TCP 012: Entrepreneurship and Enthusiast Cars With Alex Witkin, Founder of Performance Auto Gallery

Listen now on iTunes and Google Play.

On this episode, I sit down with Alex Witkin who is the founder of Performance Auto Gallery, a specialty automotive dealership based in Gaithersburg, MD that specializes in hand-curated collector and enthusiast cars. We discuss how he got started with the business, his fascination with the Subaru WRX platform and the enthusiast car market.

From a 1986 Porsche 930 Turbo to the 900 HP AMS tuned Nissan GT-R, Performance Auto Gallery showcases an impressively wide variety of well-sorted enthusiast cars. Walk into the immaculate showroom and you’ll also be greeted by some of the lowest milage modern Japanese classics in the country.

In addition to having an incredible selection of cars in stock, Alex also offers his wealth of knowledge and services to help build and customize a car to your liking. One car in particular that caught my eye is a stunning 1970 Datsun 1600 Roadster that he completely restored from the ground up. We had a chance to take it out for a drive recently and it was a blast!

While Performance Auto Gallery has only been around since 2014, Alex has been an active participant in the automotive community for well over 10 years. Perhaps the best example of his accomplishments can be seen in his personal 2002 Subaru WRX that he completely transformed into an award winning build and was featured in Super Street Online.

Resources and Links:

Performance Auto Gallery Car Videos and Reviews 

Big Turbo “Hawkeye” Subaru WRX STi

Alex’s Personal 2001 Subaru WRX STi (JDM RHD)

Aston Martin V8 Vantage N420

16k-mile 2004 “Blobeye” Subaru WRX STi (Full Cobb Stage 2)

TCP 011: Reinventing the Commuter Car with Jerry Kroll

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(Editors Note: This episode was originally recorded back in October.)
This week I’m privileged to have Jerry Kroll, Founder and CEO of Electra Meccanica, a car company based in Vancouver, Canada. Jerry and his team are on a mission to bring to market a new kind of commuter car and hopefully disrupt an industry plagued by inefficient and non-sustainable forms of transportation.
The company’s first car, the SOLO, is a single-passenger vehicle designed for commuters that features an all-electric powertrain and promises strong performance and safety. They’re taking preorders now and are expected to begin delivery sometime in 2017.
In this episode, Jerry and I talk about his background growing up on a farm selling flowers around the world and his path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. We also dive deep into the electric car market and discuss the future of autonomous cars as it relates to car enthusiasts and commuters.
SOLO Reveal Video

Resources and Links:

TCP 010: Big Trucks in Afghanistan, Porsche 911s and The Future of Enthusiast Driving With Jonathan Orr

Listen now on iTunes and Google Play.

It feels like it’s been forever, but I’m finally back with an in-depth episode covering a range of esoteric topics with my special guest Jonathan Orr.

j-orr-headshot

Of all my guests, Jonathan’s background is perhaps the most eclectic of them all. Having once served our country in Afghanistan and then again as a Navy Reserve officer, Jonathan also managed to build a successful career as a public relations professional and recently started pursuing his passion for cars as a freelance automotive writer.

In this episode we go deep into his time in Afghanistan and also cover some of the unusual vehicles he was able to drive while stationed on base. We also dig into the stark reality facing today’s car enthusiasts with the proliferation of electric and autonomous cars. Lastly, Jonathan shares his story about how he acquired his beloved Porsche 996 911 and we trade stories from some of the fun cars we’ve driven lately.

Resources and Links:

 

TCP 009: Of Kiwis and Gorillas with Nick Murray

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This week I was lucky to sit down with Nick Murray who hosts a popular automotive YouTube channel that now has an audience of over 86k subscribers. During our time together, Nick shared some of his insights from reviewing cars to his approach on creating engaging videos, several of which have received over 1M views.

nick-and-tui

We also talked about a some things Nick hasn’t shared on YouTube including his life growing up in New Zealand and his adventures as a helicopter pilot. Towards the end of our chat, Nick and I had a spirited discussion about some of the cars he’s driven and he offered me some helpful perspective on my own personal car debate.

 

In this episode you’ll learn
  • Nick’s experience and perspective as a rising automotive YouTuber [4:43]
  • Nick’s passion for photography and early YouTube beginnings [8:40]
  • The real story behind Nick’s infamous Porsche 911 video with nearly 2M views [12:02]
  • The boundaries between Nick’s YouTube life and private life [19:05]
  • Growing up in New Zealand [25:45]
  • What factors helped Nick’s videos surpass 1M views [30:18]
  • Nick’s helicopter beginnings and flying stories [33:00]
  • Nick’s thoughts on the future of drone racing [43:17]
  • How the E92 M3 (V8) compares to the F82 M4 (turbo six) [47:17]
  • Thoughts on the air-cooled Porsche 911 market [53:50]
  • Nick’s and I discuss recommendations for my next car [57:27]

Resources and Links:

TCP 008: The Only Way Out Is The Way Through | Jessi Lang

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Today I’m very excited to have award winning automotive host, writer, and producer, Jessi Lang Ph.D, on the show for a vibrant conversation as she shares insights and musings on some of the most significant events that shaped her life and career.

jessi_lang-01-jpg

Jessi is widely recognized for her dynamic on-camera roles at MotorTrend where she’s produced and hosted several widely acclaimed automotive shows including The J-Turn and Wide Open Throttle.

Jessi’s relentless passion and fearlessness quickly became evident during our epic two-hour conversation. We covered a wide range of topics on everything from her experience as an English professor to her role as a leading female host in the automotive industry. We also discuss several topics she’s never shared in public before including her adoption, finding family and the enduring strength and community she’s found following her life-threatening accident three years ago.

To say that I am grateful and inspired by her willingness to share these parts of her life on this podcast is an understatement. It is my hope that listeners, regardless of their life situation, can find inspiration and courage through her story as well.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Jessi’s love for the piano and music [5:00]
  • Reflections on the 3-year anniversary of Jessi’s accident [9:50]
  • How Jessi has embraced “fanatical vulnerability” [13:05]
  • Where Jessi finds her strength and courage [17:33]
  • How Jessi’s experience as an equestrian translated to her passion for driving [20:45]
  • Why Jessi pursued a PhD and how she applies it to her work in the automotive industry [27:30]
  • Jessi’s thoughts on the elasticity of language and unconventional classroom assignments [34:43]
  • How Jessi sees her role as a woman in the automotive industry [37:10]
  • Jessi’s appreciation for her followers [42:50]
  • Jessi’s reflection on her adoption and learning about her biological parents [50:20]
  • Jessi’s first on camera automotive job [1:07:58]
  • What it’s like setting a standing mile speed record in John Hennessy’s 750 hp ZL1 Camaro [1:13:20]
  • Cars that Jessi hasn’t driven yet [1:21:45]
  • Jessi’s favorite exhaust note [1:33:50]
  • How Jessi felt when she was reunited with her beloved Subaru WRX [1:40:00]
  • Jessi’s passions outside of automotive [1:55:25]
  • The things on Jessi’s bucket list [2:02:10]
  • People who have had a meaningful impact on Jessi’s life [2:14:20]

Resources and Links

Pachelbel – Canon in D Major

Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability Ted Talk

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Awards Acceptance Speech

The Long Road to Recovery: Jessi Lang on Surviving a Near-Fatal Car Crash – The J-Turn Ep. 18

A Few Things

  • If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and subscribe.
  • Please share with your friends using the social media buttons on this post and follow us on Twitter @ThatCarPodcast.
  • If you have feedback, please leave a note in the comment section below, or drop us a line via email at thatcarpodcast@gmail.com.

*Note: The title of this podcast is a quote from the late Howard Nemerov in his book Journal of the Fictive Life, one of Jessi’s favorite books.

TCP 007: A Passion for Cars and Charity with Ken Lingenfelter, Owner of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering

Listen now on iTunes and Google Play.

This week I had the great privilege of having Ken Lingenfelter, owner of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and the incredible Lingenfelter Collection, on the show to talk about his lifelong passion for cars, business, and charity.

ken-headshot

For over 40 years, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering has been creating some of the most powerful performance vehicles on the market. In addition, Ken started and owns the Lingenfelter Collection, one of America’s premier private car collections with over 150 rare and very desirable cars.

Although the Lingenfelter Collection it is closed to the general public, Ken regularly hosts large fundraising events throughout the year and very generously donates all of the proceeds to the many charities he supports.

We had a wide-ranging conversation on Ken’s life growing up in Dearborn, Michigan and following his career all the way through purchasing the Lingenfelter business from his cousin, the late John Lingenfelter. We also cover a few unique cars from the Lingenfelter Collection and discuss what maintenance is like on his Bugatti Veyron, a 254 mph production supercar!

Ken’s story is truly fascinating and it was a tremendous learning experience and pleasure having him on the show. If you want to learn more about Ken and Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, check out the following links:

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What Ken’s childhood was like growing up in a GM household [3:38]
  • How the General Motors Craftsman’s Guild shaped Ken’s appreciation for cars [6:00]
  • How Ken got started in his early business ventures [10:44]
  • Why Ken got expelled for racing a Mustang at High School [17:10]
  • Ken’s first fast car experience [20:50]
  • How Ken acquired the Lingenfelter Performance Engineering business from his cousin John Lingenfelter [22:00]
  • Ken’s criteria for adding cars to his collection [29:05]
  • What full-throttle in a Bugatti Veyron feels like [36:40]
  • Ken’s passion for giving back and using his car collection for charity [39:49]
  • The cars Ken wants to add to his collection in the future [44:25]
  • Ken’s favorite driving music [49:53]
  • Ken’s thoughts on autonomous cars [55:20]

A Few Things

  • If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and subscribe for more weekly interviews and discussions with entrepreneurs on cars.
  • Please share with your friends using the social media buttons on this post and follow us on Twitter @ThatCarPodcast.
  • If you have feedback, please leave a note in the comment section below, or drop us a line via email at thatcarpodcast@gmail.com.

TCP 006: A Masterclass with World Championship Race Car Driver, Randy Pobst

Listen now on iTunes and Google Play.

This week I’m honored to have one of America’s most accomplished professional race car drivers, Randy Pobst, on the show to discuss his life and love of going fast, especially around corners!

RandyHeadShot

Many of you may know Randy as the hot shoe who sets lap times for MotorTrend’s Best Driver’s Car series and also hosts his own show, The Racing Line. Yet, prior to that, Randy was a professional race car driver with over 90 career wins and has served as a factory driver for automakers like Porsche, Volvo Polestar, Mazda, and Audi, to name a few.

It was a joy having Randy on the show and I certainly learned a lot about corners, thinking ahead and going fast. If you want to learn more about Randy, check out the links below.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Randy’s early years in Europe influenced his interest in cars [1:00]
  • Randy’s first driving experience after getting his license [5:00]
  • Randy’s love of corners on the race track [7:40]
  • The evolution of Randy’s passion for auto racing starting with Autocross [8:00]
  • How Randy almost won his very first race [21:00]
  • The natural laws of passing and how to avoid crashes [27:00]
  • The time Randy coached Jessi Lang, host of The J-Turn, on how to master corners [38:30]
  • How Randy finds his fundamental focus on the track [41:00]
  • Randy’s rituals and best practices ahead of big endurance races [48:30]
  • How Randy feels about job security in this industry [56:10]
  • Randy’s retrospective after his crash at Pikes Peak in 2015 [1:04:00]
  • How Randy’s family and friends feel about his safety [1:13:10]
  • Randy’s fears on and off the track [1:16:30]
  • The people who had a big impact on Randy’s life [1:20:50]
  • The time someone tried to kill Randy and how it helped him be successful [1:25:00]
  • Fast Volvos, M3s, and cars that impressed Randy recently [1:38:40]
  • What’s next for Randy [1:53:50]

A Few Things

  • If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and subscribe for more weekly interviews and discussions with entrepreneurs on cars.
  • Please share with your friends using the social media buttons on this post and follow us on Twitter @ThatCarPodcast.
  • If you have feedback, please leave a note in the comment section below, or drop us a line via email at thatcarpodcast@gmail.com.

TCP 005: Oh Car, Where Art Thou? – Doug Newcomb, Founder and President of the C3 Group

Listen now on iTunes and Google Play.

This is part one of a two part mini-series covering the future of connected and autonomous cars.

This week I had the privilege of sitting down with Doug Newcomb, who is the President and Founder of the C3 Group and also a well respected journalist and authority on connected cars. Doug’s been covering the automotive technology industry for more than 25 years and has been involved with several leading publishers including Edmunds.com, MSN Autos, and Wired.

Doug Newcomb Head Shot

Doug also happens to be a former colleague of mine and it was great catching up with him on the show. The auto industry has gone though some pretty epic changes in the 10 years since we last worked together, and we got to cover range of topics from car audio and technology to connected and self-driving cars.

We could have easily gone on for several hours but unfortunately had to cut it short this time around. Nevertheless, I look forward to having Doug back next season to continue where we left off!

Recent Writings by Doug Newcomb

You can find more of Doug’s commentary on connected and autonomous cars at www.cthreereport.com and on his personal website www.dougnewcomb.com. Doug is also on Twitter @dougnewcomb.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What makes a good car stereo [3:56]
  • Which car manufacturers Doug thinks have the best sounding audio systems? [4:57]
  • How Doug got his start in journalism [10:50]
  • When connected cars will go mainstream [15:40]
  • What’s going on with Tesla’s Autopilot [20:00]
  • What needs to happen for self-driving cars to go mainstream [25:34]
  • How we’ll share the road with autonomous cars [28:56]
  • What the future holds for car enthusiasts [31:10]
  • The privacy risk from connected cars [34:00]

A Few Things

  • If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and subscribe for more weekly interviews and discussions with entrepreneurs on cars.
  • Please share with your friends using the social media buttons on this post and follow us on Twitter @ThatCarPodcast.
  • If you have feedback, please leave a note in the comment section below, or drop us a line via email at thatcarpodcast@gmail.com.

TCP 004: Just Add Oil – A Startup 20 Years in the Making

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John Roberts isn’t your typical 68-year old. While he’s enjoyed a long and very successful career as a real estate developer in the DC Metro area, drifting off to retirement amid streets lined with palm trees and country clubs is the last thing on John’s mind.

As the Founder and CEO of Dynatec, a startup focusing on automotive lubricants, John’s presence exudes the passion and energy you might expect from someone less than half his age. His company, and specifically his MPG+ oil additive, is trying to revolutionize something billions of people depend on every day but rarely think about: engine oil.

JOHN - PUBLICITY PHOTO

Prior to starting Dynatec, John was in the real estate development, home building and general contracting business for nearly 40 years. In this episode we explore John’s journey over the past 20 years as he’s developed his patent-pending product, what led him to start Dynatec, and what it’s like living the startup dream later on in life.

I look forward to putting John’s product through some of our own tests and will report back with before-and-after dyno and fuel economy results later on this season.

Lastly, check back in a week or so for a link to John’s Kickstarter campaign and more information on his products. I really wish him all the best!

In this episode you’ll learn

  • What John’s family thinks about his career change at age 68 [3:10]
  • Why it took John 18 years to start this business [10:00]
  • How John’s father was instrumental in shaping John’s interest in mechanics [18:00]
  • The moment when John realized he wanted to be an entrepreneur [24:00]
  • The active ingredient in John’s MPG+ product [50:20]
  • What keeps John up at night as a 68 year-old entrepreneur [1:02:00]
  • The cartoon that inspired John at age 27 to push through big challenges [1:19:00]

A Few Things

  • If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and subscribe for more weekly interviews and discussions with entrepreneurs on cars.
  • Please share with your friends using the social media buttons on this post and follow us on Twitter @ThatCarPodcast.
  • If you have feedback, please leave a note in the comment section below, or drop us a line via email at thatcarpodcast@gmail.com.

TCP 003: Channeling Obsession with Matt Moreman, Founder of Obsessed Garage

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In this episode, you’ll get a chance to meet one of the most interesting and detail-oriented car enthusiasts on YouTube. Matt Moreman is the founder of Obsessed Garage and is building a lifestyle brand for car enthusiasts and gear-heads alike. Over the past few years he has amassed over 21,000 followers on his YouTube Channel and he’s just getting started.

matt moreman

In addition to talking about some of his incredible cars, Matt also is an expert-level auto detailer and shares his love of DIY projects and hobbies with his audience on a weekly basis through YouTube and his personal website, www.ObsessedGarage.com.

This episode is very introspective and we spend a good chunk of time diving deep into the man behind the garage to help set the stage for a fun and lively conversation about Matt’s cars (Porsche 911 GT3, BMW M3) and we discuss several trends in the enthusiast automotive space. We also help out a friend who’s looking for recommendations on a fun weekend car.

Enjoy!

0U9A0392 | Matt Moreman | Flickr

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Why Matt started Obsessed Garage [5:52]
  • The good advice his therapist gave him that helped set the stage for success on YouTube [8:15]
  • Why it’s important to be authentic and “real” in growing a personal brand [16:45]
  • Matt’s perspective being a Christian while also being a car enthusiast [26:38]
  • How Matt balances his passion for Obsessed Garage with his family and kids [30:00]
  • Why a car’s personality matters as an enthusiast owner [35:31]
  • Where Matt thinks BMW’s M-division is headed [37:50]
  • What it’s like hitting 9,000 RPM in the GT3 [49:51]
  • What fun weekend cars Matt would recommend for a friend with a $50k budget [1:00:01]

A Few Things

  • If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and subscribe for more weekly interviews and discussions with entrepreneurs on cars.
  • Please share with your friends using the social media buttons on this post and follow us on Twitter @ThatCarPodcast.
  • If you have feedback, please leave a note in the comment section below, or drop us a line via email at thatcarpodcast@gmail.com.

TCP 002: Reeves Callaway, Automotive Icon and Founder of Callaway Cars

Listen now on iTunes and Google Play.

I’m starting a summer series on American automotive icons where we’ll have some of the most successful and influential founders, engineers and racing legends on the show to share the untold stories of their craft and discuss exciting trends in the automotive industry.

This week I’m thrilled to have Reeves Callaway, founder of Callaway Cars, on the show to share some of his best stories and nuggets of wisdom he learned from a successful career spanning over 30 years in the automotive industry.

8762C3A5-E6C9-4938-AA43-BE713A8A55EE

Today, Callaway Cars is known for building some of the fastest, most reliable sports cars in production today, all of which come with a full factory warranty and are 100% emissions legal in all 50 states.

Reeves also founded several other related companies including Callaway Engineering, Callaway Carbon, and Callaway Competition, and he shares some insights from those companies as well.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Where Reeves got his passion for cars [3:07]
  • Reeves’ philosophy and approach to building fast cars [5:38]
  • What makes the Corvette so special [7:76]
  • The phone call that started Callaway’s Corvette program [11:00]
  • The real story behind the Callaway Corvette Sledgehammer [17:45]
  • Reeves’ friendship with John Lingenfelter [28:37]
  • Why Callaway switched from turbocharging to supercharging [36:00]
  • What Reeves thinks about electric cars and Tesla [40:00]
  • Reeves on Callaway Competition and the GT Masters [45:10]
  • A few things most people don’t know about Reeves [52:28]
  • What advice Reeves would give for people who want to start their own business [54:46]

Extras!

Reeves was kind enough to let me have some seat time in their fastest car, the C7 Callaway Corvette Z06 SC757. With 757 hp and 777 ft/lbs of torque from a supercharged 6.2 liter V8 engine, the car had epic power at ANY speed!

In-Depth Overview Video

First-Time Behind The Wheel

A Few Things

  • If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and subscribe for more weekly interviews and discussions with entrepreneurs on cars.
  • Please share with your friends using the social media buttons on this post and follow us on Twitter @ThatCarPodcast.
  • If you have feedback, please leave a note in the comment section below, or drop us a line via email at thatcarpodcast@gmail.com.

TCP 001: Welcome to That Car Podcast!

Listen now on iTunes and Google Play.

Hey everyone – I’m very excited to launch the first episode of That Car Podcast!

This episode is a bit longer than usual since I spend some time giving a brief overview of what this show is about and why I decided to make a podcast.

This week, I’m very fortunate to be joined by Matt Barnes, Founder and CEO of TechMalak.com, a technology and automotive blog based out of Ontario, Canada.

M Barnes

We cover a range of topics including his beginnings with TechMalak, thoughts on overcoming limiting beliefs, his car story, and thoughts on what it means to be a “driver’s car.” We also give a few car matchmaking suggestions to a random Reddit user who’s looking for a sporty and roomy replacement to his aging Nissan Maxima.

Note: We did have a few minor audio issues during the session, but we have a better solution for next time.

Resources

A Few Things

  • If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and subscribe for more weekly interviews and discussions with entrepreneurs on cars.
  • Please share with your friends using the social media buttons on this post and follow us on Twitter @ThatCarPodcast.
  • If you have feedback, please leave a note in the comment section below, or drop us a line via email at thatcarpodcast@gmail.com.