Home » Ryan Friedlinghaus Desires To Assist Younger Folks Succeed In The Auto Trade

Ryan Friedlinghaus Desires To Assist Younger Folks Succeed In The Auto Trade

Ryan Friedlinghaus is an entrepreneur, producer, trainer and TV character.

He’s finest identified from his days on the hit MTV present, Pimp My Experience, and likewise for his unimaginable auto customization store, West Coast Customs.

He has acheieved large success in his profession however he began as only a child who was into automobiles.

His first mission was customizing his brown 1985 Mazda pickup truck. He did such an unimaginable job on it, that it was featured in a number of automotive magazines.

Friedlinghaus mentioned, “I constructed my first mini truck in my storage once I was 14. We lived in a pleasant neighborhood and the neighbors had been complaining as a result of I used to be spraying primer within the driveway.”

He later borrowed $5,000 from his grandfather to open West Coast Customs.

He used good old style work of mouth advertising to develop his enterprise.

Shaquille O’Neal heard a few dually truck that Friedlinghaus did and needed him to work on his Lincoln Navigator. That was the beginning of a protracted relationship.

Friedlinghaus mentioned, “Shaq was the primary large superstar shopper that allowed us to construct ridiculous issues that didn’t exist. We did his Navigator and 65 automobiles later we’re nonetheless buddies. Our youngsters grew up collectively. And he nonetheless calls me, like, ‘We’ve received to construct this.’ Now, he’s into boats that appear like automobiles. He’ll ship me hyperlinks and be like, ‘Construct me certainly one of these however a truck.’ And it’ll be a Mustang that you simply see out within the water.

And that was at all times the challenges with him. Like, ‘How will we do this stuff?’”

Across the time that he began working with Shaq, he was approached in regards to the TV present Pimp My Experience.

Friedlinghaus mentioned, “MTV wasn’t concerned to start with. A producer got here to me and was like, ‘We’ve an concept to shoot this pilot however we are able to’t discover wherever round city that may do all the things beneath one roof. And we don’t have an enormous finances. And we don’t have a number of time.’ So, I’m like, ‘Nice. They checked all of the flawed containers.’

He mentioned, ‘Principally, we need to do a automotive makeover present. To take an outdated automotive and make it look good. And we need to name it Pimp My Experience.’ And I laughed as a result of nobody was going to purchase that present. Again then nobody was utilizing the phrase “pimp.” After which they needed to see if Shaq could be the host.

There was no means they might afford Shaq however I used to be like, ‘What about my boy Xhibit? He’s my good friend. He’s at all times on the store. He hangs out with us lots. He’s nice.’ And positive sufficient, we shot that pilot with him and the remaining is historical past.”

There have been no customization exhibits again then. This was lengthy earlier than Overhaulin’ or Orange County Choppers.

Friedlinghaus mentioned, “It may have gone on perpetually. However for me, it was damaging my model. It helped to start with. However Pimp My Experience took over my store. It hit me on the SEMA present that 12 months. I’m strolling round and everybody saved saying, ‘Please don’t pimp my experience.’ I sat again and considered it and we had been making these automobiles that the producers needed: Like placing a fish tank or a washer and dryer in a automotive. So, it truly wasn’t on model. And that’s once I determined to get out of it.”

He continued to develop his enterprise yearly however then the monetary disaster of 2007 got here.

It hit West Coast Customs onerous. Folks not had massive sums of disposable earnings to spend on their automobiles.

So, Friedlinghaus did what any good entrepreneur would do: He pivoted.

He mentioned, “I considered manufacturers. Manufacturers wanted my assist. They usually have cash. They usually have advertising budgets. They usually don’t know what’s cool. I may be like a trainer to them. So, we began working with large manufacturers and I’d pitch them these loopy concepts. And the entire room would have a look at me like I used to be nuts. However then we’d construct them and so they’d grow to be their greatest activations.”

In about six months he turned the enterprise round.

Friedlinghaus mentioned, “I don’t come from a wealthy household. I don’t have a monetary backer. I don’t have financial institution strains of credit score. That is all me. I constructed all of this from the little amount of cash that I began with and simply grew it. There was no Plan B. You’ve simply received to determine it out. And that’s what I’ve executed my complete profession. There was nobody else who was going to determine it out for me.”

The automotive enterprise has been superb to him and now he needs to go alongside his data to the subsequent technology.

Careers within the auto trade are sometimes regarded down upon however what individuals fail to appreciate is that there are techs, upholsterers, physique store individuals, and so forth. making six figures a 12 months.

He mentioned, “One among my passions is bringing youth into this trade. It’s so wanted. For those who have a look at colleges now, there isn’t any wooden store. There is no such thing as a auto store. There is no such thing as a younger expertise in our trade. There are not any new youngsters who need to come into this trade and construct with their fingers. So, that’s my ardour. That’s what I’m trying to change.”

He based the West Coast Customs Academy, which is designed to indicate the youth {that a} profession within the automotive trade is enjoyable and funky. And that you would be able to additionally make an amazing dwelling in it.

Friedlinghaus mentioned, “We partnered with the Burbank Unified Faculty District to roll this right into a full- time faculty program subsequent 12 months. We’re trying to tackle 50-100 youngsters. Proper now, we’re within the incubator stage. We needed to begin small. We pulled in youngsters from the Burbank Faculty District who had been about to graduate or simply graduated. It makes me so completely satisfied to assist these youngsters.

I noticed them spray primer final week and I sat them down and instructed them how proud I used to be of them. After which I instructed them that in the event that they completed the truck on time, that I used to be going to take them, and the truck, to SEMA this 12 months. And their mouths all dropped open. They couldn’t imagine it! However I’m solely doing it in the event that they hit their deadline.”

As a result of Ryan Friedlinghaus at all times hits his deadlines. And now his college students will too.