Vic Mazmanian (son of Big John) in photo with John Shelton stops by the shop summer 2010
Following in the footsteps of my fathers lifelong hot rod interest, I elected to pursue what eventually became my interest as a "dream" career. Raised on all facets of car performance to include drag racing, circle track racing, engine building, car restoration, hot rod building, and classic car collecting, it has been a life long ambition to spend more time than 'hobby time' in the field. My father, also John Shelton, stood firm over maintaining a low risk career as he was a stable corporate engineer with only one company name inked on his resume, Mobil Oil. "Work your career, enjoy your hobby, and raise your family", as he often stated. That was then, this is 2008. I literally observed the grass roots hobby expand my entire life to what it is today - an industry. Once feeling comfortable to claim the field to be the size of an 'industry', it must be 'safe' to enter as a career. My father advised me late in his life to pursue my dreams since his life of maintaining a career in addition to supporting a side hot rod business literally wore his body out. He passed away before reaching the retirement years where he could enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Previously holding positions in the Aerospace and Automotive industries as an engineer, I began to ask life's long term questions such as, "Is this really what I want to do?" Thoughts continually took me back to conversations with my father. Those life questions in addition to watching the Automotive industry crumble where my position as a Operations Manager vanished in one swift plant closing supported my desire to intertwine my hobby and my career. Decision made, enter the hot rod industry.
Work began in early 2008 building hot rods or in this case "Gassers", the one time legend of the dragstrip now returned to popularity through the nostalgic drag racing series. I discovered an individual who dedicated several years to reproducing the 1940/1941 Willys Coupe Gasser and successfully launched the vehicle although had no desire to produce them on a production basis. Opportunity knocked and today, American Gasser, Inc, strives to produce this drag strip phenomenon as a piece of American cultural history. Watch us grow and continue to see additional body styles reproduced as the product line expands.
We welcome visitors to the shop every day. If you can, call first to ensure someone is available to give you the tour.
John T. Shelton III