A huge shoutout to these two young rockstars, Josilyn Lazenby and Emma Smith, for not only graduating from the amazing Career Center of Southern Illinois, but also for CRUSHING it and winning the prestigious V8 Speed and Resto Shop “Holeshot” Scholarship! Emma also clinched the CCSI Rising Star Award!
Josilyn, you’re a welding whiz! Your dedication to mastering the craft is truly inspiring. We can’t wait to see the incredible projects you’ll build with your newfound skills. Keep sparking those flames, girl!
Emma, you’re a mechanical marvel! Your passion for understanding how things work is contagious. We have no doubt you’ll diagnose and fix any mechanical challenge that comes your way, and we look forward to your skills growing in our upholstery shop!
This is a HUGE win for our community, and especially for young women considering careers in the automotive industry. We need more role models like Josilyn and Emma, showing everyone that welders and wrenches can be just as empowering as anything else.
So let’s give these future automotive superstars a round of applause! We can’t wait to see what amazing things they achieve next.
2024 marks the 20th anniversary of V8TV Productions, Inc., and the start of the V8TV television show, which spawned the V8 Speed and Resto Shop, and this very podcast! On this special episode of the V8 Radio Podcast, Kelle Oeste, Mike “Q-Ball” Clarke, and Kevin Oeste preview the V8 20th anniversary recorded live at the PRI Paddock and Podcast Stage at the 2023 PRI Show in Indianapolis. There are lots of great things in store, and automotive trivia, all waiting inside the V8 Radio Podcast!
As 2024 dawns, we at V8TV Productions are thrilled to mark our 20th anniversary—a milestone that signifies an incredible journey in the automotive world. Two decades ago, our venture began with the launch of the V8TV Television show, captivating audiences across the USA via satellite and cable systems. The response was overwhelming, with viewers reaching out to commission us to build cars for them, thus laying the foundation for the V8 Speed and Resto Shop.
Fast forward to today, and we find ourselves crafting dream cars for enthusiasts worldwide, powered by a dedicated team of 30 highly skilled technicians. Our presence isn’t just limited to our shop; we’re actively engaged in automotive events across the country, immersing ourselves in the vibrant community that shares our passion.
One such recent event was our attendance at the 2023 PRI Show in Indianapolis—a hub of innovation and camaraderie. Here, we had the privilege of exploring cutting-edge products while reconnecting with cherished friends and companies who stood by us from the outset. It’s a testament to enduring partnerships and shared commitment that some of the finest names in the automotive aftermarket, who collaborated with us two decades ago, continue to be integral in our journey, collaborating with us to create exceptional content and unforgettable cars for our valued clientele.
Reflecting on our evolution—from a television show to a global entity delivering automotive excellence—fills us with immense pride. This journey has been marked by unwavering dedication, tireless craftsmanship, and an unbridled passion for creating automotive marvels.
As we celebrate this milestone, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our loyal customers, supportive partners, and our incredible team whose commitment fuels our success. Here’s to 20 years of thrilling rides, unforgettable creations, and the unwavering pursuit of automotive perfection. And as we look ahead, we eagerly anticipate the exciting ventures and innovations that the future holds for V8TV Productions, V8TV, and the V8 Speed and Resto Shop.
We hope you’ll join us in our celebrations throughout 2024!
Come see a live recording of the V8 Radio Podcast this Friday, December 8, 2023 at the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis! We’ll be at the PRI Podcast Stage from 11:30 to 12:30 recording the next @V8 Radio Podcast, a special episode covering the PRI Show and previewing 2024 – the 20th anniversary of V8TV and the V8 Speed & Resto Shop!
The PRI Podcast Stage is right next to the food court, so we’ll be the entertainment for your Friday lunch at the show. We look forward to PRI 2023, we’ll see you there!
The V8 Speed and Resto Shop Team enjoyed a night of music, food, drinks, games, and camaraderie at the V8SR 2023 Holiday Party! The main attraction was the on-site mobile escape rooms, in which two different scenarios were presented for groups to solve. One was a World War II submarine scenario, and the other, a holiday escape. The entertainment was provided by Roaming Riddle Mobile Escape Games. We’re fortunate that our Team and their families enjoy working together in-shop, and after hours!
We are excited to announce the winners of the 2023 V8 Speed and Resto Shop Appreciation Awards of Recognition!
These awards are our way of saying thank you to the incredible Team members who make our organization, culture, and cars the best they can be.
This year, we are honoring five Team members who have gone above and beyond to contribute to our success. These Team members are:
Amber Lazenby – Administrative Assistant in Administration – Awarded the Gigi Carleton “Visionary Vanguard” Award, In Appreciation for Protecting Our Team’s Long-Term Success
Mike Bess – Parts Restoration Technician – Awarded the Vic Edelbrock Sr. “Excellence in Mentorship” Award, In Appreciation of Developing and Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders
Brian Wibbenmeyer – Parts Manager in Administration – Awarded the Eugene Kranz “Tough And Competent” Award, In Appreciation for High Aspirations, Positive Attitude, and Winning Desire
John Blandford – Facilities Tech – Awarded the Louie Melching “Make It Happen” Award, In Appreciation for Recognizing Opportunity, Persistence, and Personal Growth
Phillip Baldwin – Director of Parts Movement and Storage – Awarded the 2023 V8 Speed and Resto Shop MVP, Peer-Selected and Recognized for Exceeding Expectations, Quality Work, A Great Attitude, and Helping Our Team
These Team members are all dedicated, hardworking, and passionate about their work. They are always willing to go the extra mile to help their colleagues and customers. They are an essential part of our Team, and we are so grateful for their contributions.
Here are a few of the reasons why these Team members were chosen:
Commitment to excellence: These Team members are all committed to providing the highest quality of service possible. They are always looking for ways to improve their skills and knowledge, and they are always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done right.
Teamwork: These Team members are all great Team players. They are always willing to help out their colleagues, and they are always looking for ways to collaborate to achieve common goals.
Customer service: These Team members are all committed to providing excellent customer service. They are always friendly, helpful, and professional, and they are always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that our customers are satisfied.
Positive attitude: These Team members all have a positive attitude. They are always upbeat and enthusiastic, and they always see the best in people. They are a pleasure to work with, and they make our workplace a more positive and enjoyable environment.
We are proud to honor these five Team members with our Appreciation Awards of Recognition. They are an inspiration to us all, and we are confident that they will continue to do great work for many years to come.
Congratulations to the winners!
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Team members for their hard work and dedication. We are so grateful to have such talented and passionate people in our organization.
ABOUT THE AWARDS
Gigi Carleton “Visionary Vanguard” Award, In Appreciation for Protecting Our Team’s Long-Term Success
Gigi Carleton, for more than 40 years, worked at Petersen Publishing Company as Margie and Robert E. Petersen’s executive secretary and personal manager. She started there as a temp, working on organizational details for the Motor Trend 500 stock car race, sponsored by Petersen Publishing, at Riverside International Raceway each year. She was then hired by the Petersens as their full time “right arm” in the administration of all executive aspects of the business and many of their personal and philanthropic activities. Post the Petersens’ passing, she is now president of the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation, and was lifelong friends with the Petersens. Gigi was instrumental in assembling the first SEMA Show in 1967, and continues to ensure the Petersen Museum and automotive enthusiast lifestyle lives on through her work with the Foundation.
We present this award to a V8 Speed and Resto Shop Team Member who works to ensure our future is bright and secure.
Vic Edelbrock Sr. “Excellence in Mentorship” Award, In Appreciation of Developing and Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders
Vic Edelbrock, Sr.
Founder of the Edelbrock Corporation, Otis Victor Edelbrock Sr. was an early days hot rodder who modified his own cars, tested products on them, then sold the parts piecemeal to an eager base of customers in Southern California. Eventually, mass production of Edelbrock manifolds and heads was inevitable and the company flourished. The Edelbrock line now includes cylinder heads, intake manifolds and pistons for many applications. And he achieved an industry first in 1958 by getting 1 horsepower per cubic inch from a 283 Chevy small-block with the new cross-ram manifold. Vic Sr. was inducted in the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame as well as the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Although he passed in 1962, his lessons and training equipped his son Vic Edelbrock Jr. to take the helm of the Edelbrock Corporation at just 26 years old and build it into one of the most respected names in automotive performance.
We present this award to a V8 Speed and Resto Shop Team Member who mentors younger Team Members to become their best.
Eugene Kranz “Tough And Competent” Award, In Appreciation for High Aspirations, positive Attitude, and Winning Desire
Eugene Francis Kranz (born August 17, 1933) is an American aerospace engineer who served as NASA’s second Chief Flight Director, directing missions of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, including the first lunar landing mission, Apollo 11. He directed the successful efforts by the Mission Control Team to save the crew of Apollo 13, and was portrayed in the 1995 film of the same name by actor Ed Harris. He characteristically wore a close-cut flat top hairstyle and the dapper “mission” vests (waistcoats) of different styles and materials made by his wife, Marta Kranz, for his Flight Director missions.
He coined the phrase “tough and competent”, which became known as the “Kranz Dictum”. Kranz has been the subject of movies, documentary films, and books and periodical articles. Kranz is a recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom. In a 2010 Space Foundation survey, Kranz was ranked as the #2 most popular space hero.
We present this award to a V8 Speed and Resto Shop Team Member who demonstrates not only skill and ability in challenging situations, but who understands the standards of our shop and works to exceed them.
Louie Melching “Make It Happen” Award, In Appreciation for Recognizing Opportunity, Persistence, and Personal Growth
Robert “Louie” Melching was a generous and crafty individual who built a life of making the best of what he had to work with. He wore many automotive business hats in his small town of Red Bud, IL, ranging from auto sales, collision repair, towing, salvage, filling station attendant, and anything else he could to keep the lights on and help his family and community. He had owned and operated Louie’s Auto Repair in Red Bud for 58 years. The V8 Speed and Resto Shop exists today in buildings Louie once owned, and our Team has fond recollections of Louie walking through the shop and helping us understand the how’s and why’s of the additions and improvements he made over the years. We appreciate Louie’s positive, can-do attitude, and enjoy discovering “Louis-isms” in our buildings years after his passing.
We present this award to a V8 Speed and Resto Shop Team Member who is able to create innovative solutions and solve problems with limited resources with a positive attitude.
V8 Speed and Resto Shop MVP, Peer-Selected and Recognized for Exceeding Expectations, Quality Work, A Great Attitude, and Helping Our Team
The V8 Speed and Resto Shop values the contributions of its Team and recognizes their dedication through a peer-to-peer recognition program. Each Team member has the opportunity to nominate and vote for a colleague who has made significant contributions to the company, culture, and quality of cars we build – particularly those who demonstrate a positive attitude, consistently deliver high-quality work, introduce innovative ideas, and bring positive change to the organization.
Honoring Veterans And The Birth Of Hot Rodding on Veterans Day 2023
Today’s hot rodding and high-performance parts industry can be directly traced back to veterans who enthusiastically put their newfound skills to work following World War II. This was a time where their enthusiasm and passion for speed and creating machines was coupled with an availability of low cost jalopies and cars to hop up, And a booming American economy, provided financial resources for them to make it happen. We love the fact that many veterans have started high-performance parts businesses many years ago that are still in business today helping us all realize our passions and enjoy our cars with friends and family. Thank you to all veterans From the V8 Speed Shop team! ￼
Well wouldya look at that! V8 Speed & Resto Shop‘s very own Kelle Oeste featured as a Select Committee member of the SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)! Kelle is very active in the industry and is quick to volunteer to help members and their families flourish in the automotive world, and in life. Congrats Kelle on the spotlight, we’re all very proud of you and appreciate all you do!
Restoring classic cars is often like archeology, and V8 Speed and Resto Shop team member Mike Bess just had an Indiana Jones moment! The city of Kimmswick Missouri Historical Society had a historic travel trunk in their possession, brought to the USA by Theodore Kimm from Germany before he founded the town. The problem was that it was locked.. with no key. Read the story of how Mike Bess called upon his trove of historic artifacts to gain access to the mystery trunk!
A couple of years ago, the Kimmswick Historical Society purchased a travel trunk from the estate of a long-time Kimmswick resident. The KHS really wanted to own this trunk because it was the trunk that Theodore Kimm (the founder of Kimmswick) traveled with when he immigrated to St. Louis from Germany in approximately 1835. We now owned the trunk, but there was one problem… we could not locate a key to unlock the trunk. We knew it had to be one of those old-time long, skinny keys. The word went out to family and friends, and we must have tried 1,000++ keys. We put the key search on pause, and removed the pins from the hinges. We were “certain” that the trunk had to contain important travel documents, or Mr. Kimm’s journal, or something else as equally exciting. No such luck. The previous owner had stored several blankets in the trunk. We continued our search for the key. Perseverance pays off. Two weeks ago, a gentleman visited our Burgess-How Log Cabin. Nadine Garland told him the story and he asked to see the trunk. She brought him to the Museum and he spent a while examining and measuring the lock. He said that if he didn’t have a key, he could make one. Yesterday, Mike Bess returned to the Museum with the KEY!!!! KHS members are very happy because now we can freshen up the trunk and display it properly. Thank you Mike Bess! You are the Best.
Happy Father’s Day from V8 Speed and Resto! Carrying on our weekend long Father’s Day Pics of the V8 Speed and Resto Crew; meet Brian Wibbenmeyer. His caption on this photo:
“I found the original picture I wanted to share for Father’s Day. This is me standing on the trailer as my father writes a check to pay for the 69 Camaro project that would be his first restoration and got me hooked on this industry/lifestyle.”
Picture is circa 1986.
Enthusiasm for cool cars often starts at a young age, and we’re happy Brian continues to share his enthusiasm with all of us!