Inside Bodie Stroud Industries: A Taste is All You Need
Folks who are passionate about motorized vehicles are generally thrown in the sweeping, and very broad category of 'automotive enthusiasts.' It makes things easy for the person who thinks of their car as an appliance, when they need to put a label on someone who is even the slightest bit more interested in one than they are. But there are so many different subcultures that automotive enthusiasts find themselves a part of than just that broad categorization, and nowhere is this more evident than in a shop like Bodie Stroud's. Tucked deep in the San Fernando Valley, about 10 minutes from some of the best roads Southern California has to offer, you'll find Bodie Stroud Industries. You'll need to keep an eye out for the sign, as it's a nondescript building in an area packed with various types of businesses related to the industry. You could easily end up at Joe's Hubcab Emporium or Wayne's Wankel Repair should you go a few streets too far, so your peepers better be peeled. RELATED: Inside ICON, A 4x4 Fantasy Land
Disclaimer: if you do want to stop by, give them a call to set something up, don't just mosey in unannounced hoping to catch a glimpse of Bodie or one of his celebrity clients. That's just bad garage etiquette; I'm talking to you, random guy that poked his head in and shouted "Bodie here!?"
No, Bodie wasn't there, concerned stranger. He had been called away to finish up something television related before I arrived, but his friendly assistant let me know that he'd be happy to setup a future interview. I think I'll be taking him up on that, and hopefully when I do, it'll mean riding around in one of his badass builds while doing so.
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There are many questions I'd like to ask the guy, mostly related to how he chooses what he wants to work on, and what he passes on, for one reason or another. Given the boutique nature of his business, and his level of recognition, you have to think that Bodie opts out of a ton of projects, especially ones that are just more of the same.
Between the two vintage Lamborghini restorations, and a Ford cargo van with a motor mounted between the front seats, I get the feeling that Bodie likes projects that are both challenging and unique. Of course, many of the usual classic players are present: Dodge Challenger, Ford Galaxie 500, Chevy Bel Air, Corvette, Mustang, etc. etc., but they're done in such a way that makes you look twice. Actually, in the case of the Galaxie it was more than twice, it was pretty much the whole time I was there. The car is just so eye catching in that deep, shining shade of red, though the sheer size of it alone could command your attention.
It's tough to leave most shops feeling like you've turned over every rock and caught every detail, even if you stay there for hours, or hell, even a whole day. I was only at Bodie's place for about an hour, due to time constraints on my end, but everyone there was really friendly and told me I could stay as long as I wanted. I'm sure I could have found a couple more angles, some unusual stuff to focus on, but I never want to overstay my welcome anywhere, let alone an active workplace where people are crafting high dollar machines.
When I go back, I should have Bodie as my tour guide, and I have no doubt I'll have a chance to turn my camera on some stuff that my blind eyes missed.
Photos: VisualVocab for BoldRide