Who is or what is Fix My Hot Rod?
FixMyHotRod.com has been set up by experts in the automotive field. We want to bring you deeper into the car culture with how-to videos. We have been in the video how-to business for close to 20 years and you may have seen our Harley How-To site FixMyHog.com. We are not only enthusiasts of the Hot Rod, Muscle and Classic car world but we are the doers with skinned knuckles. We want to share our experiences with you so you too can wrench on your ride.
- You may want to do a ground up restoration and we are here to help.
- You may want to upgrade a problem area on your hot rod, we are here for you.
- You may want someone else to get dirty but want to know what they should or could be doing for you. We are here for you.
Please cruise around FixMyHotRod.com and take it all in. We use the best video and editing teams to bring these procedures to you clean and crisp on your computer, laptop, tablet, and smart phone.
Here are bios on just a few of our experts.
Craig Hopkins – Craig grew up in a small southern California beach town in the early 50′s what can you say So Cal in the 50′s was the hot rod mecca. Even as a small boy he had the fever helping his uncles wrench on their hot rods. His uncle Ronnie had a ’32 3 window coupe with a ’52 olds engine, even his uncle Mark’s girl friend had a ’39 coupe with a Columbia 2 speed rear end. At 10 years old he helped change the clutch in the ’39, if you have to ask if these cars were Fords you weren’t there. If it had wheels they bought and sold them. He owned 35 cars before graduating high school always repairing them and trading up, and even drove a nice 55 Chevy before graduating.
After high school he worked in some tool and die shops in the LA area, still buying and trading cars and motorcycles, not only repairing the mechanical parts but also doing the paint and body work. Drafted in 1967 he sold all of his rolling stock and took a few years off. Returning home he worked in some independent VW and Porsche garages building engines and transmissions. At this time, he started to restore some older VW’s after subletting some of the body work only to be disappointed with the results, he started to do all of his own body work. It wasn’t long before he had a waiting list requesting body work, this is when he changed trades.
He has always enjoyed all aspects of the auto trade and has managed to be at some of the right places at the right time, building several magazine and SEMA cars, even shooting a restoration video library with Hot Rod Magazine. This has lead to producing his own educational videos. Craig’s tag line to everyone that learns techniques from his videos is “yes you can.”
Cam Benty - Cam has been a content/marketing specialist since 1978 having served as the editor-in-chief for Sport Magazine, Petersen’s NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL Annuals, Petersen’s College Football and Basketball Annuals, Motor Trend Specials, Car Craft, Popular Hot Rodding, Hot Rod Specials, Muscle Car Review, House Beautiful SIP’s and other publications. He has extensive knowledge of a wide range of products via hands-on testing and personal passion for sports, vehicles, motorsports and racing. From 1999 through 2001, Benty was the editorial director/publisher for Real Edge Magazine, a one million circulation bi-monthly custom magazine for Hearst Publishing directed to young men, 21 to 30 years of age. During 2002, Benty created the Moto-Award-winning multi-media CD, Guide to your New Ride for Daimler-Chrysler Corporation and Motor Trend Magazine.
George Vondriska – George first got grease under his fingernails while working at a gas station. This was at a time when NO ONE pumped their own gas, every fill included a check of oil, coolant and windshield fluid, and gas cost .62/gallon. George soon graduated from pump jockey to grease monkey, doing oil changes and basic repairs. The next big step was George’s first car, a ’67 Dodge Dart, purchased for $250. That slant six ran great but, cars being cars, the Dart needed periodic work. Necessity soon had George doing tunes ups, greasing wheel bearings, replacing the starter and whatever it took to keep the car running.
Although George eventually replaced the Dart he kept on spinning wrenches on his daily drivers, determined to pay outside mechanics as little as possible. Water pump, fuel pump, brakes and exhaust, it’s all fair game. Working in his own garage keeping his “fleet” on the road, George has learned lots of tricks he’s ready to pass along to you.
Brent Ackley – Brent lives in WI with his wife and children. He did his first engine swap at age 15 before he could even drive the car (legally anyway). He did the typical shop classes in high school with Auto Mechanics being about half of his senior year, that’s when he rebuilt his first motor. It was a 1973 Chevy 350 out of a Blazer he wound up putting it in a 1970 Chevelle convertible.
In the last 30 or so years he has been messing with cars and had hundreds of them. The first drivable one was a 1979 Sunbird with the Formula package. He had to put a motor in that the second year he owned it. After high school he went to work at a service station doing light mechanical work oil changes, tires, batteries, stuff that they could get done in an hour or two, the shop only had a two stalls so they didn’t want them tied up for days on anything major. In 1990 he enrolled in the Collision Repair Technology Program at Rosemount Technical College graduating two years later with an associates degree. He worked for a short time as an insurance adjuster then went to work for a local body shop supply company selling paint and body supplies and doing body work and paint on the side. He decided early on that doing body work full time was not an option, he had become sensitized to the isocyanates in the paint. He keeps the body and paint work to about 1 car per year and wears the proper protective gear. He also worked as a regional sales manager for two different manufacturing companies and now has his own business.
He has played in bands for about 20 years playing bass, harmonica, and singing check out www.boondoggleband.com.
His current fleet which includes a 48 Packard, 50 Packard, 47 Ford F1,
56 International Dump Truck, 56 Chevy 150, 66 Buick Skylark, 77 El Camino,
85 Toyota Supra and of course daily drivers and work trucks.
Dennis Santopietro – Dennis has been smashing motorcycles and cars for years. He has had the luxury of having others around him that can fix his mess. That changed in 2004 when he started Fix My Hog, the #1 how-to video program for Harley riders, and took an interest in turning a wrench on his ’84 FXRS. The brother of a mechanic, he has spent many an hour in the shop learning some techniques while waiting to take the project of the month for a ride. His first love was his 1969 Chevy C20 that he had in high school. With the help of his father and brother they rebuilt the engine, moved the shift from the column to the floor and added an oak bed and rails. No show winner but fun to drive and a point of pride for a 16 year old. He wishes he had it today.
Dennis will serve as editor for Fix My Hot Rod and is here to help build video content for the site and provide updates and information via our newsletter.