Heidi Van Horne: Blog https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Heidi Van Horne heidi@heidivanhorne.com (Heidi Van Horne) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:33:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:33:00 GMT https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-12/u518770719-o439165728-50.jpg Heidi Van Horne: Blog https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Steve McQueen edition Bullitt Mustang Debuts at LA Auto Show https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/11/steve-mcqueen-bullitt-edition-mustang-debuts-at-la-auto-show 2019 Steve McQueen edition Bullitt Mustangthe 2019 Steve McQueen edition Bullitt Mustang is unveiled Thursday, November 29th, 2018 at the LA AUTO Show debut the new 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt edition Mustang at the LA Auto Show
Photo by Heidi Van Horne


Easily one of the most iconic and revered cars to grace the silver screen, the Mustang Steve McQueen drove in the 1968 film, "Bullitt", has inspired everything from replica builds, toys and memorabilia to countless homages, parodies and cultural references.  It has even inspired Ford to produce special edition versions of their most popular brand in honor of the memorable movie Mustang.  Today, the third version of a "Bullitt" edition Mustang was unveiled at a special ceremony at the LA Auto Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center in the Galpin Hall of Customs.

the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang is unveiled at the LA Auto Show on November 29, 2018, at the Galpin Hallthe 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang is unveiled at the LA Auto Show on November 29, 2018, at the Galpin Hall
the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang is unveiled at the LA Auto Show on November 29, 2018, at the Galpin Hall
photo by Heidi Van Horne

The first two editions came out in 2001 and 2008, the most recent of which commemorated the 40th anniversary of the film.  Today's debut saw a new design from Galpin Motors, Steeda Performance, McQueen Racing and Steve McQueen's son, Chad McQueen, who is also an actor and professional racer.


Chad McQueen with the 2019 Steve McQueen edition Bullitt MustangChad McQueen with the 2019 Steve McQueen edition Bullitt Mustang at the LA Auto Show
Chad McQueen, son of Steve McQueen, with the new 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt edition Mustang at the LA Auto Show
Photo by Heidi Van Horne


The latest edition impressed the crowd and was definitely easy on the eyes in the same way that both the original Mustang and McQueen himself were - sleek and cool, tough but stylish.  The 2019 Steve McQueen edition Bullitt Mustang is built with massively upgraded power and suspension to match.  The upgraded version is an increase in horsepower of 295, bringing it to an incredible 775hp.  The huge wheels and widest possible tires for the Mustang keep the car grounded for expert driving on road and on the track.

Chad McQueen is interviewed by press at the debut event of the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang
photo by Heidi Van Horne

It was cool to see the McQueen family check out the new design, as, in addition to son, Chad, McQueen's grandson, Chase, and granddaughter, Madison, were also in attendance as part of the debut event.

Steeda Performance welcomes famed automotive artist Camilo Pardo with his special artwork for the 2019 Steve McQueen BullittSteeda Performance welcomes famed automotive artist Camilo Pardo with his special artwork for the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt - the artwork will be auctioned off during LA Auto Show with proceeds to benefit the Chino Hills Boys and girls Republic, of which McQueen was a student.
Steeda Performance welcomes famed automotive artist Camilo Pardo with his special artwork for the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt
Photo by Heidi Van Horne

Famed automotive artist and Ford designer, Camilo Pardo, was commissioned to paint a special piece to commemorate the new Bullitt, and he painted Steve McQueen in both the original Bullitt and the 2019 Bullitt Mustangs.  The original artwork will be auctioned off during the Auto Show, with all proceeds going to the Chino Hills Boys and Girls Republic, which Steve McQueen attended and the McQueen family regularly honors and supports.


the McQueen family and artist Camilo Pardo with the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustangthe McQueen family and artist Camilo Pardo with the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang

the McQueen family and artist Camilo Pardo with the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang
photo by Heidi Van Horne


The Bullitt edition will be offered to a limited list of 300 per year, and each owner will get a special owner's package, including a limited edition print of Pardo's artwork, numbered to match their Mustang.

Chad McQueen is interviewed by press at the debut event of the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt MustangChad McQueen is interviewed by press at the debut event of the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang

Chad McQueen is interviewed by press at the debut event of the 2019 Steve McQueen Bullitt Mustang
photo by Heidi Van Horne

Look for these cool McQueen Mustangs to be on the road soon.  Just don't bother trying to challenge it to a race if you do.  (Or, maybe, do, just to see it perform.  ;)  Just don't expect to win.)

the emblem on the rear of the 2019 Steve McQueen edition Bullitt Mustang
photo by Heidi Van Horne




heidi@heidivanhorne.com (Heidi Van Horne) auto automotive Bullitt Bullitt mustang car cars classics ford galpin Heidi Van Horne la auto show la auto show 2018 mustang steeda Steve McQueen Steve McQueen Bullitt Steve McQueen edition https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/11/steve-mcqueen-bullitt-edition-mustang-debuts-at-la-auto-show Fri, 30 Nov 2018 08:37:11 GMT
Boss Life Rides and a "Hood Classic" from every decade for Slim Thug https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/slim-thugs

Slim Thug and his 1959 Cadillac Custom
Photo courtesy Slim Thug


You just can’t talk about classic and custom cars in Houston without eventually bringing up locally-raised and internationally known rapper Slim Thug. It is today that, after covering customs and classics since 2008 for Hearst and the Houston Chronicle, I finally get to right this wrong by sharing the car story of the Htown legend, his famous collection and how he got into cars. 

Slim Thug has been synonymous with Houston rap culture for two decades now. Whether you know him from his illustrious recording career, getting his 1959 Cadillac done at Ekstensive Metal on the show “Texas Metal” on Velocity, showing the late, great Anthony Bourdain around town, his prominent social media presence or from joining fellow Houston native, Beyonce’, for an MTV Video Award Best Video win, he is always representing for Houston.

Houston Rap Star Slim Thug
Photo courtesy Slim Thug


His company, Boss Life Construction, even recently partnered with Radio One Houston to help some Houston area families who lost their homes in Hurricane Harvey, where he not only gave away an entire newly built house to a family in need, but even provided the 9 runners-up $5000 each to help aid their recovery. 

Anthony Bourdain and Slim Thug in Houston while filming the television show "Parts Unknown"
Photo courtesy Slim Thug


If you do follow him online, you likely are also aware of his penchant for amazing custom and classic cars, which even recently had his friends publicly joking with him about having a car addiction.  It is an affliction he’s had since his youth.

Slim Thug grew up on the northside of Houston, and was into cars for as long as he can remember.  He got his first car at 15, a 1960 Cadillac Hearse.

“It gave me hell,” he laughs, and jokes that he, “kept it too long.”  

His next car was the one that ended up giving him his most popular nickname (after Slim Thug, of course, which, not surprisingly, isn’t the name on his birth certificate).  His 1973 Cadillac El Dorado, complete with bull horns on the hood, was what initially inspired the “Boss Hogg” moniker that would evolve into album, group and label names, the title of a biographic documentary about him, and a lucrative clothing brand, Boss Life.

It wasn’t a fellow musician who initially inspired him to start collecting, though.  Legendary tattoo artist Mister Cartoon is the classic car collector who first inspired Slim’s desire for a collection of his own.  

Slim Thug's 1959 Cadillac Custom among his collection
Photo courtesy Slim Thug

“He had everything- candy cars, old school.  I saw his collection and it made me want to take it to the next level,” he says.  “I came up with a goal of getting one of every decade – 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s… all the hood classics.  The ones I grew up dreamin’ of as a kid."

He accomplished his goal and his collection now boasts a 1959 Cadillac, a 1964 Lincoln, a 1974 Chevy Caprice, a 1987 Monte Carlo, and a 1996 Chevy Impala. It was a fellow Cadillac owner and guest on the Velocity show, “Texas Metal”, though, that gave him a new perspective on collecting.

Slim Thug's 1959 Cadillac Custom, done by Ekstensive Metal, has a mirror reflection in its "black on black on black" paint
Photo courtesy Slim Thug

Houston Tex-Mex restauranteur Stan Holt brought the 1961 Cadillac owned by his wife, Sheila, to Ekstensive Metal’s team for a surprise makeover in an episode that aired not long after Slim Thug had them do a complete custom job on his 1959 Cadillac.  The Holt’s reveal took place at an airplane hangar and Stan’s stunning car collection wasn’t the only thing that impressed Slim, but also that his choices in cars were based on personal connection.  Slim Thug said he was inspired by the Lupe Tortilla owner’s “sentimental collection.”

Slim Thug and his 1974 Chevy Caprice
Photo courtesy Slim Thug


He also recognizes that owning and collecting classic and custom cars is a slow and ever-evolving process.

“It ain’t no overnight thing.”

When he started driving as a teen, he used to do the wrenching himself.

“I used to get down and dirty with them,” he says, but these days he takes them to one of his trusted mechanics and shops.  

He says that there are a lot of good shops in Houston, but just a few of the ones he trusts with his rides include Rudy’s G Bodyz, 713 Motoring, and Deviate Autosport.

Slim Thug's 1974 Chevy Caprice at the Houston DUB show
Photo courtesy Slim Thug


“Anything I do, I wanna do it all the way,” says Slim, and that is the thinking he has behind each car he buys.  

Eventually, he says, he would like to start his own shop and maybe a car club.  At this point, though, he’s not looking for any more to add to the collection for a while, and is on a self-imposed break.  He says that he wants to get his last two classics the way he wants them and then enjoy them.

“I want to get these right and chill.”

But he does acknowledge that at some point he wants to make one custom element common under the hood throughout his whole collection.

“Before its done, I want to convert them all to LS.”

Slim Thug explains Htown Slab culture to Anthony Bourdain while filming "Parts Unknown" in Houston
Photo courtesy Slim Thug

For now, he is focusing on making sure they all look good and run well, and on creating a counterpart to the typical Cars and Coffee type car shows.  He has been hosting a recurring Sunday afternoon show called “Old School & Soul Food” that features classic cars, bikes, a brunch offering and welcomes all shops and car clubs to participate.

From here on out, he says that his goal is now just about, “taking it one year at a time and having fun.”  

Slim Thug and his 1959 Cadillac Custom
Photo courtesy Slim Thug


To keep up with what Slim Thug is up to, check him out on Instagram at www.instagram.com/slimthug, and to see more of his car collection, visit www.instagram.com/bossliferides.

An excerpt from this piece was first published in the Houston Chronicle on Saturday, October 13th, 2018 and can be seen here:


heidi@heidivanhorne.com (Heidi Van Horne) Anthony Bourdain auto automotive boss Hogg Bosslife Cadillac caprice car cars chevy classics column convertible ekstensive metal heidi van horne heidi's customs and classics Houston Houston car culture Houston rappers htown impala parts unknown rap slab culture slabs Slim Thug Texas metal velocity velocity channel https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/slim-thugs Sat, 13 Oct 2018 16:33:39 GMT
DJ Mr. Rogers: From custom BMW's to saving Houston in a lifted truck https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/dj-mr-rogers Screenshot

DJ Mr. Rogers and his 1991 BMW 318i convertible.
Photo by DJ Mr. Rogers


DJ Mr. Rogers is a celebrity DJ in the Houston area with a huge following, a popular show on radio station 93.7 the Beat and a steady presence spinning at top parties and nightclubs across the country.  He also has a love of cars, particularly iconic BMW’s with quality rap history references, as well as one new ride that is all about his love for Houston.

While not your typical picture of a “classic” car, Rogers’ 1991 BMW 318i technically does fit into the standard definition of a classic, being well over 20 years old now.  It is Rogers’ custom touches to his BMW, though, that make the car stand out even more.

Rogers decided to model his BMW after the car owned by the character “Money Making Mitch”, played by actor Mekhi Phifer, in the film “Paid in Full”, a 1987 E30 with gold BBS wheels. 

He got the car from a seller on craigslist in southwest Houston for about $1500, and while it was drivable, it had issues.  He drove it home and began his plan to overhaul it at his brother and father’s shop. He started by dropping the car off for body and paint work with his friend and fellow Houston area DJ, DJ Marvins, who is a fellow BMW aficionado, and then spent the next six months sourcing parts, including on eBay.  His favorite place to search, though, became his friend Fernando’s junk yard, Fuentes Auto Parts, in north Houston, which he calls a “true blessing for my builds.”

He took his BMW to EMG, European Motor Group, for an engine swap, a rear end swap, and a new clutch, all of which took the BMW from 118hp all the way up to around 300hp.  He has done what he estimates to be around 60-70% restoration since he got it, including new interior, air ride suspension and brake lines.

Under the hood of DJ Mr. Rogers' 1991 BMW 318i convertible.
Photo by DJ Mr. Rogers


“It’s a quick car. It’s fun,” Rogers says.

Rogers “grew up in a shop”, as his father was an engine builder in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, working on both classic cars and pro-stock drag racers for the NHRA. Because of that, he often spent time with his dad at the race tracks, frequenting Kennedale Speedway, the Texas Motorplex, Yellow Belly Drag Strip and more.

He was around eighteen years old when the Fast & Furious movies started coming out, and between that and the guys in his neighborhood driving the BMW’s and Euro cars of the era, his father’s hot rod ways laid the groundwork for him to become a different type of car guy – an import lover.  He got into Hondas and mini trucks for a while before he went to college at Prairie View, which he called a culture shock.  Instead of imports or hot rods, the car scene in Prairie View was all about luxury and performance.  He first got into Lexus’ but it was the “ultimate driving machine” BMW that he was really after.


DJ Mr. Rogers' 1991 BMW 318i convertible.
Photo by DJ Mr. Rogers


Soon, he was gifted a 1989 BMW that had a lot of problems and ended up being a parts car for a white 1992 convertible he picked up. The ’92, however, had its own problems, as its rust issues were hidden upon first review, and he decided to sell both the ’89 and ’92 and use the funds to get his 1991.

Not too long after, he found a 2001 BMW E38 7 series and decided to buy that one, too.  Aside from being the last year of the square body BMW’s, the car was also the same type as the one that Tupac Shakur was killed in, and known as what Rogers called, “his death chariot.”


DJ Mr. Rogers' 2001 BMW.
Photo by DJ Mr. Rogers


He quickly became known for his BMW E series love, and friends and fans started to reach out to him about the cars.  One friend called to get his advice about buying an all-white 1994 BMW, which he eventually passed on, but Rogers decided to pick it up himself.  Although it is a few years newer, the car is reminiscent of rap legend Easy E’s last car, an all-white 1991 850i, and brings another rap reference to Roger’s growing BMW collection.


DJ Mr. Rogers and his 1994 BMW.
Photo by DJ Mr. Rogers

His newest ride is actually not a BMW, but a truck that he got as a result of one of the worst hurricanes and floods to hit Houston.  During Hurricane Harvey last year, Rogers discovered a calling he wasn’t planning on – helping other Houstonians.  What started as just a desire to help a couple strangers when the storm hit, turned into a new life mission.  Having managed to escape major damage at his own home, Rogers watched online as the conditions around the city began to worsen, and started to offer help to his followers.  He was contacted on Twitter by a woman stranded at a gas station with her two-year old child, surrounded by water.  

He drove his Escalade, which regularly served as a great family car, daily driver and DJ equipment hauler, and was at an advantage over small cars.  He was able to reach the mother and child and got them home safely. While helping her, another driver took his Civic straight into 5-6 foot high flood waters, and stalled out. Rogers was able to get him into the Escalade through one of the passenger windows, and drove him to safety, as well.

He says that at a certain point on the first day of helping people, he said to himself, “Well, I guess this is what we’re doing now.”  

He was getting supplies at Costco when he ran into a guy in a lifted Ford F250 who was able to drive through the high waters, and he realized that a lifted truck was what he wanted, too.  He saw online that Houston rap legend Trae the Truth was out helping people around the city with their mutual friend, UFC star Derrick Lewis, in Lewis’ lifted Chevy truck, as well as another friend, DJ A Plus, in his lifted F150 in the Beaumont area, and Rogers knew he had found the perfect allies to continue his mission. 

Soon after, Relief Gang was created as a network to bring together those in need and those who were able to come help.  As the days went on and flooding continued, Rogers, Trae and their friends spent their days helping people in need around the greater Houston area.  Their mission eventually expanded, and in the weeks and months ahead, they found themselves helping people fix their flooded homes, feeding people in the community, bringing supplies, and even doing special event days to get those affected free school supplies, haircuts, and sometimes just a day of fun to get away from the stress of the storm recovery for a few hours. 

DJ Mr. Rogers' 2017 Ford F250 Platinum with 6" lift, 22" Hostile Wheels and 37" tires.
Photo by DJ Mr. Rogers


The Escalade was eventually totaled by the insurance company due to the damage from the flooding, even though it was still running and drivable, and he used the insurance money to get a lifted truck that would be ready for the next storm.  Rogers purchased his 2017 Ford F250 Platinum that he had lifted 6” and outfitted with 22” Hostile Wheels and 37” tires.  

Around the same time, Trae also got himself an F350 after professing to Rogers that he “would never get caught without a truck ever again.”

The two were back in action with their new trucks after one of the bad storms earlier this year, helping a dialysis center evacuate and even being called for help from another Houston rap legend.  Bun B and his wife, Queenie, were stuck near NRG center and had to call for help, with Rogers and Trae picking them and others up off a stranded Metro bus, the highest point out of the water that was available to them.

While the hope is that they aren’t needed, Houstonians know that there’s always going to be another storm, and this time around, Rogers and Trae are even better prepared to help save the city again when it does.

Rogers give thanks to Planet Ford, who worked with him on the truck build, making it just right for the next Relief Gang mission, and to RimStarz Kustoms.


DJ Mr. Rogers and his 2001 BMW.
Photo by DJ Mr. Rogers


To see more images of DJ Mr. Rogers and his rides, or to keep up with where he is spinning tunes next, find him on Instagram at www.instagram.com/djmrrogers.  To learn more about Relief Gang, find them at www.instagram.com/reliefgang.


An excerpt from this piece was first published in the Houston Chronicle on Saturday, October 6th, 2018 and can be seen here:



heidi@heidivanhorne.com (Heidi Van Horne) 97.9 the beat auto automotive Beemer Beemers BMW BMW's car cars classics column convertible derrick lewis dj dj mr rogers dj mr. rogers e series e30 easy e European auto group f250 feel good stories Harvey relief heidi van horne Houston Houston chronicle htown lifted truck rap relief gang trae the truth Tupac shakur https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/10/dj-mr-rogers Sat, 06 Oct 2018 10:02:03 GMT
Life is an Open Road for Magnus Walker https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/magnus-walker Magnus Walker holds a special edition Hot Wheels toy, complete with a figurine of Walker, in his Porsche 911 garage. Photo by Heidi Van Horne

Magnus Walker holds a special edition Hot Wheels toy, complete with a figurine of Walker, in his Porsche 911 garage.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne


Magnus Walker has found success in a lot of things over the course of his life thus far – he created a hugely popular clothing company, Serious, that outfitted countless top celebrities, he built his dream live/work space in downtown Los Angeles and turned it into a profitable filming location for the entertainment industry, and, in the past six years alone, has become one of the most prominent personalities in the car world - starring in a popular short film, giving a Ted Talk with over 6 million views, and writing a book (the 2017 top selling release, “Dirt Don’t Slow You Down”, recently reprinted in paperback).

These days, Walker is most well-known for his incredible Porsche collection and his passion for the brand, particularly the iconic 911 models.  His affection for Porsches began at the age of ten in 1977 in England, when his dad took him to an auto show and he fell in love with a 911.  He purchased his first Porsche in 1992, and he now owns around 25 Porsches, but it wasn’t until he decided to let a filmmaker come shoot some footage of him with his favorite Porsches and turn it into what would become a spectacularly popular short film that he would become one of the most famous Porsche collectors in the world.

Magnus Walker's Porsche garage.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne

Starring in the short film, “Urban Outlaw”, by Tamir Moscovici, Walker’s distinctive style, complete with long hair, dreadlocks and tattoos, and his serious passion for Porsches made for a compelling combination and challenged what most people think of when they picture a Porsche owner.  The film’s release happened to coincide with the 50thanniversary of the 911 and Walker believes that added even more interest in the film and in his collection.

Unlike some who may better fit that preconceived idea, however, Walker is someone who truly is in the car world for his love of it and nothing else, and his collection is definitely impressive.

Magnus Walker's famously customized 1971 Porsche 911, popularized by the short film, "Urban Outlaw" and immortalized as various Hot Wheels toys.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne

But his unique looks aren’t the only thing that make him stand out from the stereotype of a Porsche driver, he also loves to customize his Porsches, something purists are averse to, and Walker uses somewhat of a hot rod ethos to do so.  He started by working on his own cars the same way he took to being a clothing designer, a mixture of DIY artistic attitude and functionalist necessity.  He didn’t plan to do these things, he just was hands-on about following his inspiration and passions and those things translated into successful opportunities and adventures.

Some of the Porsches in Magnus Walker's collection, in his 911 garage.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne

At first, it was his goal to own a Porsche, then it became to own one of every year of the turbos, from 1964-1973.  After having met that goal, and having owned over 40 911’s so far, his newest goal is to own one of every model of the sports cars that they have made.   He has most of his 911’s in his garage space, but also has a storage shop with just his original year 1964 Porsche 911 and parts inside, a “non 911” room with a couple other Porsches and more tires and parts, and what he calls his “chop shop” in a garage space literally just across the street from the main property.

Magnus Walker's "non 911" room, which also houses tires and other parts storage.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne

Donor Porsches wait in the lot outside the "Chop Shop" to be brought back to life in a future build. 
Photo by Heidi Van Horne

He loves the interchangeability of the Porsche 911 parts from the first 30 years, and how they have maintained similar structure and usability over time.  

“The soul is still the same,” he says.

His collection of parts is impressive, as well, and he regularly saves pieces from donor cars for future use.

Magnus Walker's first year 1964 Porsche 911 sits in a special garage room where various Porsche parts hang from the wall.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne


“I’ve got the space. I don’t throw anything away.”

When I ask what his favorite non-Porsche car is, he surprises me with another icon, the Ford Mustang, and talks about the similarities between the two marks’ history. Both the Ford Mustang and the Porsche 911 were first debuted to market in 1964 and both are two of what he considers to be the top three most iconic models in America’s long love of cars – the Ford Mustang, The Porsche 911 and the Chevy Corvette.

Porsche has always been his favorite, but he’s loved other classic cars over the years, even getting the logo to the 1969 Dodge Superbee, of which he owned two, tattooed on his arm.

Magnus Walker's 1972 Porsche 914 sits in the "non 911" room, in front of classic Serious Clothing posters and signage.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne


His partnership with the Porsche brand has led him to some amazing experiences, including being asked to design his own Hot Wheels cars, being the first non-professional race car driver to have their own Momo steering wheel in production, hosting a TEDTalk, doing appearances with Porsche and racing Porsches all over the world. Earlier this year, Porsche brought him out with other Porsche enthusiasts to do a 3500k (approximately 2175 miles) trek across the outback of Australia in a Cayenne, with 1200k of that trip being off road.

Magnus Walker Hot Wheels toys on display at his warehouse shop.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne


He has also been seen in print, online and on tv doing appearances with his Porsches, including on Car Cast with Adam Carolla, Top Gear, and multiple appearances on Jay Leno’s Garage.

He says that what he does is “nothing new” and that even James Dean customized his Porsche, but that Walker himself, “brought a different inspiration”, even though he never planned it that way.

Magnus Walker's custom Porsche 911's in his garage. Some of his personalized design elements include his custom grafted lights, shaped into the body.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne


“I believe in saying yes to opportunity,” he shares, adding that by saying yes to doing the documentary, “the film changed my life.”

His TEDTalk, which has garnered over 6.8 million views as of this publication, is centered on “going with your gut feeling”, and Walker says that’s a part of his success.  He dropped out of school, had no formal education, but still was able to become a leader in the fashion industry and to run a hugely successful locations business.

“If I can do it without an education, anything is possible, if you set your mind to it,” says Walker. “The best asset is creating your own luck by doing what you love to do.”

Magnus Walker's desktop is covered with the various Hot Wheels toys he has designed alongside one of his Momo special edition steering wheels.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne


As for what’s ahead for him, Walker says that the journey continues, and who knows where his passions will take him next, but just that he plans to keep enjoying the experiences that come along the way.

“The road is open.”

Magnus Walker's 1976 Porsche 930 Euro in his Porsche 911 garage.
Photo by Heidi Van Horne


To learn more about Magnus Walker and his Porsche collection, his book, his short film, and more, visit www.magnuswalker911.com and www.urbanoutlawshop.com.

An excerpt from this piece was first published in the Houston Chronicle on 9/29/18 in a feature about Magnus Walker in the car column "Heidi's Customs & Classics" by Heidi Van Horne. 


heidi@heidivanhorne.com (Heidi Van Horne) 911 auto automotive car cars classics column heidi van horne Magnus walker Porsche Porsche 911 Porsche collector Porsches urban outlaw https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/magnus-walker Sat, 29 Sep 2018 16:00:00 GMT
Bogi Lateiner: Changing the Conversation on Women in Automotive https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/bogi-lateiner---changing-the-conversation-on-women-in-automotive Bogi Lateiner is changing the conversation about Women in Automotive

Bogi LateinerBogi Lateiner at her award-winning auto shop, 180 Automotive, in Phoenix, Arizona  Bogi Lateiner at her award-winning auto shop, 180 Automotive, in Phoenix, Arizona  - photo courtesy of Bogi's Garage

Sarah “Bogi” Lateiner is a prominent face in the automotive world, starring on Velocity’s “All Girls Garage” since it debuted in 2012, owning and running her award-winning auto shop, 180 Automotive, in Phoenix, Arizona, educating students and shop owners, and creating the Chevy Montage all female build that famously debuted at SEMA last year.

Her path to being a leader in the car scene, however, did not take a predictable or linear route.  Instead of getting into cars through family, it was her interest in old VW bugs and her strong feminist mindset that lead her to pick up a wrench.

“Oh God, no. My family doesn’t know where I came from,” she laughs, when asked if she grew up working on cars with her parents. Instead, she decided in high school that she wanted a Volkswagen.  She had long loved the VW beetles, and would buy the VW magazines and dream of having her own.  She felt that, “VW’s always have a story.”

When it was finally her time to drive, she got her Beetle, and with it, she soon learned the realities of used car ownership.  Taking her bug to a VW shop, she was disappointed in the way she was treated and realized that not knowing more about her car made her feel vulnerable to shops taking advantage of her or dismissing what she had to say.  She decided she would learn about and restore her own car, and one day, she would be in one of those VW magazines, not as one of the models in front of the car, as most of the women appearing in the magazines were, but instead, as the owner who built it herself.

She enrolled in shop class in high school and was the second female in her school’s history to take shop.  She did get some resistance, but not necessarily from who she expected.  Her guidance counselor tried to talk her out of it, saying, “But you are smart, you can go to college...  Why would you go to shop?”

The words always bothered her, but at the time, she defiantly brushed it off and enrolled anyway.  By year two, she convinced her shop teacher to let her bring her VW in to be a project in class, and soon she was restoring her Bug and helping teach other students and her friends about working on cars.

Several of these elements would come into play later in her career, but for a while, cars took a backseat as she entered college and studied pre-law.  She was on her way to Harvard Law when she started to evaluate what she really wanted to do.

She wanted to help people and empower women with her double major in Law and Women’s Studies, but she also was a huge supporter of the trades, and she found that there were two major things she missed being away from cars while focused on college.

“I missed working with my hands.  I missed the bug…. not the Beetle Bug,” she laughs as she catches her inadvertent pun. “The car bug.  The wrenching bug.”

She also missed sharing her knowledge and seeing others get bit by it, too.

“I was teaching my friends and it was great, just seeing the light go off for them.  I realized how much empowerment I got conquering it, and how, all of a sudden, all these other things that seemed scary – maybe that’s not so scary.”

Sharing that empowerment has become her life mission, particularly sharing her craft with fellow females.

“My passion is to teach other women.”

Carly Austin, Bogi Lateiner and Teresa Dickinson work on the Montage build - photo by Tina StiffCarly Austin, Bogi Lateiner and Teresa Dickinson work on the Montage build - photo by Tina StiffCarly Austin, Bogi Lateiner and Teresa Dickinson work on the Montage build - photo by Tina Stiff
Carly Austin, Bogi Lateiner and Teresa Dickinson work on the Montage build - photo by Tina Stiff

And while there seems to be more and more publicity lately for women in the car world, she suspects the numbers haven’t grown as exponentially as it seems in the professional automotive landscape, but that the visibility absolutely has.  

“The number of women hasn’t changed.  The Labor Bureau shows it going from 1.6% to 1.8% of automotive technicians (that) are women, so it hasn’t changed much, but the difference is, now we’re connected.”

With social media, women in the car space who previously felt alone can see that there are plenty of others, and she agrees that there are, “more DIY enthusiasts than ever before.”

Bogi Lateiner and her team at 180 Automotive in Phoenix, Arizona - photo courtesy of Bogi's GarageBogi Lateiner and her team at 180 Automotive in Phoenix, Arizona - photo courtesy of Bogi's Garage
Bogi Lateiner and her team at 180 Automotive in Phoenix, Arizona - photo courtesy of Bogi's Garage

“Before, it was disempowered.  It’s harder when you feel like ‘the only’.  Now, we’ve got groups, you know they exist.  It feels like more but it’s just because we know about each other now.”

She also says that the conversation has finally started to shift.  

“There used to be two categories of men: the ones who said, ‘you shouldn’t be here’ and the ones who’d say, ‘I don’t care, if you know what you’re doing, it’s cool.’ Now, there’s three.  There’s the ‘I think it’s awesome!’ guys – and those are usually dad’s, guys who have daughters.  It’s changed.

“Until you’ve had an experience, you rely on what you’ve heard, stereotypes…. There’s enough men in the industry now who’ve had experiences working with women that’s been positive, the stereotypes are rapidly changing.”

With so much accolades and accomplishments already under her toolbelt, there’s plenty to choose from, but she says that what brings her the most pride is being able to empower other people.  Whether she does it thru teaching her women’s car care classes, educating a customer at her shop so they can feel confident enough to tackle the basics on their own car, or on a bigger project like the Montage build - giving that power to others is what she loves.

the 1957 Chevy Montage All Women Build - photo courtesy of Bogi's Garagethe 1957 Chevy Montage All Women Build - photo courtesy of Bogi's Garage
the 1957 Chevy Montage All Women Build - photo courtesy of Bogi's Garage

The Chevy Montage, a 1957 Chevy pickup truck that was built entirely over a nine month period by a revolving group of 90 women, from first time novices to pros like herself, was a concept she thought would be a good way to stir up the conversation about women in the field.

Little did she know how much everyone involved would gain from it.  

 “I didn’t understand at the time that I was gathering our tribe together and what the impact of that would be.”

Bogi Lateiner and some of the women on the build with the Chevy Montage truck - photo courtesy of Bogi's GarageBogi Lateiner and some of the women on the build with the Chevy Montage truck - photo courtesy of Bogi's Garage

Bogi Lateiner and some of the women on the build with the Chevy Montage truck - photo courtesy of Bogi's Garage

Since the truck debuted at SEMA to massive media attention and appreciation, many of the women who were involved have continued to go on to tackle more amazing accomplishments.  Just a few highlights include a production welder who finally was inspired to open her own restoration shop, a shop owner who went forward with a huge expansion of her shop, and a couple of the first-timers going on to do their own complete classic truck build.  “High Yellow” is the name of a 1956 Chevy truck restoration project currently underway in Tucson, by Montage build participants Shawnda Williams and Carly Austin.

Lateiner was blown away by the success of the build and the support they got along the way.

“I was super surprised and overwhelmed by the amount of industry support,” she says. “It was a testament to the fact that this is a conversation people are ready to have.  Everyone was offering their support, it was a really cool thing.”

She said all their sponsors were wonderful, especially BASF, who was a “huge supporter” and Classic Instruments, whose owner was so excited about the concept and being involved, that he ensured that only his female employees worked on building the instrument cluster they made for the truck.

She’s most thankful for her “great” team at 180 Automotive and she’s thankful to see the shift that has been taking place for women in the automotive industry.  She’s excited about the vitalized push for women in STEM, which she points out involves the skills required for modern car care, including computer skills, diagnostic abilities, aptitude and intelligence.

“My real passion, my life mission…. What I’m here for…. is to change to conversation about women and their cars.  To invite and include more women to pick up a wrench.  To help develop the trades and get more women involved, and to help the trades earn and gain more respect in society.”

Her enthusiasm is infectious and her knowledge vast, but it is her commitment to sharing that passion and skill to help others that really makes Bogi Lateiner a true asset to the car world – and the world, in general.

To learn more about Bogi and the Chevy Montage build, visit www.bogisgarage.com, and to learn more about 180 Automotive, visit www.180automotive.com.


This was an excerpt from a larger feature about Bogi Lateiner for the book, “Her Ride”.  A segment of this was first published in the Houston Chronicle on Saturday, September 22, 2018 in the car section column "Heidi's Customs & Classics".

heidi@heidivanhorne.com (Heidi Van Horne) all women build auto automotive bogi lateiner car cars chevy classics column Heidi van Horne montage pickup project rebuild truck women in automotive https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/bogi-lateiner---changing-the-conversation-on-women-in-automotive Sun, 23 Sep 2018 19:25:39 GMT
Extended Interview and Feature on BOGI LATEINER - COMING SOON! https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/9/extended-interview-and-feature-on-bogi-lateiner---coming-soon Starting this week, longer format versions of my "Heidi's Customs & Classics" articles will be going LIVE right HERE on my blog!  Some of these stories will be excerpts from longer form content, like this week's article about BOGI LATEINER, who I will be featuring in my book project, "Her Ride"! 

The HOUSTON CHRONICLE and the syndicated Hearst papers that run my story in print on Saturdays and online Friday nights will still be the first place to catch this content, but stay tuned later this weekend for a longer version of the feature to run RIGHT HERE!

I'm excited to start getting this blog going finally, and I will be sharing archived content as well as new material every week.  Thanks for reading, whether you're a tried and true fan since my first car column debuted in 2008, or if you're just joining in now!  I appreciate you.

Look for the full story to run later this weekend!

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Heidi on Rod and Kulture's 50th Cover! https://heidivanhorne.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/7/heidi-on-rod-and-kultures-50th-cover Traditional Rod & Kulture 50th Issue by Holly WestTraditional Rod & Kulture 50th Issue by Holly WestHeidi Van Horne on the cover of Traditional Rod & Kulture's Special 50th Anniversary Issue! Photo by Holly West Makeup and Hair by Raquel Rockwell DeVil with Randy Winkles' Gasser in Bakersfield, CA

In case you haven't already heard, Heidi is on the cover of the latest edition of popular car magazine Traditional Rod & Kulture's 50th Issue!  On stands now!!  With another fabulous photo by Holly West and a killer Willys Gasser, shot on location in Bakersfield, with make up and hair by Raquel Rockwell DeVil, this very special anniversary edition of TRK is an instant collector's item! 

Pick one up while you can on newstands, online, or get yourself a subscription!  It will be on stands until Heidi's birthday, ironically!  Get one while you can! 

For online ordering, subscriptions or past issues (including Heidi's past cover and pinup issues!) check out their website:
*Traditional Rod & Kulture*

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