Chris went to college at an art school in Michigan and focused on graphic design. After graduating, he worked at several design firms and worked his way up the corporate ladder. He was also running a forum called EFHonda to pursue his passion of the EF Honda chassis. He even started his own parking lot meet up called the EF Honda Meet to hang out with fellow enthusiasts. In 2004, they stepped it up and rented Gingerman Raceway on a Monday and took their cars out on to the track. They called it Westminster Honda Meet 4 (for 2004).
As the years went by, the Honda Meet grew and turned into a tight-nit community where people would look forward to the meet every year. Chris focused on making it a very professional event and created new designs and marketing material for each event. But cars weren’t the only thing he was interested in. Chris had been attending a lot of music festivals and was meeting a lot of artists all over the country.
So, he decided to blend the two hobbies and create GridLife. Taking what he learned from Honda Meet, he wanted to create an event that appealed to more than just the car culture. To do this, he devised an experience-oriented track weekend that also included live music. He encouraged people to camp at the event, grill out, and watch the racing. He also incorporated a car show segment and drifting to make it even more appealing to all the different car segments.
John bought his first Eagle Talon when he was in high school and upgraded to a turbo Eclipse when he got to college. He did quite a few mods and ran it a lot at the drag strip. Then, John and some buddies got together and rented a small shop to modify their cars and others for customers. After a few years, John separated off and took his fabrication equipment to work at another shop. That second shop began to shift to more domestic cars so John decided to go out on his own.
He bought an 8500 sqft building to house a few lifts, the dyno, engine assembly room, and an area for his fabrication. He has grown to having 4 employees and working on several different import cars. He has been focusing on only working on stuff that makes him money and has grown the business steadily over the years.
Trevor raced cars all through high school and he progressed over the years with more powerful and faster cars. When he turned 21, he bought a Trans Am that came with the new LS V8. At that same time, his now business partner Jason Mangum also had a Trans Am and they raced against each other any chance they got! Trevor graduated college in 2000 and moved to Dallas, TX to look for a job. It was at this time that Trevor and Jason really considered starting a real business.
When they pulled the trigger, Trevor moved back home to Lubbock, TX to open up Texas Speed. Their main focus was parts sales and they were early adopters to sell parts on a website. They also installed parts on cars but eventually stopped that to focus on selling parts. In July of 2014, they relocated to Georgetown, a suburb north of Austin, TX to get access to more employees.
Since the move, Texas Speed has grown to almost 50 employees and has transitioned to manufacturing parts as well as selling them online. They now machine and assemble all of their engines, port their cylinder heads, and grind camshafts all in house.
Howard began his focus in the sport compact performance market building roll cages and engines for customers. He bought his first CNC machine way back in 2005 because he wasn’t able to reliably get sleeved blocks. Things were going good until the economic downturn in 2008 when they had to sell off all the assets to stay out of bankruptcy. In 2010, he started Howard’s Hot Rods with his wife. This was kind of a side business and Howard went to work for another machine shop.
As time went on, Howard decided to build a building on his property to handle his Howard’s Hot Rods business. In 2013, he decided to get back into the machining business and bought another CNC machine. He took things he learned over the years and implemented processes to ensure that everything is done correctly the first time. This organization also allows them to know exactly how many of each machining process they complete to better determine ways to save money or attract more customers in the future.