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Movers & Shakers: Finalists Chosen in Eastwood DIY Legend Contest

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Finalists Chosen in Eastwood DIY Legend Contest

Five car enthusiasts have been selected to compete in the Eastwood DIY Legends contest—a competition celebrating Eastwood’s customers that provides finalists with a chance to show off their skills and win a trip to the 2016 SEMA Show. Eastwood launched the DIY Legends contest this past spring when car enthusiasts were invited to submit a recap of their DIY history and dreams. The five finalists received $2,000 in Eastwood tools and $500 in cash to pursue their dream projects. They have until September 26 to complete their projects, before being reviewed by a celebrity judging panel that includes SEMA Vice President of Events Peter MacGillivray, Mike Joy (FOX Sports NASCAR announcer), Dina Parise (Pro Modified Drag Racer) and Rick Dore (custom car designer). After the judges weigh in, the public will be able to vote for their favorite. The contest culminates with the “Eastwood DIY Legend” receiving a trip to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas where the winning project will be displayed for all to see. The contest winner will also choose a nonprofit to be the beneficiary of a $1,000 donation from Eastwood.

The five finalists include:

  • Dan Ladrigan, an 80-year-old lifelong car enthusiast from Milbridge, Maine, planning to bring a ’31 Ford roadster back to life.
  • Erik Himbert, a paralyzed DIY fanatic from Sisters, Oregon, building a scalable stand-up wheelchair.
  • Jack Green, a southern gentleman from Oneonta, Alabama, turning a plain-vanilla ’74 VW Bus into a “psychedelic lounge and living quarters.”
  • Rob Chappelle, a handicap-able retired Army veteran from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, who began his DIY days restoring WWII military vehicles.
  • John Hughes, lifetime DIY-er from Bonney Lake, Washington, who has worked on everything from a Beetle to a Datsun.

For more information about the DIY Legends contest, visit

Eibach is celebrating the company’s 65th anniversary this year.

Eibach Celebrates 65 Years

Eibach has completed the largest investment of the company’s 65-year history with the construction of an advanced new production plant in Wiethfeld, Germany—7 km from the main plant in Finnentrop. By means of the new production facilities, technologies and necessary structures, Eibach has qualified as a valued partner for OEM manufacturers. Eibach employees and business partners will celebrate the 65th anniversary in real Sauerland style with a Schützenfest beginning September 30 with company tours and discussions.

Jenny Schmitz Joins FM3 Performance Marketing as Director of Marketing and Special Events

Automotive aftermarket and grassroots enthusiast event expert Jenny Schmitz has joined the FM3 Performance Marketing team. Her responsibilities will include developing new and existing business for FM3’s core business of event and mobile marketing and live event production for the automotive aftermarket performance industry. In addition, she will be responsible for developing and overseeing new interactive automotive events geared toward grassroots enthusiasts. Her previous credentials include serving first as marketing manager, then director of special events for TEN: The Enthusiast Network. Events under her leadership included such notables as Hot Rod Power Tour, Car Craft Summer Nationals and Hot Rod Drag Week, among others. Prior to her decade at TEN, she served for 16 years as vice president of finance, then executive vice president and general manager of family events, for Indianapolis-based producers of the Street Machine Nationals, 4-Wheel & Off Road Nationals events and other specialty events.

Robin McNeal

12V Veteran Joins Old School Car Radio Innovator

Retro Manufacturing, supplier of radios, speakers and audio accessories for classic cars, has welcomed Robin McNeal to the RetroSound team. Founded in 2007, RetroSound is a supplier of radios for vintage autos that includes such high-tech features as Apple iPhone/iPod compatibility, USB inputs, DSP and built-in Bluetooth. Recently the company received certification from SiriusXM, whose satellite-compatible subscription service will be offered on future models. McNeal joins Retro Manufacturing as vice president and general manager. He brings with him more than 30 years of experience in the consumer electronics industry and 12-volt audio video in particular.

Firestone Industrial Products Names Mark Hilburger Executive Director of Marketing

Firestone Industrial Products Company LLC (FSIP) has tapped company veteran Mark Hilburger to lead strategic marketing efforts as executive director of marketing. In the newly created role, Hilburger will develop and oversee all product marketing initiatives for the company. He joined Firestone in 1995 as product engineer, air spring development. Since that time, he has held various roles of increasing responsibility, including North American heavy-duty original equipment sales manager and division marketing manager. Hilburger also spent a year working to establish the company’s Turrialba, Costa Rica, manufacturing facility, overseeing site location, hiring staff managers and assisting in the SAP implementation. Most recently, as global automotive OEM business manager, he secured significant incremental business for the company and created a strategic plan for further expansion into the automotive channel.

Diane Fitzgerald

RPM Foundation Revs Up With New President

The RPM Foundation—a grant-giving organization that provides young adults with a pathway to careers in auto and marine restoration—has promoted its national director Diane Fitzgerald to president. The RPM Foundation is a member entity of America’s Automotive Trust (AAT)—a not-for-profit cooperative that seeks to secure America’s automotive heritage and transfer the skills and knowledge necessary for the collector car pastime to continue to grow. Since 2005, the RPM Foundation has impacted more than 25,000 people and has awarded nearly $3 million in funding for grants, apprenticeships and hands-on training for careers in automotive restoration and preservation. According to SEMA, the automotive restoration industry was worth $1.53 billion in 2015, rebounding past its all-time high prior to the Great Recession in 2007.

Edelbrock Receives CARB E.O. Number for Camaro, Corvette, Jeep and BRZ/FR-S E-Force Systems

Edelbrock has announced that it has received California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) numbers on its E-Force supercharger systems for the ’16 Camaro, ’15–’16 Corvette ZO6, ’12–’16 Jeep Wrangler and ’12–’16 Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86.

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