Author: American Powertrain

Bobby Alloway of Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop Selects American Powertrain Exclusively for Manual Transmission Installs

Bobby Alloway gained his love of cars from his father who after retiring from a long term well digger career went to work as a local car salesman. Eventually and because of his love of cars, Bobby landed a job with a local Ford dealership and worked as service manager for 16 years. When the philosophy of that dealership began moving from serious customer service to placing all their resources toward moving vehicles in volume out the door, he felt the culture of the company did not fit with his beliefs and began seeking a change. Luckily, Bobby had a side job that turned into an illustrious career move for him.

For several years, he had been building from ground-up street rod project builds. While still with the dealership he won the coveted Ridler Award with his ’33 Ford Victoria Altered Street Sedan in 1985. The Ridler Award, sponsored by Meguier’s was named after Don Ridler who was hired in the 50’s to help promote the Detroit Autorama, and soon enthusiasts flocked to the event held at the Cobo Hall at the Michigan State Fairgrounds to see some of the wildest hot rods that cruised the streets of the Motor City. After passing away at an early age, the Ridler Award was established in Don’s memory. Since it has grown to be one of the most illustrious awards given in the indoor custom car show industry. The winners also receive a $10,000 cash prize, and entries must be making their first official showing at the Detroit Autorama. Best in Show Ridler Awards are judged on creativity, engineering, and quality workmanship.

After the success of his win at the Autorama, Bobby began building even more ground up project builds and as his reputation grew, the idea of going into the business of building ground-up projects full time got stronger and in 1991 he opened Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop. He has won almost every award there is to win including Battle of the Builders at SEMA, America’s Most Beautiful Roadsters, is in the Hot Rod Hall of Fame, IHRA Hall of Fame, and his builds have been featured on the covers of almost every magazine among the endemic press.

Bobby has a very strong work ethic and his business philosophy when it comes to his parts suppliers is that the products are no better than the people who sell them. When he finds a supplier who does what they say they will do, provides immediate customer support and deliver parts on time every time, that supplier has his loyalty. That’s why he has used American Powertrain exclusively for all of the manual transmissions he installs in his builds for the past five years, which is typically three to five per year for customers from across the country.

Bobby also serves on a number of builder panels, one at the SEMA Show and one at Detroit Autorama each year, and he does so in order to help preserve the influence of project builders in the industry by working with the youth who will be the future of the business.

KC Mathieu, formerly of Fast N’ Loud uses American Powertrain Exclusively for Manual Transmission Installs

KC Mathieu, owner of KC’s Paint Shop and former regular on Discovery Channel’s Fast N’ Loud, grew up at a young age helping out at his Dad’s collision shop. Mathieu says, I would him always hear Dad muttering about what hard, hot and back-breaking work it was, and telling me I needed to find another career option.”

Luckily for Mathieu, he chose not to follow Dad’s advice. Instead, he worked with his Dad and other shops until renting his own building, and starting the business that he learned to specialize in since age 12 – custom automotive paint.  A few years ago, call it chance or serendipity, Richard Rawlings, owner of Gas Monkey Garage, walked in and Mathieu’s destiny tooka new turn. When Richard landed a TV deal with the Discovery channel for Fast ‘N Loud, it was KC he turned to as a regular for custom paint segments.

“Of course this was a wonderful opportunity to showcase my passion. With the success of Fast ‘N Loud,” it reached a point that fans would line up and hang around the building when we were filming. If I headed out for lunch we would be mobbed. Three and half years of this it began to get old to have this kind of attention, so I decided to go back to what I love most and re-opened KC’s Paint Shop: Hot Rods and Restorations.”

The silver lining of leaving for Mathieu was the immediate success of his business as there was nearly nearly instant recognition of my name and expertise. Through social media, and with triple digit followers on Instagram, Facebook and You Tube, the shop exploded in growth. In fact, the company has gained so much business that KC’s staff has grown from one to nine employees adding support for accounting, marketing, vendor support, fabrication, bodywork and paint specialists.

“I am so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short period of time,” concluded KC. Over the course of my career, some things stand out as more important like developing close relationships with my preferred automotive suppliers like the one I have with American Powertrain. About five or six years ago, I was poking around trying to find the best options for a manual transmission to install, and American Powertrain came highly recommended. Paul Unterstein and the whole team over there are so supportive and helpful from determining the best options for my builds, to quick turnaround and immediate customer support when needed. In fact, just a few days ago, I ordered two transmissions from them for a couple of projects I have in the shop. We do a good dozen vehicle service projects and two or three ground up builds every year, and if any require a manual transmission install, I call American Powertrain every time.”