It's all but impossible to believe that we're already nearing the end of 2019. It seems like I've only just begun writing the date on checks correctly, not needing to scribble out an "18" to look more like a poorly-written "19", but SEMA is just two weeks away, and we're hardly more than two months from 2019's conclusion. It's been a whirlwind of a year at StanceWorks, and even moreso at Protomachine. Behind the big shop door, there's been a constant ebb and flow of changes.
It was the genesis of Protomachine that has made for the greatest catalyst for changes in the shop. For those that missed it, it was early this year that Riley Stair, Nic Forster, and I announced Protomachine, a new business endeavor in which we've combined our talents to bring the builds we've become synonymous with to life -- for customers. With an unwavering desire to design, create, and build machines with what we believe to be an unparalleled vision, it was the obvious next step in our careers. With that, though, what was once the StanceWorks shop space has transformed into something far more capable, but far more demanding.
Nooks and crannies of the shop are sure to look familiar to many, but as a whole, the shop is a shadow of its former self. New lifts are in place to maximize both floor and workspace, seemingly every spare corner of the shop is utilized: we've worked hard and diligently to bring new equipment and tooling in, moving forward in both our capabilities and self-sufficiency. It's not all business though: space has been carved out for interests and inspiration, too.
The workload at Protomachine has been daunting but exciting: customers from all walks are eager to put the shop to work, from chassis design, custom fabrication, and cage work, to complete build endeavors from the bottom-up. The latest project, an off-road Porsche Cayenne for Emotion Engineering, pushes the limits of the Cayenne's chassis capabilities, utilizing bumpers, under-body bracing and armor, rock sliders, and even a massively-reinforced Warn winch system for when the going gets tough.
We have been sure, though, to focus a bit on ourselves too, in a more typical "StanceWorks" fashion. Under the cover lies the newest project car, acquired last week, which will mark Protomachine's official SEMA debut in 2020, just 12 months and two weeks away. It'll stay under wraps as we work our asses off to build something Riley, Nic, and I wholly believe will be our best creation yet, individually or otherwise. Any guesses?
No Daily Grind is complete without sharing new vehicular additions to the shop, and since there's no doubt that a covered-up mystery car is far from enough to satiate anyone's tastes, we've got more. Last weekend, Riley brought down is '72 C10 long-bed pickup, his first-ever car he's had since he was just 14. Under the hood, a massive-cubic-inch small block Chevy screams to 9000+ RPM and produces well-over 600 horsepower. Needless to say, it's terrifyingly fast, and it now lives perched above the shop on one of the stackers. It's not the only "flying" truck in the shop, though.
Our '74 shortbed is on the backburner, stored until our 2020 SEMA project is complete. In the mean time, it's offering perhaps the coolest piece of shop decor possible, towering above the shop offices with just an 1/8th inch of room to spare. As one might guess, getting it up there was a nightmare, and getting it down will surely be worse.
There's more, though, when it comes to shop trucks: Riley's '73 Squarebody daily driver recently went under the Protomachine knife to receive a complete Cummins 6BT 12-valve swap, complete with OBD2 retention and the 47RE electronic transmission. The result, of course, is a turbo-diesel tow rig that happily enjoys 25+ miles per gallon on the day-to-day.
And last, but not least, on the "new truck" front, there's a big black Hummer H1 outside, too. I recently sold my FJ60 Land Cruiser, and the replacement is excessive in every regard. But more on that in a coming piece. Until then... we'll catch you at SEMA.