Car Warriors Episode 1: Hot Rod Hooligans vs Inland Empire

If you haven’t seen the new season of Car Warriors on the Speed Channel yet set your DVR now!

One of my earlier posts explained all the changes that were made for season 2. To start things off, two teams from around the country come to compete and have no idea what exactly they signed up for until they are there. These builds are exhausting! One of the first questions that usually pops up “Is this really 48 hours straight or do we get breaks?”. Brad and I always get a chuckle in here because unlike most other shows this one is non-stop until the car is done. Our answer is: no, not really, it is actually more like 60-63 hours then 8 hours off then another 10 hours!

This competition isn’t for the weak at heart…it takes it’s toll on you and endurance is key when doing these builds. I was recently talking to one of the editors about the show and he said they basically layout each episode as if there were no time constraints and then work their way back from there. They start off around 2 hours long and then get cut to around 47 minutes so there is a ton of footage that doesn’t make it which makes it funny for those involved to watch because they remember all of the joking around and pranks along with all the cool behind the scenes stuff that goes into building the car.

This episode was my toughest one. I was so nervous the day before I couldn’t sleep, wondering what the hell I got myself into and how this whole thing was going to play out. A wise man once told me, in the end you only have your reputation and the hand shake you stood behind, so I spent my whole career making sure my customers were always happy with their results and and I always went the extra mile to put a smile on their face. Doing a show like this I was ultimately putting all the years of hard work into someone’s hands to either make or break me. I was so worried about how I was going to look and sound on camera. I knew I had the skills to handle whatever the build could throw my way but my main concern is that I wanted people to see the real me without any bullshit.

The “Lead Tech” role is to basically make sure your team completes their car in the 48 hour time frame. We can, but do not have to, dive in and work along side of these teams. We cannot make any creative decisions nor can we call the shots at anytime. Brad and I both enjoy working with the teams and love to dive in and turn wrenches. We each have a unique style and bring a little something different to the table. On this build I was assigned to the red team (Hot Rod Hooligans), and right from the start I felt the need to dive in and get dirty… They were having a problem with stripped motor mount bolts, so I rolled underneath the car to see if I could lend a hand. These cars were 40 years old and had obviously been worked on previously. Our car had mismatched motor mount bolts and the head of the bolts were rounded. I tried just about every socket in the drawer trying to get  those damn things out. I even at one point tried using a metric socket and a hammer but had no luck there either, they were just too far gone. Up to this point we were rockin’ and way ahead, but without a torch there was no quick way to get these things out.

We later used a chisel and a hammer to get them out. Our car was in a prior accident so trying to get the body panels to line up was a whole other battle. This car literally kicked our asses! It didn’t help that the team leader Jim, hadn’t slept in days prior because his wife just gave birth to their twins. This was only part of the behind the scene chaos that occurred during this build. I could go on and on…right down to the fact of the whole “No Start” issue but what fun would that be?!? haha

Each of these teams come with the hopes of showcasing their skills and reaping the benefits from the viewers seeing their talents but most never get a chance to show them. Case in point… Jeff Styles from the Hot Rod Hooligans in episode 1 is known for his striping abilities and he never even got a chance to stripe the car he worked so hard on for 48 hours! Jeff is like many other people that show up to compete, they are “team players” and are all working towards one common goal, finishing the car in 48 hours. Jeff has a very successful business striping but viewers never got the chance to see how talented he really is. My hopes for writing these blogs for each episode is to be able to talk a little about “behind the scenes” of that episode and also spread the word about all of the talent you never got to see.

It was unfortunate that I didn’t get to connect with everyone during these builds so my goal was after the judging to make sure I shook their hands and let them know my plans to do this and contact me with info and pics so I could help them spread the word. Some forwarded info and others didn’t. Most of these teams are made up off multiple shops combined into one. Please take some time to checkout the links below and see the work these guys are really capable of given more than 48 hours!

Congrats to both teams!!!

Jeff Styles (Hot Rod Hooligans) & his Facebook page – give it a “Like”

Jamie Fifield (Hot Rod Hooligans – Audio)

Jim Iams (Hot Rod Hooligans – Team Leader) 

Tom Prewitt Jr (Hot Rod Hooligans – Painter)

Isaac Gallardo (Inland Empire – Blue Team Leader) 

Fernando (Inland Empire – Blue Team Mechanic)


2 thoughts on “Car Warriors Episode 1: Hot Rod Hooligans vs Inland Empire

  1. hey ray this is fernando the engine mechanic from the blue team episode 1 the orange monster .i really appreciate what your are doing to help all of the teams on both sides .there was alot of scenes that werent shown. your wiilingness to use your time to explain to everone that as an expert in your field shows me that you are man of integity. thank you .heres is my web site

    • Hey Fernando, Hope all is going well on your end. We had alot of teams with good people and I am doing what I can to help out. I hope this will help spread the word 🙂

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