I never realized until much later in life that I was exposed to something unique as a kid. Porsche, T-bird, 300SL Gullwing, Cobra 427, McLaren M8A, old racecars, pre-war Alfa 8C, unique Ferrari’s and of course Bugatti. Pacific Raceway park was the hangout and it was SCCA or Trans-Am events. I could walk through Bill Harrah’s museum in Sparks, Nevada and name all the cars. Dean Batchelor exposed me to Ferrari with a ride in his 340 Mexico. Briggs Cunningham helped foster my education of forgotten brands and to care for them. John Bond of Road and Track magazine taught me the value of old photographs and history. Plus numerous other older friends who enlightened me and today I feel truly lucky to have actually known.
Imagine if someone told the young me four decades ago that one day he would restore some of the great collector cars for Pebble Beach and win numerous class firsts and two best of shows awards at the concours d’elegance? Or that he would be involved in rebuilding several famous grand prix and sports cars from Europe and maintaining them for vintage racing purposes. And that along the way he would become involved in the motorcycle industry manufacturing and shipping parts about the planet. That young kid would be laughing and especially if told that he would design custom cars for paying customers that would eventually get constructed for SEMA and the GRNS events. Definitely he would also be in complete disbelief when the details about him creating a motorcycle design would inspire an Italian motorcycle manufacturer to make it a true production item with a large manufacturing run resulting. There is no way that young kid would believe anything about the future as fanciful as that ever.
All I hope is that if that someone told the kid above all those fanciful things that he’d one day do — he’d also tell him to buy Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, Facebook and Oracle stock and hold onto it for many years for his retirement. And to go buy more Porsche 356’s, early 911’s along with early split window VW buses when they are priced cheap. Thus instead of just working upon all the great cars through his career — he could have one sitting in his own garage for his own enjoyment…
One thing with my fabrication background intermixed with the design skills that have been honed through experience — I also know how to program code for CNC and create designs in CAD that can be fixtured and machined. As I have learned over the past ten years, that last skillset isn’t very common in this industry. It is a niche that I am further expanding and intermixing now with 3D printing to validate “proof of concept” ideas and to correct any bodywork lofting or component interference issues before actual 1:1 scale construction begins. This industry evolves and it is best to make use of the modern technology to create a better project for when ultimately finished and to be enjoyed!