The Shell Pioneering “Live on Stage” Experience had a wealth of automotive knowledge crossing the stage at the 2017 SEMA Show. The aftermarket industry is changing rapidly and the OEMs are beginning to work closely with the companies that are making it possible for enthusiasts to take their rides to the next level. The SEMA show is one of the biggest displays of aftermarket genius and we were lucky enough to rack the brains of these vehicle gurus.

  • Listen to Day 1  November 11, 2017

Day 1 [00:00:00] We begin with Gale Banks, President of Banks Power, about the company’s role in military engine manufacturing for over 41 years. Recently, Banks Power has joined forces with a few companies, Oshkosh Corporation, Lockheed Martin, and BAE Systems to create the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. These rides are replacing the Humvee, and are more equipped to keep those who serve our country safer than ever before.

Day 1 [00:12:31] Next, we chat with NHRA Top Fuel World Champion driver, Larry Dixon, about his new business venture. While a wreck foiled the possibility to be an NHRA Funny Car Champion recently, he’s still winning at life. A father, whose kids look up to him, and who has taken a step into the world of automotive marketing. In collaboration with Traxxas, they have designed a two-seat top fuel dragster. One lucky winner will get the chance to ride passenger with Larry Dixon himself.

Day 1 [00:19:53] Taking a fast turn, we hear from John Hennessey, Owner of Hennessey Performance, about the rides he has brought to show off in the Shell Pavilion. Horsepower is often the first thing we think of when we hear Hennessey and he lived up to that reputation by unveiling the Venom F5, which boasts 1,600-BHP. He also brought along his famed Velociraptor 6×6 and the speed monster known as The Exorcist. He also tells us about his school for young automotive enthusiasts, the Hennessey Tuner School. The school teaches students the technical side, as well as inspiring work ethic, character, and a professional attitude.

Day 1 [00:35:55] Keeping the technicians of the future in mind, we discuss the Universal Technical Institute with their Senior Account Manager, Tony Frassetto, and Shell Lubricants Chief Digital Officer, Nancy Bruner. UTI’s comprehensive program has allowed over 90% of their graduates to find employment right out of college. While we are on the verge of retirement for many of the grease monkeys that have been wrenching on cars for decades, it’s time to train the future of mobility.

Day 1 [00:42:16] Barry Meguiar, President of Meguiar’s, has been keeping the car hobby alive since the 1970s. After being the cheerleader of this elite group of gearheads with his show Car Crazy for so many years, he is happy to be taking it easy. Don’t let the break from his show fool you. Barry is still jet-setting around the world with his lovely wife to attend as many car shows, that Meguiar’s sponsors, as they can.

Day 1 [00:54:47] Taking automotive DIY to the stage, J Haynes, CEO of Haynes Publishing, shares the history of their handy vehicle manuals. In the beginning, it was just two guys with a camera trying to take enough pictures to help themselves understand an engine rebuild from start to finish. After years of dedication, Haynes still pulls a ride into their shop, dissects it, and then creates the manual of the build from start to finish. You’ve got to have a Haynes manual in your garage.

Day 1 [01:02:10] Next, Rutledge Wood, NASCAR personality, explains how he got his start in the automotive world. He also recently built a charity ’67 Mustang Fastback with eBay Motors, that benefited the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. Rutledge takes us on a journey to the past as well and reminisces about his time on the show Top Gear. 

Day 1 [01:18:12] We end the first set of interviews with an all-star line up – Colin Abraham, President of Shell, Steve Ledbetter, President of Jiffy Lube, Chris Powell, President of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Patty Lanning, Vice President and General Manager of North America Marketing for Shell Oil. They discuss the Pennzoil 400 race and the chance for a fan to win a trip to attend.

  • Listen to Day 2 November 25, 2017

Day 2 [00:00:00] This episode kicks off with Chief Marketing Officer, Matt Edmonds, who chats with us about the online shopping revolution. Tire Rack makes it simple for you to select the best tires for you, and ship them directly to your house. Dan Sandberg, President of Brembo North America, talks with Matt about the evolution of the aftermarket industry.

Day 2 [00:12:31] Up next, Kevin Tully and Chad Hill, Owners of Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle, who share about the ’67 Chevrolet Chevelle, they entered in Optima’s Search for the Ulitmate Street Car. Their vintage ride, with 18″ champagne wheels and their custom rear integrated spoiler, got the privilege of being displayed in the Stewart-Warner booth at SEMA.

Day 2 [00:19:53] Changing lanes, we speak with Rich Christensen, Former host of Pinks, and Dennis Pittsenbarger about the importance of being authentic in the automotive industry. Rich also tells us about the debut of his teaser for a potential new show called Torture Test. These guys know what it takes to live life in the spotlight and still maintain their passion for their sweet rides.

Day 2 [00:35:55] Technology has enabled automotive manufacturers to create amazing cars in half the time. Bob Attrell, President of Quaker State and professional driver for Hyundai Motorsports, talks with us about the rapidly changing world of automotive production. He then catches us up to speed on the success of the Hyundai Motorsports team.

Day 2 [00:42:15] We then get to hear about the first Mustang GT350 built by The Original Venice Crew, which was comprised of Jim Marietta, Ted Sutton, and Peter Brock. They first built “002: The Famous Flying Mustang” in 1964-65, and just recently decided to give it another shot. The crew will only be building 36 of these replicas and they will go for $250,000 a piece.

Day 2 [00:48:03] After the passing of Carroll Shelby, many wondered what would happen to this iconic brand. Well, the passion lives on in President of Shelby American, Gary Patterson, and he shares the exciting things happening with the company. Jim Marietta of The Original Venice Crew (OVC) and Gary talk about the revamping of the OVC Mustangs.

Day 2 [01:02:09]Last on this set of interviews, we discuss the concept of automotive aftermarket personalization. A few leaders of this industry – Dan Sandberg, President of Brembo North America, John Waraniak, Vice President of Vehicle Technology for SEMA, Bodie Stroud, Bodie Stroud Industries, and David Borla, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Borla Performance Industries – take to the mic. This crew explains their views on the blurring line between the OEM’s and aftermarket manufacturers.

  • Listen to Day 3 December 09, 2017

Day 3 [00:00:00] This year was the busiest SEMA yet, with over 20,000 buyers showing up to purchase from 2,400 exhibitors. Wade Kawasaki, Chairman of the Board for SEMA, shares how hard they have worked to keep this show relevant to the evolving automotive aftermarket industry. Wade, who is also the President of the Coker Tire Group, talks about the booths they have at SEMA this year.

Day 3 [00:06:29] The Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA) does more than just one huge event each year. Behind the scenes, SEMA has an office in Washington D.C. that monitors bills that come through, ensuring that the auto industry is not the unintended consequence of one of these bills. Learn more about the RPM Act that they recently have put into motion.

Day 3 [00:12:30] Hagerty Classic Cars has a plethora of video series that give car lovers a unique look at this beautiful hobby. Barn Find Hunter digs up long-lost classics and Redline Rebuilds offers real-life views of abandoned rides. Larry Webster, Vice President of Content for Hagerty, tells us that they have created a media arm that will entertain, inform, and connect those with the car hobby passion.

Day 3 [00:19:53]
 Larry Webster, Vice President of Content for Hagerty Classic Cars, explains that they insure over 1-million classic cars that are specifically not driven every day. Its Larry’s job to help create a media arm for Hagerty that can entertain, inform, and connect this car hobby. We also hear about some of Larry and Alan’s favorite cars from SEMA this year and reminisce about the event in years past. Hear about Barn Find Hunter and more from Hagerty Classic Cars.

Day 3 [00:26:22]
Amy Jo Osborn of the Austin Hatcher Foundation, lost her son to pediatric cancer ten years ago. She is here to spread the word about the work they are doing to help children and their families who are affected by this terrible disease. With help from charities through SEMA, IMSA, and more, the car hobby is taking it to the next heartfelt level. Learn more about the Austin Hatcher Foundation now.

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