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277: One man’s mission to keep hot rodding alive.

Show Date: 10/05/2019

(Season 13, EP 40)

Our guest will be Kenny Earls, owner of Earls’s Hot Rod Shop and the man who decided to do something about working with the youth.

Keeping Hot Rodding Alive has been a dream of Kenny Earls since he was a kid. He was that teenager who wanted to learn everything he could about cars. He hung out at backyard garages and small shops. Learning everything he could from the older guys.

Today, he has is own garage that is called Earls Hot Rod Shop located in Golden Valley, Arizona.

A few years ago, he remembered how those “older” guys took the time to teach him the skills he still uses in his shop. Even though Kenny is only in his mid-50’s he thought it was time to share what he knows with the teens of today. He reached out to the local high school and his daughter’s friends to see if there was any interest in learning the simplest of car maintenance.  They responded favorably and so the classes started. Then suddenly, the tire repair lessons transformed into how to build a hot rod. Soon the kids were diggin’ the car scene.

Kenny wanted to do more builds and work with more students. He decided to officially form a non-profit organization “Keeping Hot Rodding Alive” and enlist sponsors, celebrities and additional teachers. One of those teachers happens to be Gene Winfield, the famous car designer and fabricator. So far, he has demonstrated how to shape and bend metal into a nose shield for their latest hot rod project.

Keeping Hot Rodding Alive kids with Gene Winfield

The build is a 1957 Ford Anglia with a 1932 Ford A front suspension and a 65’ Dodge 318 ply engine. They call this ride “Project X”. This caught the attention of Bryan Barger from Son of Fink Kustoms who invited the kids and the car to this year’s SEMA event. In addition, Kenny’s group will be competing in the RATical Rod Build-Off-Drive-Off. This is historical because normally youths have not competed in this competition.

A few of the Keeping Hot Rodding Alive gang.

So tune in and hear this amazing story of Kenny Earls’s idea and how it’s changing the attitudes of the millennial’s of what they think about cool rides. And it just so happens it’s changing the attitudes of a few “older” guys about what they think of the millennial’s.

For more information, read an article from Hagerty…

Also, check out the Keeping Hot Rodding Alive Facebook…