It seems Pete Chapouris (of Pete & Jake’s fame) was looking for a few young and enthusiastic fabricators to fill a positions in his shop.
An interview appointment was made, a conversation was had, ideas were bounced and a decision was made: Jimmy landed a job at SO-CAL Speed Shop! Jimmy’s early days at SO-CAL found him working alongside very talented craftsmen like Bill “Birdman” Stewart, Jim “Jake” Jacobs, John Carambia, Timmy Beard, Mick Jenkins, Roy Schmidt, Ryan Reed, Aaron Broughton, Bryan Fuller and Shane Weckerly among others.
Jimmy was lucky to have his dad to help get him started. Chevy-powered gasser for the street, complete with a 2” x 3” square-tube chassis, narrowed 9” Ford rearend, 4-link suspension and Turbo 400 transmission. Shine was driving concrete trucks and tractors for a living at this time—again anything mechanical with big power kept him happy.
An experienced welder and fabricator, Denny had enough tools in the garage to get the job done. However, an unexpected phone call from an old friend would turn the tables again.
The endless miles of fields and orange groves across the street from the family home allowed the boys to safely test the motorcycles and other vehicles—all while evading one certain law enforcement officer affectionately referred to as “Strawberry.” The ‘70s and early-‘80s were a time of transition to the now over-protective and “P. It was a good time; you could go hunting out in the groves with your buddies after school. Shine first cut his teeth in the auto industry as an aspiring hot rodder during the ‘80s. He had saved a bit of money after years of local odd jobs, such as the stereotypical mowing of lawns, etc. For the ever-low-down price of $950 $25 trailer rental, he found himself to be the proud owner of an all-steel ‘40 Willys pickup truck. However, the responsibilities that came with a young family didn’t slow down the quest for an ever-evolving automotive lifestyle. Not all things in life work out the way one might’ve planned; honestly, the “green grass and gravy days” got a little thin for Jimmy in the ‘90s.