TMCP #320: Tony Whatley: Lessons Learned from Building and Selling – Ask Rick, Cruisin’ in a Shelby and Running Burt Reynold’s Trans Am out of Gas!

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Tony Whatley, Founder of LS1 Tech

Overt '69 Camaro
Overt ’69 Camaro
Tony and Lisa Whatley
Tony and Lisa Whatley

In this week’s episode I talked to former LS1 Tech founder and LSx Podcast show host Tony Whatley. Since selling LS1 Tech and becoming a millionaire, he has still been working hard and playing with more cars. Tony noticed he had been helping people privately with their businesses and has decided to expand and start doing that more publicly.

Tony told me he always had a passion for his main career of engineering, but also wanted to do more. He feels it is important to set goals and they are what drives you to succeed. Starting LS1 Tech was a response to other websites lack of a response to users needs. After he approached one web site owner about things he though were wrong, and then told “go start your own”, Tony and his business partner John Ryan did just that. Years later the young entrepreneurs were made an offer they could not refuse and sold the site. He still is doing his day job but now his part time job is helping other set and reach their own goals.

Check out the original LSX Podcast episode 1 and find out more about Tony on the Nine Ball Garage website You can also find videos on the Nine Ball Garage You Tube Channel and pictures at Instagram

Thanks Tony for the interview. It was great to hear from you again!

-Rob Kibbe


This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot
your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!



“Ask Rick” with NPD’s Rick Schmidt!

Epic road trips in a Shelby and Bandit’s Trans Am

Bandit in the ditch
Bandit in the ditch

This week I asked Rick to tell me about any family trips he may have taken in one of his classic vehicles. He talked about a certain 1968 Shelby KR his mom owned that he grew up riding around in. His dad sold the car and the next owner disassembled the car and repainted it to Red. Years later the owner needed some cash and asked if Ricks dad would like to buy it back and the answer was yes. Rick and his dad talked later that the car was just not right in the color it was and needed to be changed back to Highland Green. All of Ricks memories were in green. Of course the paint change did not happen right away and since he knew it was going to be redone he had no problems driving across the country to a Mustang show. He says that trip is one of his favorite trip memories.

Looking through the pictures of the NPD collection, I noticed a Trans Am related to “Smokey and the Bandit” and since it is the anniversary of that movie, I asked for the back story of the car. It was originally owned by Burt Reynolds back in 1984 and Rick has all of the documentation proving that. It was a “promotional” vehicle given tu Burt by Pontiac in 1978 (remember – all of the original ’77 Bandit cars were destroyed in the making of the movie). The other cool thing is that this is the very first WS6 package car.

Make sure to check out the anniversary event showing of Smokey and the Bandit in theaters May 2017 and see if it is showing near you. Also the Bandit Festival with a jump!

Thanks again Rick!

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