    – There may or may not have been discussion of a plot for an automotive-based heist film
  • It all goes terrifyingly sideways
    – The return of the “prison wallet”
  • Rounding up new clients for a shop
  • Remembering a client who recently passed
  • Round Six’s fresh spin on SEMA Show debuts
    – Trusting Brian’s creative vision

Episode 31: Rappin' with Robert McGaffin

TALKING MAGAZINES AND MORE WITH PHOTOGRAPHER ROBERT MCGAFFIN.

The Gearheads spend an evening with Robert McGaffin. He’s an Automotive Photographer, industry good guy, friend and the Creative Director and co-Founder of Wheel Hub Magazine. From early days building and shooting model cars to school and a carer in Commercial Photography, Robert has some varied experience. Yet it all comes back to cars.

The guys over at Robert’s latest venture, Wheel Hub Magazine have been gracious in extending an offer to listeners of the Round Six Podcast. Head on over to their website at www.wheelhubmag.com/roundsix and you’ll receive a two-for-one special. Huge thanks to them, and to you, our listeners for your support.

McGaffin episode 31

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Growing up in Wisconsin
    – From puddle of goo to model glue
  • An early start shooting model cars with an Instamatic
  • From College to Commercial Photography
  • Burning dust with studio lighting
  • Astrophotography
  • Early influences
  • First trip to the SEMA Show
  • Favorite cars of all-time
    – Rad Rides’ Chicayne
  • Riffing on motorsports photography
    – Rally driving
    – Isle of Man TT
  • Really niche photography
  • Brian’s strange surgical history
  • Rob’s Steve Strope story
  • Brad takes a few more lumps
  • Robert’s ’65 Olds project
  • On the dynamics of print VS digital coverage
  • Launching Wheel Hub Magazine
    – Assembling the team
    – Creating the Beta
    – Developing the look
    – Selling ad space
    – The launch at GNRS
  • On keeping it fresh when shooting the same car multiple times for multiple publications
  • When a car owner wants nothing to do with a magazine
  • Making do and improvising on a shoot
  • On cameras and equipment
  • Teaching four-week photography programs
  • The importance of quality lenses over the latest and greatest camera body
  • Suggestions for beginning photographers
    – Happy accidents and learning on the fly
  • The forthcoming Round Six Massage Parlor editorial
    – Alex gets a new job description
    – A “full release” of pure disappointment
  • Things to look forward to at the SEMA Show

Episode 30: The Jimi Day Experience

ALEX AND BRIAN JAM WITH JIMI.

Brad was off on a top-secret mission at Steve Strope‘s place, and that left Alex and Brian to do their thing. It was the perfect time to grab a guest we’ve wanted to have on for some time, Jimi Day of FM3 Marketing. We’re just weeks out from the SEMA Show, and it was a nice, relaxing evening talking to one of the amazing people behind may of the absolutely mind-blowing automotive events which his company produces and promotes.

If there’s any truth to the old adage of a podcast hitting its peak in their thirties, well, they’re starting off with a bang around here. Welcome to the big three-oh, kids.

jimi day episode 30

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Jimi on planning an event
    – The planning process for an event
    – The “event plan”
    – Moving from the event plan to the playbook
  • Jimi’s headband
  • The planning timeline
  • Search for the Ultimate Street Car
  • On building an NHRA-quality track on Woodward Avenue for a one-day event
  • Brian plots the Altamont of car events
  • On eliminating surprises and executing in the moment as necessary
  • On the old days of car shows VS the modern
  • From Imagine Motorsports and investment-grade restorations to driving cars
    – Preservation vs enjoyment
  • FM3 Road Trip Cars and Cones
    – The incredible concept behind the event
    – Sign up for 2019 at fm3roadtrip.com
  • How investment banking bred confidence
  • The gut/brain connection and how to utilize it
  • Getting outside of your comfort zone to create something new
  • Drive Auto X
    – Getting  people involved
    – All about seat time (12-14 runs per day!)
    – No more shagging cones
  • On exit strategies and economic indicators
    – Planning on the fly
  • The Pony Car Steeplechase Challenge is pitched

For more information, or if you;re looking to create your own signature event, please reach out to Jimi and his amazing team at FM3marketing.com, or hit Jimi direct on email at jimi@fm3marketing.com.
For information on the Drive Auto X program, please hit www.driveautox.com.

Episode 29: A Well-Executed Fart, Steve Strope

THE GEARHEADS GET INSPIRED BY STEVE STROPE.

The Gearheads spend the evening talking with the always opinionated, always fascinating and extremely insightful Steve Strope of Pure Vision Design. We talked cars, bass guitar, Millennials and even splitting wood… And it all came back to a central point: Just get out there and do something. Steve isn’t one to mince words, and his motivational style is representative of his East Coast upbringing, which he and show host Brian share. From Summers mowing lawns to Winters spent shoveling, a kid learns to hustle. Steve has made that into an art form, applying that work ethic to the humblest of beginnings with his own shop.

It’s not all fun and laughs, as the conversation gets a bit deep into family matters, adoption, health issues and more, but Steve’s impressive and contagiously positive attitude make for one heck of a learning experience.

An incredible episode with a dynamic guest.

Strope episode 29

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Steve on reality TV
    – His new show “Hand Built Hot Rods”
    – Joe Rogan’s Nova
    – “The fall of Camelot”
  • Talking projects in the shop
  • Where Millennials can send their job applications
  • Making the move to the West Coast from New York
  • The black Camaro that got Steve into cars
  • Growing up in a small town
    – A grammar school Road Runner art project
    – “This is my drug”
  • Cars are not a “phase”
    – Retaining the excitement
  • It all starts with BMX bikes
    – Steve’s vintage BMX bike collection
  • The power of great inspiration
  • Doing what you have to do
    – Building a car in a parking garage
    – “I wanted to bad enough”
  • Heading on power tour with a Kinko’s-made promo pack
  • Family life
    – On finding out he was adopted
  • Character-building stuff
    – Yard work and responsibility
    – Mowing the lawn as therapy
    – Porno crop circles
  • On music
    – Playing bass guitar
    – Starting with a short bass purchased by his Mom at a garage sale
  • Commuting from
    – Living next door to the beach house from Top Gun
  • A day in the life of Steve
  • Starting out
    – The struggles of sleeping where you build
  • On riding the “trend pony”
    – Personal pride in a build
  • Hot Rodding in Bill’s Eye in Street Rodder
    – Hot rods as the great social equalizer
  • Brad’s Grindr profile

Episode 28: It’s About the People: Brian Brennan (and Naked Street Rodders )

THE GEARHEADS TALK EVERYTHING HOT RODDING WITH BRIAN BRENNAN.

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.

Brennan

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • 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

Episode 27: From No Brakes to the 200 MPH Club With Mike LeFevers

THE GEARHEADS TALK ENGINES WITH MIKE LEFEVERS.

The Gearheads sit down and talk engines, Bonneville records and more with famed racing engine builder and machinist Mike Lefevers of Mitech Racing Engines. He’s  soft-spoken guy with some serious history. LeFevers was the Engine Development Director at Carroll Shelby Enterprises, spent five years in Gale Banks Engineering engine department, and was involved in the Buick Indianapolis program. He’s not only the Treasurer of Save the Salt and Secretary of the Bonneville 200 MPH Club, he’s also a life member of the latter.

He is the LeFevers part of the Kugel/LeFevers 1992 Firebird, which was the first production-bodied automobile to exceed and set a record over 300 mph in 1999. And it has power windows. Just like Mike, it’s full of surprises.

200 MPH Club

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Recreating the ’79 Kugel engine to reset the record
  • Mechanical injection and twin turbos on alcohol
  • Early beginnings with a ’56 Crown Vic… and no brakes
  • Losing eyebrows while tuning cars
  • On learning in the driveway
  • The value of reading what is pertinent to your interests
  • A foot in the door at Gale Banks Engineering
  • Being mentored by Wally Cartwright
  • Heading to Bonneville with Geisler
  • A very special Hanky-Panky
  • First runnings at Bonneville with Bruce Geisler
  • The Sundowner Corvette
    – 255 MPH in a stock-bodied ’68!
  • The first stock-bodied car to go 300MPH – The Kugel/LeFevers Firebird
  • Getting family involved
    – Working to get his sons into the 200 MPH Club
  • A record-breaking year at Bonneville Speed Week
  • SCCA and Trans Am involvement
  • Putting his own shop on hold
  • The Shelby years
    – Investigating the Chrysler V6 engine failures in the Shelby Can Am racing program
    – Started as an engine builder on the Cobra Continuation Series
    – Development of new heads (the aluminum VS iron head argument)
    – Developing, casting and building new 427’s
    – Working with Carroll Shelby
    – Shelby was more of a businessman than a tech guy
    – Lee Iacocca killed the Shelby DOHC 4V 427 Ford cylinder head program
  • Mike’s thoughts on the great engineering of the Ford 427 SOHC
  • On building small and big-block Chevy engines
  • The “idiot-proof” nature of the LS engine
  • Vipers and the recession
    – Development of dry-sump systems and intake manifolds
    – What is it with this guy and snakes?!
  • On gauging the health of the industry via your customer base
  • Modern tech VS old-school know-how
  • The importance of knowing the source of your research materials
  • Building the engine to the car

Episode 26: SEMA, Projects, Kit Cars and Churros

THE GEARHEADS UNWIND AND TALK SEMA, SPONSORSHIPS AND PROJECTS. AND BROWN DIAMONDS.

Episode twenty-six goes all sorts of places as Brian, Brad and Alex discuss projects of the artistic and four-wheeled sort. They preview the SEMA Show preview, talk churros and racecar sponsorships, and then it all goes weird with kit car talk and celebrity tribute parts.

It’s been a while since we just sat and talked, and thought it was a good time to lay back a bit prior to the buildup to SEMA madness.

SEMA weird

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Brian goes all “Show Host”
  • Brad talks streamliner sponsorships
    – The Salt-O-Masochist
  • PR disasters
  • A blurry blue lightning bolt
    – Terrible racecar sponsor team-ups
    – …and some memorable ones
  • Things that rhyme with “six piston”
  • “Don’t worry; it’s not you.”
  • Brian runs out of side effects
  • The SEMA preview, well, preview
  • Bacon-wrap and pumpkin spice all of the things. Except for the churros.
  • Alex’s ’64 Chevy project
    – Finding the truck
    – Then come the bees and spiders
  • Alex talks plumbing and wiring
  • Brad steals the truck and lowers it
  • How patina won on this truck
  • Checklists on a project
    – Brad calls back to his Dad’s el Camino
  • Customizing a car is a slippery slope
  • Restoration meets hot rodding
  • The joy of wiring and plumbing
  • Alex’s first project
  • The infamous 1969 Camaro
  • The lowest production number ’71 Camaro RS
  • The guys go all kit car
  • “The Lisper”

Episode 25: Throwing Back a few Torts with Chris Jacobs

CATCHING UP WITH CHRIS JACOBS

Episode twenty-five is a reunion of sorts on a few levels, as the Gearheads take a few minutes to catch up with a friend of the podcast, Chris Jacobs. An actor-turned television host, he’s most well-known in our industry and hobby from his work on Overhaulin’ with another good friend of the show, Chip Foose, as well as one of the roaming personalities at the Barrett-Jackson auctions.

Boasting a variety of roles on TV shows like The X-Files, Two and a Half Men, and even V.I.P. with Pamela Anderson, where he played a surfing Doctor. Yeah the guy has done a lot of really cool stuff. He’s  blast to hang out with, and is just a genuine, good human and a true credit to the hobby.

chris jacobs

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Brian sings the praises of the TSP-7411XR Mk V FriendMaker telescope for “keeping in touch”
  • Things get litigious early in this episode
  • Whoring a podcast intro for all its worth
  • Long Lost Family enters its fourth season
    – The parallels between Long Lost Family and Overhaulin’
    – Chris’ personal connection to the show
    – “It’s me without a hat”
    – How timing plays an important role in the show and in life
  • Inspired to enjoy cars via his brothers’ cars
  • Auditioning for the role of host on Overhaulin’
    – Avoiding the drama
    – The freeing aspect of zero drama
    – From seven to twenty-nine episodes
    – On establishing a genre
    – The impact the show had on building a career
  • Hosting the on-site vehicle coverage at Barrett-Jackson
    – Another A-team entirely
  • The unforeseen dangers of a stolen car prank
    – A gun is pulled
    – “This is really real now”
    – Zero poop
    – The unflappable Chip
    – Loco Chip (“The Evil Gang of Solvang”)
    – A shout-out to Scott for not altering hot rod history
  • The 1987 Grand National
    – The magic radio
  • Chris’ 1968 GTX
    – 392 swap by Mark Worman and the crew at Graveyard Carz
    – To be auctioned at Brrett-Jackson Scottsdale in 2020, with proceeds to benefit Special Operations Warrior Foundation
    – Chris’ sincere value of service personnel
  • The salad days of Chris’ acting career
    – Dr. “Banzai” Kovacs. IMDB it.
    – The joys of residual checks
    – On acting as a career with a fallback career in place
  • SEMA Show 2018

Episode 24: Mullets to Billet with Brad Fanshaw

BRAD FANSHAW SPENDS AN EVENING TALKING BRANDING, MARKETING AND ADVENTURE

Episode twenty-four gets right into it with the man behind more cool stuff than you can shake a billet guitar at. Brad Fanshaw has launched action sports brands, managed the most well-known hot rod shop in the universe, and was the first to take an automotive aftermarket company public.

He hosts a couple of well-known podcasts: Man Seeks Adventure (with Dave Marek and Heather Storm) and Shift and Steer (with co-hosts Aaron Hagar & Matt D’Andria; and formerly with the late Pete Chapouris), along with producing television shows like Car Warriors and The Car Chasers.

The guys sit and talk marketing, branding, and the value of an experience and not simply having a product, as well as gleaning valuable tips and tricks for making the most of your SEMA Show experience.

Brad Fanshaw Episode 24

THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Entomology, Shrek 4D and a Dorian Gray reference
  • Early VW influence once again surfaces on an episode
  • Brad’s first car
    – Having the fastest car in High School
    – Making twenty bucks street racing before homeroom
    – The vintage Pro Street parts stockpile
  • A sidetrack leads to gold Moroso valve covers
  • Memories of header installs
    – Accessory bracket spacers
    – The joys of constant re-torquing
  • Brad’s orange thing
  • It all starts with BMX in our industry
    – The freedom of transport and self-expression
  • Running ABA and organizing Nationals
    – The joys of running a front loader
    – The Orange Fairgrounds incident
    – Blame it on the monster truck guys
  • Being “productively destructive”
  • Taking Vision Street Wear from $10M to $125M in five years
    – Genesis of The X Games
    – Running the largest television production company in Orange County
    – From action sports to a Boyds clothing line
  • Cadzilla leaves the shop, Brad comes in
    • Building the Hot Rods by Boyd empire
      – The value of first-class marketing in a new frontier
      – Laying the groundwork to bring in investment capital
      – Reaching outside of the automotive world to retain the hot rod spirit
  • Brian proposes a Virtual Reality Venture Capital pitch
  • Starting a watch company

SUPER-BONUS TIPS FOR MARKETING YOURSELF/YOUR SHOP AT THE SEMA SHOW:

  • The value of technology/technique sharing
  • Building the Starbucks of the hot rod world
    – The experience of being a part of something absolutely huge
    – Recalling when Brian bought his first Hot Rods by Boyd t-shirt
    – Adapting the action sports approach to the “Boyd look”
    – The Boyd Zone Tour
    – Creating an atmosphere versus buying a product
    – The creative atmosphere at Boyd’s during the Chip era
  • From Vaynerchuk to Spicoli in one deft swoop
  • Building a hot rod-themed billet guitar for Michael Anthony of Van Halen
    – Presenting the guitar at the Hard Rock
    – Grabbing press via Tim Allen on Leno
  • Tips for marketing and branding aimed at the small shop
    – How to gain maximum exposure at SEMA
    – Influence potential sponsor companies
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