Rod Authority has the pleasure of working side by side with one of our very good buddies, fellow car lover, and charismatic host, Dennis Pittsenbarger. Dennis has an on going online web series, The Garage With Dennis, where he visits and interviews some of the most influential names and companies in the industry today. His newest episode just went up the beginning of January. In it, Dennis interviews three key individuals from So-Cal Speed, the founder Alex Xydias, president Pete Chapouris, and shop Fabricator Jimmy Shine.
They all give a little insight into what makes them tick and also shed some light on the future of the business.
Be sure to check out the video above for some truly inspirational tales and examples of dedication to this culture we all hold dear.
Alex Xydias’s passion for cars started well before World War 2 while he was still in high school. One of his key fortunes and earliest exposures to car knowledge was during his attendance at Fairfax High’s auto shop classes in Los Angeles. “They don’t have [auto shop classes] now and that’s a real bad thing for kids that wanna learn how to work on cars.” Subtlety aside, we couldn’t agree more.
Outside of school, Alex spent a lot of time at Jimmy Summer’s custom shop where he says he would spend time watching the shop guys for hours, “until they’d kick me out.”
Pete Chapouris is the president of So-Cal Speed Shop and prides himself on maintaining the integrity and vision of Alex Xydias. He notes that he is an easy going guy except when it comes to ensuring that he and the guys at the shop stay true to what Alex started way back 40s. In terms of straying away from that vision, Pete says, “not on my watch.”
This industry still maintains a lot of the familial and close knit atmosphere that built its foundation during the heyday. So-Cal Speed Shop definitely continues that tradition. When asked about the future of the shop Pete says, “I think the company’s in really good hands with Dennis and John, my son Peter, and with Jimmy Shine. The bases are covered. I think we’ve done a good job at instilling Alex’s dream and maintaining a rock solid foundation true to his vision.”
The glue that really makes this shop special is the utmost respect that each and every person holds towards Alex. Between Peter, Jimmy, and the rest of the guys they are constantly inspired and bring their own tastes to the table while still keeping the essence of what Alex started at the forefront. When asked about the trends that the shop focuses its efforts towards creating Jimmy says, “We’re trying to set and maintain the trends started with Alex back in ’46–building traditional cars and quality cars.”
In an age where publicity is revolutionary for its ability to diffuse information it also has the power to distract and compromise the integrity of a businesses’ roots. Jimmy, despite his breakout into media over the past couple of years still represents core values and a work ethic made of gold, “I don’t know if that’s necessarily the right goal, to make a mark in the industry, I think the most important thing is to go out and do what you love. That’s that purity of your spirit, your soul, your job. That will speak for itself. You wanna make an impact, just do what you love.”
The video is fifteen minutes of down to earth commentary from three hard working individuals who continue to contribute timeless work to our culture. Be sure to check it out for some real inspiration. Also, check out So-Cal Speed Shop’s homepage for more information on the company and to stay up to date with their ever growing list of projects.