Growing up I'm Michigan. Means be g surrounded by motorcycles and cars.
When your dad works in the foundry for GM and your neighbor is a machinist and fabricator your bound to ride, drive, and jump some cool shit before your even 10 years old. To say the least go karts, pit bikes, motorcycles, dune buggies, and muscle cars were common on out street
So according to pops he had me a bike when I was two. Put me on it at 4 and that as it! To be in those early stages of life and mixing your own two stroke gas, changing spark plugs and just learning how to start, shift, and ride my motorcycle was and amazing childhood and I wouldn't change it for anything. That rm50 would start me on a path never to look back from
So the dirtbike amd trail idling continued till I was about 13 or 14 then interest seemed to shift heavily toward cars. I mean pops and I had already spent many many nights at cruise nights and car shows all over, and had built a small block chevy togehter when i was 11, but as my age got closer to driving and the fact that pops taught me to drive at around 10 it was natural for me to be getting excited about my first car. So we were hitting even more cruise -ins and car shows and driving all over in our 72 Chevy pickup that pops still owns to this day. (incidentally he bought it when I was 7)
Fastforward threw my hell raising adolescent teenage high school years that was mainly dominated by skateboarding , chasing girls, and pretty much doing what Bam Margera and Johnny noxville got famous doing, throwing yourself of and at things and causing havoc.
Which brings us to around 1999 ?W hen I accidentally walked into a dealership to brouse and ended up riding home an hour later on a 1995. 900ss Ducati. Whoops! Needless to say I never looked back from that either and so starts my need to brake laws and piss of every commuter in a sazb Volvo or minivan.
While all this is going on riding and working construction all I can think is how I want to enjoy what I do for the rest of my life. Pops spent 35 years working for gm and that's fine and all, but I wanted to carve my own spot and really do something I love. Pops made me love motorcycles and had he been givin the choice and opportunity I'm sure he would be doing the same as me.
So one faithful day I hear about some chopper shop on Woodward called detroit bros that is supposed to be doing some really crazy bad ass. Shit. I was amazed. It was like Mecca. Honestly I didn't even like Harley's pops taught me Italian shit was better, I didn't know the difference between a pan or and Eco bu I knew these guys were hand making some cool shit and I had to be around it.
They basically said if I'd work for free they'd hire me. If id work for free. I jumped at it. Funny at 21 or whatever sounded like a pretty sweet deal. My major attribute I was bringing to the shop was my basic mechanical knowledge. I had installed cams and knew torque specs and could use manuals etc. You learn those things around my house. so daily duties included oil changes, brake job stuff, minor electrical and when I wasn't working on bikes or assembling I'd sneak into the back to play with the English wheel and practice tig welding. All in all the 2 years spent with James Dave, Matty the welder and there pops would have lasting dramatic changes in my life
While workin with dave and James I was lucky enough to get to hit the show circuit with them when the time called. So traveling the nation and meeting epic builders was amazing. Meeting guys like Hank young, Eddy Trada, Jesse rooke, roland sands, Ron Finch! And these guys treating me like somebody cause I had a Detroit bros jacket on. Pretty badass to say the Least This was when biker build off was a huge deal! Truly a blessed experience
and I guess it was in 2002 or 3 while in sturgis with detroit bros I met micheal Karelian from revolution manufacturing in Marrietta ga. He and I hit it off and next thing you know he's talking job opportunity and 9 months later I'm living in Georgia, working for a much much bigger shop. As the head fabricator and bike builder.
I remember Mike asking me in sturgis "could I build a bike?" Luckily I didn't hesitate and fired off. Oh yeah I helped in all these. (help yes, build no) So here I am havin seen 4 or 5 bikes get built, can weld fairly okay and a bullshit myself into this guys head fab guy. Falling upwards as I call it.
So it was a dramatic learning curve teaching myself all kinds off stuff and picking people brains like hank young and josh mills and my good friend Phil cusmano. But allas after a little over a year I got tired of building kit bikes and hat met bryan fuller at Daytona the previouse year and could not believe the quality of the hand built bikes he was building. This wasn't no catalog shit.
So after a few discussions I was hired on as Bryan first employee. Man I was unbelievably stoked. One the bikes were amazing for two I got to get back into my other love cars. And at the time fuller was finishing up a really high end build on a 55 ford convertible roush motor powered, art Morrison chassis and basically a hand built car.
So fuller and I had an amazing relationship built some Greg fun projects like the kawasabi, (fillers personal two seated drag bike looking streeter) The road warrior, a full cusom bagged with lots of hand formed Sheetmetal and bags. A restoration n a 53 Buick skylark (one of 1100 very rare ) And biker build off bike , Gordys f3 bike, Doug's fueller, Tim's fueller Chopping his 33 ford, Oh and a solid four years of building the Impailer . By far ne of the most jaw dropping customs that I've ever been a Part of.
But like all good things come to and end and in the end of summer 2011 I jumped ship or was sent off depending on who you ask and turned my hobby shop apartment into Benderwerks. And so far have finished an amazing lead sled merc custom built by my friend Field Farrah and owned by Lou Sicerrezza Started a full bike build for Rich craig form cone engineering in California, A handful of custom one off built exhaust systems for bikes and a, putting the wraps on a rotisserie restoration of a 1959 bugeyed sprite.
All this while trying to continue to learn, ride, race and enjoy life to its fullest and the best part waiting for my new son Rex to be able to utilize all these machines tools, cars and motorcycles I've accumulated over the years.