Look at this guy: we have Dave Smith, owner and founder of Factory Five Racing, joining all the way from Boston. We talk about his business, Dan Gurney, and Hyundai's smaht pahk commercial.
Look at this guy: we have Dave Smith, owner and founder of Factory Five Racing, joining all the way from Boston. We talk about his business, Dan Gurney, and Hyundai's smaht pahk commercial.
welcome to the so Calle car seeing podcast, the exclusive place for coverage of car culture in Southern California and the personalities that drive it. I'm your co host Big J. Marash. The's show is associated with so called classic car storage, which provides South OSI car lovers the opportunity to secure their vehicles in an environment made just for them are two facilities feature advanced security systems, 24 hour video surveillance and a dedicated members lounge. In addition to storage are experts. Sales staff offers consignment services for those looking to sell their cars. For more information, visit us at Laguna Hills or at so Cal car storage dot com or on Facebook at facebook dot com slash so Cal car storage And now take it away, Dean.
Thanks, Jay. And welcome everyone to the So Calle car seen podcast. Yeah, that's right. I'm your host, Dean Marash. And we're thrilled to have as our special guest today. The founder and owner of Factory Five Dates Smith. They found it. Oh, it's our pleasure. Dave. Little intro on Dave. Dave founded Factory Five racing in 1995. The company is headquartered and we're on Massachusetts about an hour south of Boston. The company currently has 42 full time employees, and Factory five offers 10 different building yourself component car kits. Dave's Vision Leadership and the talented team is Osama label Factory five. Racing from a two car garage in 1995 to become the world's largest of most successful replica. Our company. His company occupy 62,000 square feet of operation and manufacturing to manufacturer these awesome vehicles. They're currently manufacturing some pretty incredible rides, including the popular Roadster, the Type 65 R coupe and the 33 who, just to name a few. Hey, thanks for joining us on our soup. Kilcarr seen podcast. Dave.
That's cool Beer. You guys have had
some cool guests. Awesome. Well, you're right up there, man. We're just really fortunate that the community's been so responsive to our crazy request people, you know, it actually turns out to be a good time, and I noticed that might be the case with you as well. And it is probably a good segue way into my first question, which is, I understand the viruses, you know, kind of done a number on your factory and your operation. Tell us how you're doing. Your family, your team during these very extraordinary times, you know?
I mean, it's tough for everybody. And so, you know, you don't want to cry poor mouth. When when some of the other people are suffering And there's healthcare workers doing their best, you know, on the front lines, it we're building hot rods. And when it comes to essential services, you know, if you ask a car guy, you know, we think we're pretty essential, you know, But no one really needs a car at this point in time. But we've got a tremendous amount of customers following us because they're sitting at home with nothing to do. And so, uh, we've we've been able to keep a small skeleton crew in place. Um, come may 4th, I think we're back, Teoh. Full strength. Hopefully, everything will go well, but yeah, I mean, you know, doing well, uh, you know, um, the fact five community in large is doing a lot. You know, they're still many of our customers there helping out on the front lines. So our companies just trying to keep it together and let people know kind of the since we have a little bit of time. We can spend time talking about stuff that we don't normally have time to talk about. In the regular day, We just did a Facebook live broadcast with engines selection, everything from push right engine, small black, big block, modular motors, horsepower ratings to work. It was really fun because we had a chance to kind of get through and go through every single power plant option you could do with your own car. So we're doing okay.
Well, that's awesome. You know, that's one of those things that everybody is wondering, like, you know, and so I'm gonna have to go watch your Facebook post on that. It's just like the breath of engines and the the options are seem to be analysts Now, you know, with the the advances Ford is made as well as obviously, some people even select Chevys like ls is I'm sure to put in your car's got for you. Well s Oh, that's awesome. And we look forward to learning more about that. So your business is pretty Take, uh, quite frankly and so bazaars. But at the time when you decided, you know, I'm gonna go do this. What was that? Initial inspiration? What was that all about? Number people saying Did you have friends saying you want to do what? Are you crazy? What
the heck? No, I You know, when everyone in your life tells you not to do something, you should not do it. Okay, So the president company I was working for I was doing really well and I was on the senior staff, and I told my one to start this car company, and he looked at me, said, Dave, you that you're the dumbest smart guy I know. Uh, you're gonna you're gonna get off your career track. You gonna start? This company's gonna fail, and, you know, I looked at him and I looked at, you know, the other guys I was working with, And, um, I was 28 years old and I was looking at guys who are my age now, and I was saying, Geez, I don't want to be at this company where when I need my job. When my kids were in college, when I'm at the top of my earning curve, that's when they're gonna actually And, uh so I thought, wouldn't it be great if I kind of had control of my own destiny, whether made a lot of money or not. So my brother and I, we actually wrote three different business plans, and Factory five was the most fun business plan. The other two were dot com companies in 1992. Do I would have been a millionaire? Well, I would have been a multi millionaire. Right now I am 100,000 air, so it's
until the bubble burst on the dot com, you know, go out looking 98 would have taken you out.
Yeah, it might have been an honestly, the other two business lines were good and well thought out, but our hearts weren't in it. And, you know, you talked with a lot of your other guests about doing something you love, and it's kind of cliche, but it really is true. And and we all live in the real world where we have to make money and my job is part fantasy and fun. But the other part is 25 years of balancing the books, so I got to run a business and and so many car guys get into this because they love cars, but they forget that if you don't take your love of cars and you don't also marry that to love of business, your love of cars isn't gonna go anywhere because you've got to be able to pay your bills. You gotta be able to take care of your crew, and that's just important as you love your car. So I love the biology of business and I love cars, and Mariam together was kind of a dream come true. So I started the company with my brother in 95. I bought him out about 10 years ago, and so I'm the sole proprietor now, and it's just a dream come true.
Congratulations on your success, and it's It's always great to unravel the when you start and why you did what you did. But you make a great point out of our guests have talked about colliding, you know, their passion for cars or their involvement in the car space with with the business. But I think what they all have in common when they're successful like yourself is they have to be fundamentally sound business people because I've I've seen too many car business is that, you know, our suppliers of ours are friends of ours, and you know, they've struggled. Or maybe they haven't made it. And so it does require a breath of skills, from general management to, you know, finance and sales. And some of these things aren't necessarily a lot of fun for a car
person. Well, I think that's a good question, you know, isn't it is fun. But I'll tell you what. I don't think it's respecting the craft if you don't provide the substrate support of a business that's healthy. I mean, my customers need me to stay in Business is our 25th year, 25 years been Jonas and I swear to God, every every week I wake, how am I gonna make payroll that they spend 25 years? Oh, yeah. You got to run a business and and respect the business and respect your passion to invest in the business side and know that you're running a sound operation, that you're well insured, that you've got the right staff, you got the right products and the prices, all that stuff matters. But at the end of it, if you don't really love the thing that you're selling. Yeah. Then you're just a salesman. And that's not what we are. You know, we're actually the anti sales. When it comes to build yourself car kits, we try to talk people out of it. This is something that does not mean a retail shop. The guy who wants to build his or her own car, he's gonna find a way to do it. And so we just got to make sure products are right for them, and they beat up at their door.
So how do you make you know you mentioned that the products air, right? How do you make sure that when you've manufacturer these component cars, if you will, how to meet the, you know, high expectations? Not only that, your customers have but standards you probably have in place. Is that the quality of the tools Yours that this notion of people process? I mean, you know what? How do you how do you How do you do that in such a way that you meet or exceed expert expectations and people come keep coming back to you?
Well, I mean, you know, if someone's gonna build their own Cobra replica you know, nine times out of 10 they're coming to Factory five and there's a reason for that. And it's not just cause we're nice people. And it's not just cause we work hard, you know, the product has to be right, and we started out engineering this from the very beginning. You know, when it was 1995 I was looking at the kid car industry with my brother, and it was a backwards industry. It was kind of known as the step child of the car business. You know, there were these monstrosity VW powered just I mean, a kit car was a four letter word and we brought cad cam technology that I learned at BJU Medical School and that I had learned in the biomedical industry, Remember in the early nineties, late eighties, you know, the aerospace industry and biomedical and high margin businesses that were high tech used cad cam technology. It was already endemic. Anyone? Oh, honey, 777 right?
It's funny you mention that when I first went to work for Northrop Girl and Northrop
Yeah, North or bought cad and cat and Count, I think from walking who developed it, and when I worked went to work on the B two program that would, you know, that was a great opportunity for me as a young engineer. Get proficient in those systems. And then I started training on the weekends to make extra dough. So bring in engineers. I trained him on those systems, and then I'd moonlight on weekends for the avionics department or other departments just so I'd have the opportunity to use the use this stuff. But it was ST of There are. But now when I think about how clunky and, you know, archaic, that stuff must have been, it's ah, it's fun to think back, but it sounds like you leverage what you learn from another industry, and it really gave you a competitive advantage out of the gate.
Well, it wasn't Dean. It's so funny because your airspace background think about the analogy that I talked to customers, but it's like a flat screen TV. When they came out, they were 10 grand. You know, the operating systems and software you're using an airspace 20 years ago were were systems that a small company could never afford. What we started using auto cad, and we built CAD Cam into the very first time. We're laser cutting steel and my competitors that the small car shows would say, Why are you laser cutting? Still, you're paying for four times what I'm paying. I was betting on the come and that that technology became commoditized. It's all of a sudden laser cutting is now. I got my own laser. I cut my own steel. That's cheaper than any plasma cutter, any hand cutter. So guys cutting a flatter by hand, he goes over it d birds that grinds it off. If it's that we cut it the wrong size cut. Too much off goes in the scrap. Been my laser cuts, everything perfect all the time. And so these are the tools of modern craftsman, but they were enabled by the technology filtering down to a lower level. So one of the few lucky breaks that I had was
I think about is
this technology and a filter down. And it did, and I was in the right place the right time. So now our whole company is based on CAD camp. Every car we designed by professional engineers. I heard smart guys out of Rensselaer Polytech Gym. And, yes, Bird, director of engineering director Armand de. These guys are eight and bread in cat and they design a car, and now we're part of Seamus. So we get the engine drawings, the schematics, all the three D cad from Ford, and we're designing architecture around their engine and drive trains. This is a car that's designed 100% of computer, and then the last step, the surfacing in the body shaping. We just started doing maybe 3 to 5 years ago, and we just perfected it in the last year.
So let me ask you this. We've got a customer here that built a Mustang himself. His name is Chris. He's been a previous guest and he built this incredible 70 Mustang. I think it is. But he did a lot of the work in his garage, but he did some three D printing and he said, Let's think about three D printing and end cat or whatever systems he was using. Some equivalency is that he could actually model these things in three D, render them and then look at them from every possible perspective and then, um, help him see the how the car looked before he made a decision to actually manufacture like a offender. A stretch vendor, for example. How advanced a ad advantageous can't talk. Is that to you to be able to see things in three D before you commit to the design of an element of ah, car, for example?
Well, we start out with AutoCAD two D. We went to three D with Pro Engineer. Now we're using solid works and, you know, solid works this kind of ah commercialized version of Katia that Ford uses. But the three D designed from from the ground up you know you have to do it because it's it's it's baking in your bending diagrams. Your welding tolerances it spending in all of your your bill of materials is baked into the cad. So when we're designing a car, you're designing more than just the car you're designed to cut. List the instructions, the bill of materials you're costing your you know, it's it's really cool. But additive, you know, three D printing allows you for prototyping standpoint, A lot of people maybe 45 years ago they were going nuts about three d printing. We're gonna make a three D Remember heart. All this stuff. I thought it was a bunch of hooey. I thought what was really important about three D printing was prototyping,
rapid prototyping, replacing the expensive rapid prototyping process.
Yeah, but I mean your three d printer new door latch dut door latch. We design it. We design on CAD. We printed out three D in plastic and I can hold it up to the car I can look at. I can feel it. Touch it Now I'm going to spend tooling money on that. But still three d from a manufacturing sampling hasn't gotten there. But from a prototyping standpoint, it's a dynamite tool. You got reductive and additive. And so all the three d cad world is there for us. And so I hire kids who are who are trained in that from the very beginning at school teacher in my system and life goes on, it's it's amazing what we can do that large companies usedto have just this exclusivity on this and now you know, interest. But anybody can do it, you know, with a laptop computer, it's pretty cool.
So speaking of teaching how how involved are you when you're customer. Her just a car. A Sfar, as you know. Are they getting tutorials? Are they getting videos? I know they get manuals and fax support. It's fun and so forth. But you must and probably even recommended suppliers like you mentioned engines from Ford and so on and so forth. How much help are they getting? And how much impactful is that to close the business that you're offering, uh, prion post sale support? I
mean, if you think about it, you know, our job was to China change the way people think about kid cars. So we did it with the technology. That's great. But when someone looks that let's center set the way back machine to eighties and that you know the disastrous kit cars out there, they would have a pretty brochure that would show a car and then a sales. When you call a guy and get the guy all jazzed up and he'd order this kit and it was a monstrosity, it wasn't buildable. And even if it was buildable, when it was done, he had twice the money into it that it was worth and it performed like crap. So it might even actually sort of look good. But if it if it looks good and it doesn't drive, that's a disastrous if you can't back up your looks with that. So we had to overcome stereotypes. That means how hard is it? How difficult is it to build?
So one of the things I wanted to chat with you about in Erik Hansen, who was in the office here a minute ago, just walked out. He helps us quite a bit. So Count Klassiker Storage, as you know, and I think he's been at least four of your cars over the years. And what a great car guy. And he's just a super enthusiastic supporter of Factory five. But is he fairly typical or a lot of your customers? Once they build one and have a blast, they're out ordering another one and buying another one. Is that pretty common? Davor is a
good question. I mean, I mean Eric, we'll say that again.
It's got a problem. Or is this is this pretty common?
Most guys who build cars for fun have a whole list of problems way typically, try toe, you know, we go after shiny metal objects and way have a simple religion, you know, build car by car, good sell, car bad. You know, it's not real complicated, but so Eric Eric is kind of more of an Alfa. He's probably the top 20% of the skill level. Um, he's also got a lot of creativity, and a lot of guys bring that equation. But, you know, factor five. We build and design, build it yourself affordable. Build yourself high performance, you know, car kits. Got it. So our job is to maybe engineer a car that a guy like Eric could add his sweat equity to and end up with a car that he could not really ordinarily afford. Eric has some really creative ideas, and a lot of other customers are like that. From a statistic standpoint, one out of five of our cars that we built, we built 10. Chasse is a week, 10 a week to a day, and like clockwork, we shipped over 12,000 cars, and one out of five of those goes to someone who already built the car, and that is a jaw dropping numbers. So the fact that there for one out of 5 20%. So the fact that Eric's done four is not a typical. It's certainly on the on the higher end of the skill level. But a lot of guys a bill, one car, and that's it. In a building with their son or whatever. Um, but
that would be the official number for Eric. His wife may not know about the fifth and the sixth and 7th 1 I'm not sure.
Well, we we actually completely condone lying toe wives about cars. You know? Not about other women, but about cars. Okay, A lot cheaper. Trust me
about about priorities right after.
Absolutely. Yes. So I think Eric did a great 818 He did. Ah, Hot rod. That was fantastic. Got a lot of attention with it. I know. We did a great 29. You guys have seen.
Yeah, we love that. You know, he took it to the San Clemente car show over here on the annual show, and people were laddering all over it. It's just a exceptional car. He did. We did sell it for him, but that that one was amazing. I didn't see the others.
Well, you know, it Z kind of funny. I hired a an engineer kind of consultant in the early early early days, and I've never met a guy who was more wrong, you know, he was talking about her business. We don't swat analysis the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. It's a business standard, right? And what business? This, this consultant said, one of threats. Your businesses. You can't control the quality of the Finnish car. You know, you had land stabbed around here from super forms. They build finish cars in south after right, so they're build. Quality is the same every time cause they're bringing in completed cars, less the drive train. My customer is doing everything. The body worked the assembly. I mean, they're building the car from the ground up for the bare frame all the way up. So this consultant said, Hey, you can't control the quality of Finnish car. So you know your brand is gonna be affected by poor quality. Builds Well, just the opposite happened. Guys like Erekat Hansen happy. The average skill of the guy at home will build his own car. These guys will put 234 years into this car and I mean they build the rolling artwork. And then they go out to a car show and they say it's a factory. Five. It's not a factor. Five. It's an air cancer. That too cold, right?
Hey, so guess what? You guys that are not that much different than Sue performance some of my customers by the Sioux performance cars and modify them their way.
Oh, sure, sure
chatter. Lance. About that, he said. Yes. Matter of fact, some of those design cues on the current lineup come from customers that have modified past models. Oh, you're so I find that just fascinating that regardless of its A 67 Mustang or a brand new car from your lineup or has that, people just can't wait to put their own design element and be play Chip Foose, right? I mean, every everybody wants to do that.
Well, if you think about the spectrum of car guys, you know, some guys don't have the time or the space to build their own car. You know, our companies, you really kind of specializes with people who want to build their own car from the ground up. And I think Sue performance occupies a space where the same people love the same cars, but they really want more of a finish card. They still tinker with it, no doubt. But when coming back to what that consultant said, you know what I realized is I get credit for other people's work. People build a factory five like every Canton that 29 he says, Oh, it's a Factory five But I just got credit for all of his equity. They put into that great. So we we ride shotgun with our customers In the truest sense, we have to collaborate. So you asked a question earlier about you know, how hard is it to build on? How have we helped our customers build where we gotta build school? The Midwest? It's every month. It teaches 15 people how to build a car, and in three days, all the classmates 12 people build the current three days with instructing. Oh, and at the end of the three days, they drive the car out. It's a four day school, actually, cause on the fourth day, the instructors take the whole damn thing apart. Put it back in boxes for the next class. No fun. Yeah, so it shows people you know how well engineered the cars are. And also, if a guy, maybe he doesn't know if he has the skills to do it. He takes the build school. He finds out real quick. Some people have taken it, said, Hey, it's not my cup of tea, Not many, but it happens. And it really helps make sure that we don't have the nightmare stories of the eighties of people bought kid cars and couldn't finish him.
I'm still got the shakes from this high paid consultant Brian that brought in a Harvard Business School model. You analyze your business, it was
Takes me back to be school, are my masters and just gives me the shakes. But, you know, some of that analysis is good, but I ironic that you've been in business so long, you probably listening and looked at some of that stuff in your like I'm paying for this because,
well, we like to, you know, look, there are stepping and you and I talked about business. We have great cars and we've got a great staff. Most companies know what they do and how they do it most comes don't know why they do it and we are so in bed with the why we are partners with our customers. We build stuff, not just cars. We build friendships, We build communities, we build family stories. We build heirlooms there, passed down. I built a car with my son making offer. I won't sell it. It's a car that build my son. And now he's He's in college and I had that time with him in high school that I'll never get back. That's what we do.
Yeah, it's invaluable memories. I think it's so important everything that you do and our customers do. And so that's That's the best part of what you're doing is you're enabling guys and gals to create memories, you know, with their car bodies or their kids. And I think that's probably the most rewarding part of what you do. If I had to guess,
Oh, Dean, you know, I was just on the phone with Joe Coddington last night. She's a dear friend of mine and Void. I had a poster of a Boyd Coddington Hot rod in the eighties over my dead right.
You were supposed to have a pair of faucet over the bed. I
had that true. We all had that one. But, uh, no. And so, you know, Boyd was a hero of mine. And I got to know Joe and we did a show on Power Nation, you know, cable TV show we built a car and they want to do a build show. And I said, You know, these build shows have been done and done and done. Why don't we do a show with all women? I got daughters. I want to bring women into the into the industry. So we didn't All women's build Manguel heart from summit racing. Karen Silva Joe Who's a so cal hot rotter and racer? Uh, Karen, Uh, I think, um, who wasn't Ah, girl from overhaul in and, uh,
Layer or somebody like that. I
know. I know crisply. Well, she was on Ah, she wasn't on this one. But Joe Collins is one of the women, and she said when she was done building the car, you know, remember, she was married a boy, but she wasn't turning a wrench in this case. We made her build the car and she did it on this show and she said, Dave What you guys do is you let a regular guy be a Boyd Coddington. He gets to create his own car, and we give them the substrate parts. But he's got to add his creativity, his ideas, his color schemes. We talked about Andrew's collection. He's gotta figure all that out. It's fun.
Sounds like, um, you know, enabling others has been just a joy for you. And you know what? My business opens lots of interesting doors. The podcasting Jay and I are doing now is opening doors. And you never know what opportunities there gonna be presented to you because of what you decide to go do from a business standpoint, So much fun. Um, when it's things that you know that intrigues me about your factory five cars and way basis on our experience. We've sold, you know, probably five or six of them ourselves after they've been built after they've been enjoyed. And customers are moving on to buy another factory. Five or something else should think. Oh, well, it's a kit car. Gonna have a difficult time selling it. You know, it'll be here for a long time, not the case. Factory five cars, air actually pretty quick. Sellers Force. What do you attribute that to? And have you heard that feedback from other people?
Yeah, I think you know I'm proud of the product. No doubt. Um ah. Years in business. I mean, if you took our first mark ones, they weren't that great, But going back to business. Wanna one? What are some of the business precepts that you bring to your passion? You know, I always say you have a responsibility to your hobby in your love. To do it right. One of them is is from the medical industry is the process of continuous improvement. No matter what you're doing today, I want to do something better tomorrow and that we've applied that toward products that have gotten better. I mean, Mark Rush, Brooke, who runs four performance. He's building a factory five with his son. Uh, we did a big hot rod truck with Joey Logano. I got to know him. He's a good kid, and we did a show on fast n loud with him. And then we're down at Charlotte with Logano's truck, and Jeff Burton comes by and he says, Hey, I'll take one of those. He's building one with his kid cause it doesn't put a wrench. All of us. I'm 55. Our generation grew up working on cars. So when when the next generation is is on their iPhone too much Jeff Burton's like, you know, his son drives, but he doesn't wrench, so he builds a factory five. So I think I attribute our success to longevity. And even if we were terrible in the early days, we did something better every day. And we've been polishing this turd and polishing this turd and polishing starting here we are.
Well, it's no longer it turned. It's become a rose. So from
hell. Yeah, well, if the other thing is, I should mention this, you know, recall the company. Factory five racing people say, Well, why did you name it that factory was we wanted to piggyback on factory engineering. That 45 leader in the early days, 87 to 93 Fox body Mustang. That running here was so tough and so affordable. We designed a Cobra kid around it and we took off. Right? So factory engineering five was the leader engine which has evolved to the modular five leader today which is amazing engine and the rain thing was, we wanted to compete. How? Maney Kit cars you see on a track. We had our own racing series and I mean, we've set a world record at Bonneville with our Daytona coupe. We've won Trans am in our GTM a Trans Am race, eight circuit of Americas down in Austin, Texas. So we've been racing, and that's something that set us apart so that that also helped us succeed.
I think racing is such an integral part of the car scene. You know, everywhere we go, like like, you know, I was a kid. Um, I have a 67 Cougar x R seven and course. Dan Gurney is one of my car hero guys, and unfortunately, he passed. But, you know, ah, those guys in Trans Am racing were basically taken stock factory cars with some slight modifications and getting out there and and rubbing fenders. And I think that has such an impact to a lot of car people. Most of us don't get a master race, but it really makes it, um, cars inescapable. At some point, once you catch the racing bug, there's no going back
Well, you just mentioned Dan Gurney, who is my number one hero of all time. I went out to all American racers about 15 years ago to look at some Gurney Westlake heads and some other parts who's looking to sell. And Dan spent three hours with me touring a shop I met. I met his chief mechanic. I met his crew. He was one of the most decent, hardworking guys. Phil Remington worked with him his whole life and fill passed way. Dan passed away. My next one of Dan's next door neighbors, um, is Mike Pace and he's building a factor. Five coupe. And he went over dance house two years ago Christmas and had Dan sign a poster for me for Christmas present.
And it was
one of the last things he signed. I think he died in January, but I asked Dan Gurney at the visit. Who Dan, do you think is the greatest driver of all time? Obviously him he won in every venue. F a U S R c trans am can am I think you were. He raced in NASCAR. He won Indiana car. He built himself. He wanted Formula One. He was a God and a decent guy and my hero times a 1,000,000. The fact that you mentioned him, you know, talk about getting me excited. And you know who he said was the greatest driver of all time.
They probably didn't say Carol, show me.
Hey, did smile when I asked my show because we were in lawsuit with Shelby and he smiling as well. Just about all his good friend have been sued. So
granted, telling I give up, you know? You know,
Well, I just figured, you know, my answer was Dan Gurney, you know, and ready Fangio, he said, Even McDonald And you had David McDonald's grandson worked on that Shelby moving, Um, I think Rich. Um, he said David McConnell was killed in 64 Indy driving a Mickey Thompson special. He said David MacDonald found a way to beat me every time I tracked against him. Man here are him. Taught me that the job of a driver is to win the race. You how to get across that line with whatever car you're driving, make those strengths that car work. What a genius Dan Gurney would giant and how lucky we are to follow in that tradition of those kind of people.
I got to meet him at the Peterson Museum. They did a gurney. Special celebration and promotion for all these cars and a grand opening. So we went there on that grand opening that night. The kickoff, You know, the special exhibit with all his race cars and that, you know, even though his health was declining and even in a wheelchair, they thought that they you know, his family got him to go up there and talk. I'll tell you what, he's cracking jokes. Yeah, rooms dying, laughing. And But prior to that, they showed this, you know, very corny little slideshow thing, you know, And the thing that you come away with this and I always took first or second, like in 50% of this starts. Didn't matter if he was running Trans Am or you and, uh, you know, some racecourse in Europe and in a league that had no experience, he was always winning. I don't go. That happened today. You don't see people jumping around from one class racing like Teflon or, you know, Andy over the NASCAR to transact. It just doesn't happen any more. than
everything. It's part of the reason why. Well, if you think about replicas and Cobra's what we do and even hot rods and some of the performance cars, you know there's a lot of romanticism with it. You know, there was an era where a guy like Shelby with Phil Remington and Bond, Iran and great drivers like Gurney could win. Nowadays, it's that that is that Windows closed. Now it's all professional motor sports. The budget is massive, whether it's an asked, our Formula One or even Trans Am and you know you're talking about. There was this last window where an American privateer could do well in international racing and and shall be capitalized on and epitomised it. And so even the cars that were building today are a little bit of a throwback to that. And that's why when you mentioned Dan Gurney, I'm just quivered over here. The guys
have a good guy. Yeah, that's great. Well, we get, we have. We have Dan Gurney, Envy and common always work a man bringer. So you know what day and I have been talking about our favorite streaming video services, and the shows were watching Jason's just trying to cleanse himself from Tiger King, he said, Like a little bit dirty about it.
Oh, did I need to go get re baptized after watching engine way? Help
your motor oil race gas, you know?
Yeah, they should have some kind of a group group counseling or something for people that watch tigers, but I haven't seen it yet. I haven't Yeah, No. Consider yourself lucky,
but just don't do it. Don't do it to yourself.
Good advice. Well, but re runs a game of Thrones are OK. Everybody's watching Ozark. I can recommend that. Talk about something that's sick and twisted but absolutely addictive. But so you either have two choices in this cove in 19 World. You can stream videos all night long with your family all day, all night. Or you can get out of your garage and we'll build a factory five car. And I bet there's hundreds of guys across this country that are finishing up their builds that they're like cash. I wish I had the time. That car has been sitting there for a year, and I'm just kicking myself so out there, tinkering, finishing up and eyes that going on. I mean, what are you hearing from your customers that are already have cars?
Well, right when masked. Charlie Baker shutdown Massachusetts, non essential services. You know, I made a decision. We technically complied with a category of automotive parts suppliers and manufacturers. But I made a ethical decision. I thought it was best to shut down, send my crew home until I knew how dangerous this thing was. And we still don't know, but end of the day, I think we're slowly phasing back according to state and federal guidelines. But the point is, I had a customer call me and he said, I need a Factory five. We're gonna get shut down. I got my son here. He's not in college, He's home. He's gonna drive his mom nuts. And he came down and picked up car like the next day because I had a kid that was cancelled by someone who was overseas. So he'll bark at hit. And in three weeks, the cars done he's been working on for 73 Oh, yeah, You could do a factory five in a matter of days. If they have all the parts. It's familiar. Well engineered package most guys for spent 253 100 hours, but he had two sons, not one and him in a garage with nothing to do.
I don't know,
you know it's hard right now because we have 10 weeks worth of orders on the books. That's that's 10 cars a week. That's 100 cars I have to build, and I don't have a crew to build it here. We're kind of waiting out the storm, so a lot of guys are frustrated because their home and they want to work on their Factory five. But the guys that do you have are having a lot of fun. And if you read the Internet forums, go online and look at our Facebook page. There's a whole bunch of other factors. I've related Facebook guys are posting the progress, having a lot of fun, Absolutely.
I mean, there's gotta be, Oh, there's gonna be a
silver lining in this dark cloud.
I think so. I think I think when the when they wave the checkered flag of covert 19 free and clear, then I think what's gonna happen is it gonna be hundreds more factory five cars running and out around the country having a blast, and hopefully that's that's happening right now. Maybe they're probably keeping a low profile. People are supposed to be having fun. Supposedly. Right now, I think I think you should find a way. Otherwise, you go crazy. Get start on
politics. I'm a freedom guy, so I believe you should be able to do it. You know, that whole thing about pursuit of
happiness? Yeah. So it's O. J. What do what do you think of that pursuit of happiness?
Don't get me started, man. I've been ranting all week. Just go to my Facebook page. If you want to find out, we'll put it this way. You know, Look there. So there's a
whole generation of people who don't think you should have the right to build your own car or airplane or fill in the blank. This is the country of the right Runs is the country of Gurney and Shelby. This is a country of Miller and engineers and people, I would say, and I make this argument it seem every year in part of the Steering Committee for the Small Volume Act. I'm part of the steering Committee for kind of after market and car builder support. My my theory is that the aftermarket automotive industry should not be regulated from a mission standpoint, like California has. It should be exempt from a lot of those safety and emissions regulations because of the innovation that we contribute that gets picked up by the Big Three. We I think the country is getting a free ride on innovators like small companies that are are not able to go to a large scale manufacturing because a lot of regulations. But then a lot of their innovations get picked up by the big three. So you know a guy building his own car, that's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. That was a Constitution. Okay, I told my own car. That's how I and as long as it's safe, you know, I go to the state police, they give a safety inspection. I've We'll build what I want.
So do do I need to be calling the Massachusetts governor for a lot of fire to get the doors open. I you need my I
worked in all those guys. Don't worry about it.
Okay? We are willing to take one for the team for all these five people that want their orders. It sounds like you got a backlog. So, uh, I might have to send Jason out there and help you get caught up in the backlog. Some people are gonna be busy when you guys open the door. Well,
I had a guy
drive up from Seattle, Washington. He was road racing is Factory five coupe. And he's an older guy. Used to play play professional hockey. And he built his own coop and erected Spectacular to race track and rolled it three times. I have his frame here. He dragged his car out and I gave him a new kid. He paid for the replacement parts, but he drove from Seattle out to here. So that's cross country during this whole virus things. So, you know, there's some pretty passionate, committed customers out there they want to
build. I'm impressed with that cross country trip. Well, there's no better time to take a road trip. J. We've been talking
to our little Rhode.
Let's do it.
Don't you still owe me like a New England baseball trip?
I forgot about it. We were gonna
Yeah. You still owe me one of those. You know what? You guys drive out. I'll get
you tickets to Opening day for the Red Sox.
Okay? Now what? You're down for that, Rio. Will that be this year or next year? Do we know
I was going to say, I think I can get tickets for any game this year. Right on your coming to get one picking up, we'll pick you up So I do have
my bank usually gets us opening tickets toe open. You know, it will have to be 2021. So if you want to come out, talk about a historic art, go to Fenway opening day. Come down Hot rod with us.
Well, that's where we got to get. We haven't been to Fenway. It's on our baseball bucket list and we will come see you and take you up on any time. All right, so we won't be reaching out to your governor will give him or her break. I know you guys have been hard hit by this infection, so it's a serious thing, so So we don't make light of it, but, uh, would you got to get your doors open when it's when it's feasible, but speaking. Got it. Hey, speaking been factions are things that we talked about with a lot of our guests. Is this notion of car disease? Uh
huh. But a Segway, we let us say Bravo. Thank
you. And we don't You gave this car buck to somebody. Did you? So what's the answer? Did you give it to your kids, your wife, some of your friends? Who did you? In fact, you
know, all of us are affected by how we grew up. And my dad and small time Michigan took me toe what was essentially Whiskey Ridge. It was it was a circle track. I mean, every every small town in the United States is within 20 miles of a circle track
and track. Quarter mile?
Absolutely. Yeah. And I used to ride dirt bikes around a kid. I still love motorcycles today, you know, But a lot of the things that we love come from when we're younger. So, you know, my daughters, all of them have grown up driving stick shift writing dirt bike, and my son and I went out to Nevada, rode dirt bikes together out in the desert for a couple days he's got his own CR 2 50 You know, I like anything with a piston. I like I like, um, if if I have transferred any of that to my kids, it's for fun only. And this is just a business philosophy here. I don't I'm not a generational business guy. 25 years of Factory five. But I don't want to pass this company on to my kids. I want them to make their own noise in their own passion in their own ways. And so I've shared motor sports with my kids for fun, but not for business.
But they definitely have got the disease. And they're really once you haven't. I don't think there's away Dio get healthy. I have not seen it. I don't think there's a cure, to be honest. Hydroxy Clara Queen Queen. Okay. Yeah, it could be.
Yeah, I don't know. That's a good question. No. You know, I always feel like Ah, if you love cars and motorcycles, doesn't matter how much money you have. You're gonna find a way. You know, I go to the road races and I'm out on the track with my 60 $70,000 factory five with all the greatest greatest Because I've got the money to do it right now.
well, then I see the guy with Fox Body Mustang 87 Rat Trap Mustang, nailing it, going around the track of fast as you can. And he drove to the track in that car, and he's got no money. I love that guy. That's my customer.
Yeah. Be careful. Those guys will beat you at the auto. Yeah, your weekend so Okay, well, I think you can repress the disease for a little bit. Like when you get married and you have kids, you can you can kind of hide it. And then at some point, when the opportunity presents itself, it will manifest itself in some unusual purchases that they're probably not rational. But I never let a guy kids that are in college or have graduated college goto an auction, for example. That's rule one, because we know what's gonna happen.
What were defective little creatures so way are were men. So
So let's, uh, let's talk about the future of Factory five a little bit. Find studio standpoint. You gotta have something in the pipeline. Why don't you tell us about that. Don't worry. We're really good at keeping a secret. I
don't matter. It's out. There
were, you know,
just you and I and J here.
Um, you know, we have Ah, uh, you haven't. I have a desire to build an iconic American motor sports company and replicas Air Great, and they're the backbone of our business. But I wanted to do our own design. We've done a GTM which admit mid engine car. We didn't 18 which is affordable Subaru powered car. But I want to do 100% our own design in a front engine. In the end, here's here's mishmash. Front engine. Exotic, you know, other than the Aston Martin Vulcan. There's not a lot of front engine cars. There's a lot of GT cars, a lot of beautiful Ferraris, front engine 12 but as an exotic that can go toe to toe with Lamborghini or Ferrari or one of these exotics. You know, I had Jim in engineering who does all the design work. I had him partner up with a guy named Phil Frank and Phil Frank designed the Salinas seven, and I became friends with Phil on, linked in and He's a great guy, and I just We had a good mind meld, so I hired Fill it fills been worked with Jim. We have a new design called F nine. It's our ninth design overall, and it's all carbon fiber body. It runs a V 12 LS Engine. We bought one of the first ones. I think there's five or six on the planet right now. 850 horsepower, 700 foot pounds of torque, 9.5 liter V 12 engine. And that's in a in a tubular chassis that is based on the Troop Daytona coupe chassis platform. But the longer wheelbase a much wider track. It's almost 80 inches wide. The widest wiggle road car you could have without side marker lights like my rafter is 80 inches and more like 17 8 inches wide, so it's officially wide. It's our own design, a full carbon fiber body. We're doing the prototyping right now. I'm waiting on the body to come in for the molders and will be building the car so and there. Oh, yeah, Ford sent us their flagship 52 litre engine race build because they didn't like that. Unless engineer that they wanted a 40 0 eliminated.
So tell me, is that it? Are you applying for some, uh, special, limited production van? Are how do you get around? Yeah, the bureaucracy that we talked about earlier in the
show. And it's always important. Remember that we're not building finished cars. We really do want to stay in the bill yourself car market. Now for this special flagship we considered, I built a building next door. It's almost finished. Um, on my business plan, I had three major projects and all three projects did not have the cove in 19. Line item in its been interrupted for a while, but I built a new building next door. We were thinking about doing a pilot production line, and if that car complied with the seem a small volume bill, which it will not now because we made some changes to it. Um, we were thinking about doing a pile oppression line there, but also we expanded our showroom and I put about 1/2 $1,000,000 with solar power on top of the building. So all of our cars are built with solar energy, all sustainable. Very cool. And that's operational at least, but But you have the new car. We're not gonna build finished cars. It's gonna be expensive building yourself, kit. But we're problems and limit sales just to customers.
Wow, that sounds freakishly awesome and cool. I can't wait now. Is there for the people that are on this wonderful podcast? Do they have an opportunity to go look at what you're doing? Or is it kind of too early to be even getting a sneak peek?
You know, I'm a cheerleader, but but everything we do it factor five is in the wide open. We do a lot of open source work with our forums. We tell people what we're doing, and if you go to Factory five f i ve dot com, that's our website. Factory five, and you spell out the word five. You'll see right under what's new. The three D three D drawings. Real video of the body, the carbon body, the cad, the chassis suspension. The whole plan for the car is already out front Now. We we applied for trademarks and trade dress protection on the car through the U. S. Patent and Trademark office, so there's no secrets because they're already been pounded. Once we had those patents secured, then we're able to disclose him. So it's on our website.
Well, that's great. I can't wait. Teoh, dive in and check that out. And maybe that's an excuse. Jay, we gotta get out there by one of these and then take delivery. Why we're in and
put it on your trailer.
We'll go see the Red Sox when we're done with that. That's a That's great. Well, thanks for sharing that with us. And you mentioned earlier about Seema. Um, we've only got a few things left. And then we'll rapper you mentioned Seema. That's gotta be an interval part of your sales and marketing strategy, I would imagine. And I know Eric's been with you and your Seema Booth took a few times. I've been out there to see Aaron. When when he was working closely with you. It seem in you guys have a huge presence there, but what is the future of these car shows? Look like, you know, if you got your now that now that you've got them added to your business plan going forward, none of us had him in our business plan. Unless you were some kind of Ah, I don't know, uh, incredible futuristic swami, maybe, but nobody happens. What is it? What's the future of these shows look like? Do they come back? Are they morphing into some different format? Just that these How did we social distance around cars at car shows that that doesn't sound like a practical plan to me.
I don't I don't know the answer
that I think we got to get through this virus. But when it comes to Seema specifically, you know, people think of it as a regular car show. It's really It's to me. It's not. It's not a sales show it all. It's a marketing show. I never worry about selling anything at Seema Matter. Fact. We've gone years and not had order forms. Seema is the place where you meet every single person in the car industry, and I'm talking about the professionals. Our relationship with Ford performance started at semen. Our relationship with the great guys at Coney shocks Toyo tires will would break any one of our great sponsors and suppliers we started working with as a result of meeting them. It seems so I like to say If you're in the car business and you're not at Seema, you're not in the car business. If you're if you're in the car business, you have to be it. Seema. So that's kind of I don't know what what shape the show. It's definitely grown a ton now. This year, it's probably gonna contract back in, 0 18 09 It was, It was scary and they had 1/3 of the halls were empty, but two years ago, in last year, they didn't have any extra speech. The X they asked customers like us who had multiple boots to downsides are boots. Look, they could get more people in this show, so it's going to rise and fall with the economy and the four, you know, the aftermarket businesses a little transient, But I think I think it's a great show, and I think it's going to survive this wall.
I do, too, And J it sounds like it's a critical marketing error on our part for not being there since our inception in this business, we made your
podcast for Booth next year. We did it last year with Power Nation with Joey Logano and the guys from two guys. Garage really be and Kevin Bird. It's easy walking. Step your mike. So we talk.
Well, Dean is just such a you know, slave driver over here. You know he won't let us have any fun. That's not going. Let's go down. Auction all J. We can't leave the business. So
now that's true. But you know what we've got. We've got Eric. Well, why don't we keep Eric at home and Jay, you and I go have some fun and podcast in the wonderful Factory Five racing booth at Seema? It's all right towards the end of the Yeah, it'll be perfect is where you can
have a lot of fun, too. Two years ago, we built a car in three days, and then the guys at Ford said, If you want to drift in the drifting, you can. So I took a car that had zero miles on that had just been filled, and I drifted it for, like, eight minutes with Candy Osborne from Power Nation. So you can do stuff like that. It seems it's fun. It's exciting. It's where everybody's at, but you're invited if you want to come out. I got I got to boost.
All right, we'll set up a podcasting area, and they will probably bring in all kinds of interesting people. Leverage. Leverage. Your facility. Be great. Thank you. Know, probably should offer We're gonna take you up on the day. All right, man. So let's wrap it up. And before we do first, I want to say thank you, and and you've been a great gas. And you know what surprises me are probably shouldn't at this point is so much in common. All this car people have that the Dan Gurney journey was fascinating. I could go off on that for another 20 minutes, but I didn't. But that's what makes hanging out with car guys like you. Even virtually, we couldn't be further apart in the United States. But that doesn't matter. And feel like we're sitting around that the fireside having a great chance. So you've been a great guest. Thank you for all that you've shared. And hopefully some folks are excited about checking you out and and considering doubling one of your cars or hopefully they're motivated now to finish up. But you have media sites we want encourage people to check you out.
You know, factory fine is on
our website. That's where most people go. There's a ton of forms and discussion groups that you could talk to. Other people build their cars. The Factory five Forum is one. It's real simple. Factory five Forum and and then factory five dot com. But we got links on our page and Facebook and all that stuff. We just want to provide a place to go where people who want to build cars and share ideas come. And that's what we don't.
That's great, J. I'm gonna turn it over to you.
All right. Well, thank you so much for being here on the podcast. Dave Smith of Factory five all the way in Boston. I don't think they got smart pack that. I don't think they got smart. We forgot to mention smart Pachter
the that. That was kind of insulting. But now that you're doing that right,
my favorite commercial from the Super Bowl
and you do it in the guy
Yeah, I really was. It was the vast live. The opening line is the best. If you know Boston, you know, Look at this guy. I think this is Like what? Right off the bat. The guy's in trouble, right? Don't be only a smarty pants, Okay? In the hab it regardless. Factory five packed it. It's a great couple now. Hopefully way well. Any. Who again? Dave Smith, Factory five. Thank you so much for being here on the show. Go and check him out. And Ah, go start building a car with your son with your old man or wherever. Um, thank you to our audience for listening to us once again. We hope that you're healthy out there, and we hope that you're continuing to drive on those empty highways. Please continue to enjoy the lack of traffic out there. And ah, but don't speed because there's a lot of chippers out there wherever you live or highway patrol. Um, so yeah. Thank you. Once again, this show was brought to you by so cal cars to so Cal classic car storage here in the gun hills. You can check us out at so Cal car storage dot com. Now, if you like the podcast, you can go visit us at the so calle car seen on Facebook and on Instagram. Or you can visit us at so Cal car storage dot com slash media Be sure to hit that subscribe button. Wherever you're listening to your podcasts and leave us a review, it will go a long way to helping out bring you more content, bring you more guests and allow us to get more inside information into the great scene that is Southern California. So again, this is Jace Marash, technical director and producer. You're also listening to deem a rash was the host and the owner of So Cal Classic car storage, Thank you so much once again and happy driving.