Photos & Interview by Nina Hans
What is fifteen52?
Fifteen52 is better defined by our concept rather than any specific line of products or services. Simply stated, our number one goal is to offer our customers whatever is necessary to make them feel they own truly unique automobiles. We manufacture many automotive and automotive lifestyle products. We also build cars for special customers such as VW, Ford, Chevy, Ken Block and various other special customers. Our main focus is our line of wheels which spans from cast alloy wheels to our forged and modular wheels that cost a pretty penny. We also manufacture various exterior and interior products as well as do consulting on the side for some of the companies we build projects with.
How did you get into cars?
I’ve been into cars as long as I can remember. My father owns a ’73 Camaro that he bought brand new when he get back from Vietnam. My grandfather owns a ’59 corvette that he’s owned since it was brand new. My family has always kinda been into cars, but it kicked it off for me when
I was working at a smoothie joint and some of my buddies there were into Volkswagens. I got my first job in the automotive industry in 1999, I was 16 years old running a shop based out of Berlin, Germany. I was the United States side of the company until I left in 2006 to pursue an opportunity in the music industry.
What do you enjoy about building cars in Los Angeles?
I take inspiration from so many different places, I treat automobiles just like any other artform. Cars are my canvas, but it’s interesting when you are dealing with a canvas on wheels because to have something tangible, the cost is so much greater than your standard canvas. The fun thing is being inspired in different ways through the large community I have here in Los Angeles. The fellowship I have with friends to push and encourage me is huge. Realistically, living anywhere else outside of downtown LA doesn’t give me the inspiration I need to go outside the norm, as I aspire for fifteen52 to be a different type of company in the automotive world. Overall I think Los Angeles is an amazing place and it’s motivating place to live and work, but mainly because of the people that are here. Growing up in LA was interesting, I’m always the one guy that’s from Los Angeles, in Los Angeles. It’s a melting pot that’s growing a ton all the time. There’s a lot of diversity here in regards to what people do and it drives me to be a better person and work harder everyday.
It kinda sounds like a cheesy soap opera but really all our lives are cheesy soap operas when you get down to it. It’s important to me because every single thing I do boils down to the people around me. I realize the main cornerstone of the automotive industry is just a piece of metal with tires, but whether it be cars, a shirt, jeans, drums or guitar, those or just the catalysts that bring us together in our communities.