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DO IT FOR A LIVING

DO IT FOR A LIVING is a podcast where YOU, the performance racing industry enthusiast and shop owner can hear from the best minds in the performance racing industry talking about business and tech. We discuss new products and services and the best resources used by the big dogs. You can listen on your way to work or in the shop. With new episodes coming out every week, you'll find interesting topics and valuable information you can use to build your performance business. Now take this information and use it to build the next record-breaking car, or the next innovative product.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 19, 2016

Cody Loveland worked on bicycles during his early teens but realized cars were way cooler when he turned 16. It didn’t take him long before he was piecing together turbo kits for his EK Civic and quickly had a group of people asking for him to make parts for their cars. His step-dad loaned him the money for a tig welder and Cody never looked back. While he was working as a package sorter for UPS, he started LoveFab, Inc in 2002 and worked both jobs for several months. But he quit his job and decided to not go back to college to focus his efforts on LoveFab. He was working out of a home shop from 2006-2012 and transitioned to working on NSX’s.

He eventually began renting a 7000 square foot commercial space and quickly realized how difficult it is to run a large-scale operation. He encountered some miscommunication with a customer that ended up costing him tens of thousands of dollars. At the same time, he had a daughter and realized that he needed to downsize his operation. While he didn’t close LoveFab, he scaled it back and returned to a home/shop style space where he continues to fabricate turbo kits and work on cars.

His latest passion project is called the EnV8 and is a tube-chassis, LS-powered race car that he hopes to produce and sell in the future. He is still modifying the design and testing his work, but he is excited to unleash the full potential!

Dec 12, 2016

Franco Ganino has been working at Aliant Insurance for 23 years. Being a car guy, Franco was excited when given the opportunity to work with Bob Corwin to work with SEMA and provide insurance. At the time, Bob was risk advisor for the NHRA and they become instant friends. They worked together to create an insurance product specifically for the SEMA members. They created “The Specialty Equipment Insurance Alliance” (SEIAinsuance.com) with the initial goal of proving manufacturers with product liability insurance. After 10 years, they started to add plans for garage keeper’s insurance. What they came up with would be known as “Installers’ Edge.”

He has spent years collecting, restoring, and racing cars so he understands what shops do when the install aftermarket parts and tune them for higher horsepower. This helps him cater insurance plans for his clients and ensure that they are fully covered. With Aliant being an insurance broker, they are connected to every insurance company out there and work with providers to insure the shops.

Dec 5, 2016

Gidi Chamdi was born in Israel and immigrated with his family to the US in 1985. He wasn’t really interested in cars until he stumbled upon a magazine showcasing the R35 GTR. He became intrigued and bought one in one in April of 2013. A friend turned him onto a Shift Sector event in Willow Springs and got a tour of the track from Jason Huang. At the end of the event, they did an impromptu roll race and Gidi won it. From here on out, he was addicted!

He did some research and picked ACG Automotive in San Diego to install the AMS Alpha 10 package. He competed in another Shift Sector event and won that one as well. So he upgraded to the Alpha 14, then the Alpha 16 where he won the Buschur Shootout, then the Alpha 18, and finally the Alpha 20 package.

He has now built the infamous Alpha G which AMS Performance uses as a test bed to go fast. It was the first car to get their billet block and receives all of the prototype parts from AMS. They are chasing the elusive 6.XX pass at the quarter mile and it is just in reach. His best run to date was a 7.14 at 212 mph.

To add to his resume of fast cars, Gidi also has a pair of Underground Racing TT Gallardo’s. He races one at the half mile events and has jockeyed for first place with another UGR customer. His current fastest is 244 mph (fastest is 247). But he thinks they will do 250 at the next event.

Nov 28, 2016

Jeremy Powell (aka JP) grew up in Florida and his family couldn’t care less about the car culture. JP spent his early years skating and building ramps. When he graduated high school in 1995, he bought a Honda Civic and started to modify it with an intake and some headers. After feeling zero performance gains, he decided to bolt on a turbo kit which really woke the car up! From here on out, he became addicted to performance. During college, he decided that he wanted to work in the aftermarket automotive industry. He mailed a copy of his resume all over the country to various parts manufacturers in hopes of landing a job. After a few weeks went by, he received a voicemail from AEM and ended up getting an interview! He landed the job and began development on their first ECU which became known as the AEM Series 1. A few years passed and he received a job offer from HP Freaks in Oregon. His new job was to design and manufacture parts for BMW’s. After a few years, he decided to start making totally unrelated parts on the side and unofficially started Radium Engineering. Fast forward to 2015 and they decide to make a legit business out of it and go full time.

They started into the fuel management system while upgrading a Lotus. It had really bad starvation problems and had a fuel pump that was very difficult to access. They decided to make a surge tank for the car to get around having to deal with the stock pump. This is how they got started down the path of making fuel systems for various cars! Radium Engineering is still just 3 people and they are now in Portland, Oregon and rent a 3,000-square foot facility. They outsource all of the CNC machining, laser etching, anodizing, and powder coating and have no plans to ever buy their own equipment. This allows them to focus on the design, assembly, and shipping their products.

Nov 14, 2016

Zach Denney started his career in the automotive industry by working at Discount Tire. He also participated in the auto tech program in high school. Zach went off to college for engineering but he couldn’t really get motivated and ended up leaving school. He started working at a shop that bought and sold Supra’s. After that, he began working at ATS Racing working on MR2’s and honed his fabrication and tuning skills. Zach then went back to engineering school at UNT in Denton, TX and became involved with the Formula SAE program. He started building wiring harnesses and became very familiar with the electronics of the vehicle.

During this time, he discovered ECU Master out of Poland and was intrigued by their products. He bought one of their products and was very pleased with how it performed on their Formula SAE car so he reached out to ECU Master and proposed becoming their US distributor. To his surprise, they said yes! With a little seed money and some guidance from his brother-in-law, Zach was able to begin importing the products and setting up a sales platform to get them to potential customers. With the aftermarket ECU market being very competitive, Zach has made a point to provide whatever customer service is needed to help the people buying the products.

He is excited about the release of the EMU Black ECU which is more compact and has many new features. Zach also manufactures several wiring harnesses, boost controllers, and sensors to compliment the ECU. He rents an 1800 square foot facility which is mostly office space bud does have a place with a lift to work on cars. He hopes to hire a full-time employee in the middle of next year to help with manufacturing and order fulfilment.

Oct 31, 2016

Matt Beenen has always been interested in how things worked and his parents facilitated this fascination. As he grew up, Matt was interested in vehicle technology and pursued this passion by getting a Mechanical Engineering degree in college. He got involved with the SAE Mini Baja team at college. This gave him insight into teamwork, scheduling, and actually manufacturing a race vehicle.

After college, Matt got a job at BAE Systems and worked as a systems engineer. On the weekends, he modified and raced his 2006 Subaru STI. This is where he met some of the GrimmSpeed employees. An engineering position opened up at GrimmSpeed and Matt jumped on the opportunity. Matt was doing engineering work for them and also manage their product development path. He stepped up and worked to improve the operations of the business and began bringing on other engineers and developing processes at the company.

GrimmSpeed now has 13 employees but keeps a very entrepreneurial working mindset, meaning that each employee may perform various roles throughout the day. They recently moved facilities and currently occupy 18,000 square feet. This facility is where they do the R&D, marketing, fabricating, inventory storage, and shipping. They are expanding their products to more platforms and will be introducing stage upgrades with parts and off-the-shelf tunes.

Oct 24, 2016

Jud Massingill was born in Houston and has lived there his whole life. He attended the University of Houston and met his wife there. They have been married since the 70’s and she was the person who motivated Jud to make The School of Automotive Machinists (SAM). Jud got started racing at the circle tracks and caught the eye of an investor who wanted to back his racing team and open up a machine shop. This investor decided to spend his time and money elsewhere and offered the business for Jud to buy. He jumped on the opportunity, hired a few guys, and took a swing at running the own engine machine shop. 

One day, Jud and his wife were eating dinner and he was commenting on how hard it was to hire skilled employees to run the machines. His wife suggested he open up a school and actually teach people to do it! So, she spent a couple years filing paperwork and submitting to become an accredited teaching institution.

Over the years, Jud has kept it as a family business. His wife still runs the day-to-day operations, Jud teaches many of the classes, his son does the marketing and drives one of their drag cars, and his daughter handles and advises the students. They have worked very hard to make the school as good as possible and recently designated A National School of Excellence by the accreditation committee. This is something that less than 1% of vocational schools have achieved, and they’ve done it two times in a row!

They currently occupy 30,000 square feet but have ambitious plans to double their footprint. They employ around 30 people at the school and have around 200 students. The SAM courses include; Block Machining, Head Machining, Engine Block Combination, CNC, EFI, and Associate Degree program. Students can take one or all of these classes. Jud is very proud that they are among the top 1% of vocational schools when it comes to job placement.

Oct 17, 2016

Jason grew up in Orange County, CA and has always enjoyed going fast and being involved with fast cars. He was particularly fond of the late 80’s and early 90’s import tuners cars. In 1995, Jason purchased a brand new Honda Civic hatchback SI and began installing parts before he even brought it home! Things got extreme pretty fast and before he knew it, Jason was swapping motors in his Honda and in his friends’ cars. Jason became a crew chief for one of his friends and found a skill in organization and planning events. He used this skill to get a job at Super Street Magazine to produce the events they held.

In 2004, Jason and the guys at Super Street had the grand idea to hold a Time Attack style event like the ones they saw in Japan. The plan was to hold it after SEMA in hopes that a lot of the professional Japanese teams would stay longer and participate. A lot of the rules were created around what Jason knew best, and that was drag racing. That is why the event has no power limitations, but instead uses tire width and tread wear to break up the classes. They held several events but Jason later left Super Street to pursue jobs at other automotive enthusiast companies.

Fast forward to 2010 and Jason is once again excited about hosting his own Time Attack race series. He teams up with a partner and holds a press conference at the SEMA show to announce Global Time Attack. They team up with NASA (National Auto Sport Association) to bring some legitimacy to their program. He has since broken out to run the series by himself. There are 3 main events: Road Atlanta, NOLA Motorsports, and GTA Super Lap Battle. Jason also organizes some Pro-Am events local for the California people throughout the year.

GTA Super Lap Battle is still the largest and most publicized event. It is held the Thursday & Friday after SEMA and draws a huge collection of cars, spectators, and media!

Oct 10, 2016

Louis Gigliotti was born into racing and his father, Lou Gigliotti, took him to his first race when he was 4. He was welding and building tube chassis cars in his early teens. For college, Louis chose Purdue University to be close to Indianapolis and racing. Purdue had a Formula SAE team and Louis joined to pursue his passion of building cool and fast cars.

Louis left school early and worked for the family racing business and competing in World Challenge. This lasted a few years before Louis decided to branch out on his own and started GSS Speed with a partner. That business only lasted 6 months before Louis decided to close the doors and go back to work for his father. He got into the same cycle of working too many hours over too many days and became burned out again. This led him to start Gigliotti Racing where Louis would work small jobs for various other shops. This arrangement worked well for him and work continued to come in without him having to go out and hunt for it. An opportunity presented itself when a local shop at a race track became available.

Louis jumped on the opportunity, moved into the space, and became GSpeed. He and his partners rent 7500 square feet of garages and have a total of 12 people. Louis stresses tracking data within his shop and making sure they are doing the right things to be successful.

Oct 3, 2016

Cole Powelson grew up racing BMX bikes and first worked assembling bikes at a shop. When he was in high school, he began transitioning his passion towards cars. Fast & Furious came out and this drew Cole to the tuner scene. He went to a technical school and even attended a Porsche factory training program in Atlanta when he was 20. By 22, he had moved back to Salt Lake City and was turning wrenches for a race team while worked at a dealership full time. Around this time, Miller Motorsports Park opened up and provided Cole with more and more motorsports opportunities.

Cole was slowly building up his performance shop while still working full time. This allowed for an easy transition when the time came to do it full time because he already had systems and customers in place to make a go at it. Because of this, he was turning a profit by the second month of running LYFE Motorsport full time. While there were struggles along the way, his preparation and planning helped to mitigate their effect on his business.

Even though he has been in business for several years, growing the business still excites him! His success in racing has opening a lot of doors for cool opportunities. His shop is now 7500 sqft with several lifts, a shipping area, composites area, and a fabrication spot. He also has a 1000 sqft space at Miller Motorsports Park which has a lift and can be used during track events. Lastly, he has 5000 sqft of storage for cars. He employs 7 full time people which he has hired from all over the country, and even from Canada.

He and his team of guys now hold the crown for the fastest R35 Time Attach GRT on the planet with their recent win against the HKS GTR.

Sep 26, 2016

Jens von Holten grew up in Cape town, South Africa during apartheid. While this was pretty difficult, it did open his eyes to understanding how other people experience the world. He received his Mechanic Engineering degree from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town and had aspirations of becoming an engineer for a racing related company. His first position at a race team was the humbling job of sweeping the floor! Jens was willing to do anything to prove himself so he set out to be the best floor cleaner ever. This quickly materialized into promotions within the team and he traveled with the race car all over the country.

To add to his love of racing cars, Jens also enjoy sailing. He and a friend actually sailed from Cape Town to Brazil. They continued on through the Caribbean and then ran out of money when they reached Ft Lauderdale. They stayed for a while and then Jens collected enough money to return to Cape Town to finish his college degree. He then took a position with a Jackie Stewart’s team in England. He got to work on some really cool projects with the Formula 2000 cars (1 step below Formula 1). Things came full circle when Jens hopped on another sailboat and returned to the US. He was offered a warehouse job by his original sailing partner who stayed in the US. He worked in that business for several years and took a break from the racing scene.

Years went by and a friend turned Jens on to an injector company that was up for sale. It was appealing to him because the product was physically small, the time requirement for the business wasn’t too large, and the price was right. So Jens decided to buy the company and enter the injector market in 2007. This company was called Fuel Injector Clinic. He has grown the company to 9 employees over this time and still enjoys working in the industry. This growth did not come without struggle, though. Jens had a lot of trouble with the original owner not understanding the non-compete clause written into the purchase contract. This led to a lot of headaches and litigations that ended up going nowhere.

Fuel Injector Clinic has teamed up with ASNU in an attempt to create the volume needed to be taken seriously by the injector manufacturers as far as scale goes. FIC has also partnered with Holley to help match their injectors for all the newly EFI controlled Pro Mod cars. JKens believe that the company should work for you, not the other way around. He values his work/life balance and tries to not work crazy hours all the time.

Looking forward, Jens is excited about direct injection and is looking for possible partnerships with pump companies. And he sees a rejuvenation of the port injection with all of the issues being seen with direct only injection engines, mainly dirty valves. This provides another avenue to sell aftermarket injectors.

Sep 19, 2016

Ryan grew up in Monterey, CA and enjoyed the car scene of that area. His really got into cars was with a Honda CRX back in 1999 and began doing modifications and even engine swaps. He moved to San Jose for college and continued working on his passion for the CRX’s. He started a small wiring business out of his apartment during college to makes small looms and sub-harnesses. This started to grow and Ryan decided to leave college to devote his time to the wiring business. He moved into a house with some friends and turned the place to his own personal wiring shop! But he quickly realized that he needed a more legitimate space to work. So he moved back down to Southern California and rented a shop to grow the business.

Since moving, he has continued to grow the business to a 2200 sq ft facility and has hired a couple employees. And he still has a partner, Peter, who has been with him from the start. They have accumulated quite the inventory of connectors, plugs, and wires that are needed for the many harnesses they produce.

The bulk of their business comes from ready-made harnesses that are kept in stock. But they do still work on custom projects and customer cars to bring more awareness to the company. And Ryan also teaches a Wiring 101 class for High Performance Academy.

Sep 12, 2016

Brain is a self-proclaimed geek who spent most of his early years at Radio Shack. He was very interested in electronics and building model rockets. Never did he imagine that he would be programming machines to port heads for some of the fastest cars out there.

When Brian turned 18, he joined the Navy and bought a Z28 Camaro. This sent him down the path of performance cars. In 1993, he started Total Engine Airflow and started porting heads. He then began working for Holley Performance doing product development. He didn’t last long at this job due to disagreements with the management. So he left the job and restarted Total Engine Airflow in 1996. He really stepped things up in 2001 when he bought a 5-axis CNC machine building heads for some really big name shops. He was approached by Trikflow who ended up buying his business in 2004 to join the Summit team.

All of this leads to him starting Brian Tooley Racing around 2010. His business only sells what it has in stock and even has a real-time quantity tracker right on the website. His business continues to grow and he is nearing completion of a much larger fulfilment center to meet the growing demands. Brian is a self-taught businessman and has spent many hours absorbing as much knowledge as possible to improve his situation.

Sep 5, 2016

Brian Mack initially had aspirations of becoming an astronaut and got his Aerospace Engineering degree in college. After college, he took a job at Pratt & Whitney where he got to work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. He went on to work for a company designing replacement parts for gas turbine engines for power plants. But, within a year, the company was sued by GE for patent infringement. This was Brian’s first experience with patent law and got to see the mix of engineering, science, and law together. From this, he decided to move and pursue his law degree. He has worked with software companies, energy companies, engineering firms, and one of the Big Three auto manufactures on patent work.

Lathrop & Gage has a long history of providing counsel for all sorts of legal matters. This podcast covers the specifics of patent law and we will be featuring more podcasts that cover other areas pertaining to the aftermarket automotive industry.

Aug 29, 2016

JJ entered the car scene by helping friends out with audio and alarms. When he went to college, JJ opened up a small car audio shop. During his senior year of college, he started working with a friend who owned a performance shop in 1996. Before he finished college, he realized that he needed to devote all of his efforts into the performance shop and decided to work there full-time.

Fast forward to 2004 and JJ has started his own shop. He began buying and flipping cars to make some money. This morphed into buying and selling just Subarus and turning modified cars back into stock cars. Then he would sell off the performance parts to make even more money. 2007 was a turning point for JJ and his shop. He had been selling just parts but saw a need in the market to install these parts as well. But then the market took a turn for the worst. To keep the doors open, he resorted to selling Christmas trees during the winter and scrapping U-Haul trucks. He weathered the downturn and has been rocking ever since!

Nowadays, he is shipping out 5-6 engines each day and installing a few more each week. He is manufacturing parts and machining engines all day long. To get to this point, he had to take on a little risk and lease equipment versus saving up and buying them outright. But this risk allowed his business to grow quickly and get ahead of the market to make some money. IAG Performance now has a total of 5 CNC machines in a 24,000 square foot facility and 30 employees. His latest project is a billet block for the Subarus which should allow them to produce much more power. He plans on expanding the footprint of his business to continue to make more products.

Aug 15, 2016

David first realized the potency of a turbo when his dad (driving his Turbo Buick) smoked his V8 Monte Carlo from a light. This led David to trade in his Monte Carlo for an AWD Eagle Talon in 1989. He bought an air filter and an exhaust for the car and ran a mid-13 sec ¼ mile which amazed all the big V8 guys. From this point forward, David was hooked! He immediately began making parts he needed to see what the car was doing and to make it go faster. David got involved with an email community and began selling parts he made all over the country.

David and a few of his buddies got together and had the first unofficial Shootout with a total of 4 people in 1991. The next year, David organized the first official Shootout and 8 people showed up. His attendance to the event doubled (at least) every year as the platform became more and more potent. Now in its 26th year, The Buschur Shootout (DSM/Evo Shootout and some GTR’s) is enormous and cars come from all over to compete and show off.

In this interview, David stays true to himself and has no problem calling people out. He was kind enough to keep some names out if it, but don’t think he is holding back. When you have been in the industry as long as he has, you learn a thing or two about loyalty. While David refers to himself as the “dumb redneck” sometimes, he continues to push the envelope in the tuning world.

Aug 8, 2016

Terry Fair started doing paint and body work at 14 even though his family really didn’t have any interested in cars. Terry’s decision on which college to attend was based on an invite from a friend to go check out an autocross held by Texas A&M in College Station, TX. He had never seen anything like it and he totally fell in love. He went for a couple rides with people that he still works with to this day.

After college, Terry and his wife, Amy, moved to Houston and he began working in the oil industry. He was still wrenching on the side to keep the automotive passion alive. In 2005, Terry had moved to Dallas and teamed up with an old college buddy to create a real business out working on cars. They created Vorshlag (which means absolutely nothing) and started to specialize in LS swaps back before it was cool. In 2006, they flew to Holland and teamed up with AST to create a mono-tube motorsports shock. Eventually, Terry bought out a business that built camber plates and this became the main product for Vorshlag. He has moved a couple times but stresses having a nice, clean facility for customers to see and experience the level of professionalism at Vorshlag. His current space is 7500 square feet and employs 6 people.

Recently, Terry dove in and bought his own CNC machines to manufacture his parts. He made this decision because he was getting more and more frustrated working with outside vendors to manufacture both prototype parts and production pieces.

Aug 1, 2016

AJ didn’t really come from an automotive enthusiast family. But when his older brother purchased a white Fox Body Mustang, AJ immediately fell in love. During high school, he began working at a collision business and began working on cars. He worked there for 6 years and picked up body work pretty quickly. After that, he got an associate’s degree in automotive technology and got a total of 8 ASE certifications. He began working at Pep Boys but quickly moved back to a collision shop. AJ purchased a house and began doing side jobs out of his garage. These side jobs kept getting bigger and bigger until he finally made the leap to make a real business out of it! His first composite part was a headlight duct for his Mustang.

One thing led to another and AJ ended up purchasing another composites business which really got the ball rolling on AJ Hartman Aero. He leveraged his experience repairing cars to begin making composite parts. His current shop is 5200 square feet with several rooms dedicated to each process of making composite parts.

Jul 25, 2016

Greg Caloudas has been tinkering with cars his whole life but he never imaged that he would be developing and manufacturing engine internals. His first experience with an import was back in 1999 when he purchased a 1994 Supra. He had seen an upgraded one at a race track and though, “I’ve got to have one!” While in college, Greg majored in Business Management with the plan of working for himself. He wasn’t really interested in the family business of restaurants and real estate. He began modifying his Supra and quickly realized there was a market for him to become a dealer and sell parts online. What started as a side business turned into GSC Motorsports (using his initials as the business name).

One day, Greg was approached by somebody who had some unbranded cams available for Evo’s. There was a long wait for the HKS cams at the time so Greg decided to purchase the 50 or so sets and market them as GSC Cams. He sold all of them in a few months’ time with a relatively unknown business. This result caused Greg to focus more of his efforts on manufacturing and selling camshafts. He realized pretty quickly that he would need to manufacture his own products here in the US versus having them made overseas. This ensures that he can closely monitor and control the quality of his product. Once he decided to dive into manufacturing a billet cam, this became even more important!

Jul 18, 2016

Steven Aghakhani is a 13 year old who races exotic cars for a living! Everything from McClarens, Porsches, Lamborghinis, and even Formula 1 cars. His racing career began when he was 6 in go carts and it quickly morphed into something more serious. He has participated in several half mile events as well as raced at numerous circuit tracks.

Even though money is an obvious help in getting started racing super cars, Steven explains that there is a ton of mental and physical training required to sustain the strain of racing at 100% for hours at a time. He trains all the time and is at the track almost every day. But he has to balance this racing life with his school life with hopes that he can attend UCLA to study law and follow in his father’s footsteps.

Jul 11, 2016

Jay Payson’s love of motored vehicles goes all the way back before he can remember. He began working at a repair shop / filling station in his late teens where he learned a ton of information about cars. He gave college a try but that wasn’t quite his thing. So he found an automotive program through General Motors at a community college which really peaked his interest. He worked at a few dealerships and then transitioned to a testing facility. His various jobs over the years moved him to Michigan to go where the work was.

In 1999, he went to work for SuperChips as a calibrator. Things have come a long way from floppy drive flash tunes! He moved into upper management by 2004 where he helped them grow several hundred percent over the years. He then moved to HP Tuners where he has been for almost 10 years. He has helped grow this company as well and focuses on creating mutually beneficial relationships with other companies.

Jul 4, 2016

Ravi Dolwani is a 4th generation member of the CSF Radiator company and is the CEO of the High Performance Division. This division is something that he started around 2010 with the intent of expanding the business to markets besides OEM manufacturers (such as Isuzu, John Deere, Mercedes Benz, etc.). He thought this expansion would be very seamless, but he soon found out this was not the case at all. He had to hit the pavement and go out to meet shops and spread the word about what he wanted to provide. Over the years, he grew the brand and proved that CSF could make a superior product.

Ravi put a lot of thought into how they sell their products. He made the decision to only sell through distributors and not go direct to consumers. The margins may be less, but this allows his team to focus on developing great products and not spend so much time on customer service inquiries. This all falls on the shoulders of the retailers who sell the product. Ravi has also been able to leverage economies of scale by piggybacking off the infrastructure of the parent company. This allows him to create a great product at a reasonable rate.

Jun 27, 2016

Lee Sweitzer has been around Mustangs all his life and even had a 1984 5.0 Mustang for his first car. At 17, he graduated high school and joined the service to become a Marine. He was stationed in Southern California and continued to race Mustangs. He has spent several years planning and preparing to open up his own performance shop to follow his passion. Lee has seen shop owners work themselves to the bone and is trying very hard to avoid falling into those pitfalls. He understands that it takes a bunch of hard work, but he wants to avoid making mistakes by researching ways to operate more efficiently. He has attended the Essentials of Operating a Shop seminar, many business seminars, talked with business coaches, and read business books.

He has just received the keys to his initial shop space and has begun to get the business going part time. It is a very small space but he really isn’t tied down to a lease agreement so he has the option to move out whenever he needs more space. Lee already plans to work part time for several months to build up a client base and then look into moving into a larger space to hold multiple lifts and eventually, a chassis dyno. He is taking the task of opening up a shop very seriously and wants to limit his risk of making mistakes as he moves forward. Writing a formal business plan was an integral part of this process. While this may seem rare in the performance automotive world, writing a business plan forces you to take a hard look at the structure of how you want to operate.

Jun 20, 2016

Carlos Tirado remembers reading car enthusiast magazines while riding the school bus every day. His brother bought a 1995 DSM and he fell in love with imports. His brother sold the car but Carlos was able to track it down and purchase it back when he was in high school. After graduation, he went to college to work with electronics and it just didn’t interest him as much as he hoped. He shifted gears and changed his major to automotive refinishing. This is where he found how he could turn his passion for cars into a way to make money. He stumbled into powder coating when he saw some people posting on the forum needing their DSM valve covers to be powder coated.

Carlos met Jorge of JMS Racing and they formed a business and personal relationship of working together. The business officially started when Carlos asked his forum buddies what he should call his business. He has since moved locations to be right by JMS Racing and continues to capitalize on that business relationship.

He now rents a 1000 square foot facility and keeps it full of work. He has focused on producing the highest quality product possible and has invested quite a bit on upgrading his equipment. Carlos hopes to hire one or two employees over the next year and move to a larger facility so he can meet the demand for his work.

Jun 13, 2016

Jack McGee’s earliest memories of working on electronics, and even repairing VCR’s when he was 8. All of this was taking place in Jack’s home country of Spain and a little bit in Italy. It wasn’t until he was 15 that his father retired from the military and they moved to Colorado Springs, CO where he still lives today.

His first real business venture was partnering with local electronic stores and repair various items these stores would collect. This was a great venture for a while but he could see the market beginning to shrink and decided to stop this side repair business. He entered the workforce as a typical employee: guaranteed work, benefits, overtime pay, etc. But it just didn’t satisfy his need for exciting work. So he left this job and spent some time taking a break from life responsibilities. A few years go by and Jack ended up purchasing a Galant VR4 which he eventually rebuilt the trans for. Word spread that he was doing this and he started doing more and more work on these cars. One thing led to another and Jack looked up one day and had purchased a 5000 square foot building which he still works out of today.

Now, Jack does everything he can to make the customers happy and keep improving his business. Difficult problems have arisen, but he and his team have done whatever they could to solve any issues that customers may encounter. And he is continually looking for ways to increase the efficiency at his shop. With 13 employees, this task is quite daunting but totally worth it when they can cut out wasteful activities. This has helped Jacks Transmissions become more successful than ever and given them direction on where to focus their efforts.

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