The Round Six Podcast

The Round Six Podcast


Zane-al Retentiveness and the Cullen-ary Art of Hot Rods

October 19, 2018

TRENDSETTER, HALL OF FAME MEMBER AND ALL-AROUND NICE GUY ZANE CULLEN JOINS THE GEARHEADS. THEN WE CORRUPT HIM.


The Gearheads spent the evening with our good friend Zane Cullen of Cotati Speed Shop. He's a Goodguys Trendsetter, a Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame member, a father and husband. Zane is also a new product judge at the SEMA Show. And one of the three behind the Triple Gun of Excellence Award at GNRS alongside Darryl Hollenbeck and Charley Hutton.


We dig deep into the science of running a successful hot rod shop, personnel management and horribly inappropriate jokes. And probably some other things we should have edited. Our lack of detail is your gain.


THINGS COVERED IN THIS EPISODE:



  • Conversation immediately goes all SEMA

  • Talking track-style 1968 Camaros

  • Getting outside of the box of "expected" build styles

  • Getting deep into the HR aspect of running a shop
    – Finding the right personnel
    – The importance of communication
    – Balancing the talking with listening

  • Effective communication between shop and client

  • Evolution of a brand and a business plan

  • The genesis of the shop

  • The evolutionary process and continual improvement
    – Competing against yourself to raise the bar internally

  • Growing from two to sixteen team member
    – Thinning the herd to keep things manageable
    – Finding the "magic number" in the shop to keep things moving in the right direction
    – Maintaining a good staff
    – The importance of getting along
    – Keeping a focus on the work VS making things personal

  • On retaining a client base during the busy times

  • Finding a balance between directing and welcoming creative input
    – Building a complementary team of creative visionaries and detail-minded craftsmen

  • Working to manage egos and behaviors as well as work output

  • The importance of not forgetting the people involved on a project
    – Taking the good with the bad

  • Things go decidedly sexy

  • Brian tales his share of abuse this time

  • "You can't spell TEAM without T-E-A..."

  • Appreciating your team and employees


ONWARD TOWARD THE SEMA SHOW



  • Behind the scenes at SEMA, judging new products with Dave Tucci and Tim Strange
    – Having the opportunity to actually see the new products at a show dedicated to new products
    – Finding the worst of the rest
    – Brian develops the "Tick-Lock-Tach"
    – Alex investigates the market potential of a build sheet removal tool/kit
    – There may or may not have been discussion of a plot for an automotive-based heist film

  • It all goes terrifyingly sideways
    – The return of the "prison wallet"

  • Rounding up new clients for a shop

  • Remembering a client who recently passed

  • Round Six's fresh spin on SEMA Show debuts
    – Trusting Brian's creative vision