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The 4th Gear – Interview with Dennis Gage: Host of the TV Show: My Classic Car

 

The 4th Gear – Presented by Classic Auto Insurance

The 4th Gear is a video podcast that will give you the opportunity to listen to individuals that share your passion and enthusiasm for collectible cars. This platform will allow you to gain a unique insight and understanding of the benefits of being a member of a car club or auction or a DIY restoration.

Video Transcript

Jeff:

Hello, and welcome to this edition of The Fourth Gear. My name is Jeff Broadus. I’ll be your host. And today we have a very special guest that probably doesn’t need a lot of introduction. Many of you will be familiar with him. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a good friend, a great mentor. Mr. Dennis Gage from My Classic Car. Dennis, thanks for joining us.

Dennis:

Good to see ya.

Jeff:

Good to see you again. I want to get into talking a lot about what you’re working on, but before we get there, tell me a little bit about where you came from. Cause you had a real job before you became a big television personality. Tell me about where you came from, and how you got to where you are today.

Dennis:

Well, I started out as a child. And, how I got here, it was just a complete accident. I mean, that’s the short version. But yeah, I mean, I’m just a small-town country boy. I

I grew up on a family farm and stuff like that. And you know, I was, always a car guy cause you grew up in the sixties, and if you grew up in the sixties, and you weren’t paying attention to cars, not sure what you were paying attention to. Because it was the first time, you know, the big three, had ever really marketed to youth.

They did. I mean, they were like, you know, the whole muscle car thing was just, “Hey, how do we sell more cars?” What’s this, what’s this untapped consumer segment? It’s the youth market. Well, you know, what’s the unmet consumer need? Well, it’s the need for speed, you know? And so they put big engines in grocery-getter sedans, and poof. You had muscle cars.

So, you know, I mean, I was a car guy, my whole life went to undergrads. Cause I didn’t want to stay on the farm. You know, I ended up majoring in chemistry and physics, quantum physics research, and all of that stuff, that stuff. And, and then was actually, you know, kind of, kind of crispy at the end of that career and was supposed to go right out of grad school.

But instead picked up the pedal steel guitar. And toured for a couple of years opening for people like Charlie Daniels, Waylon Jennings, stuff like that. That was clearly going to shorten my life expectancy. So, you know, I, I went to graduate school, made the decision, staring down the barrel of a 45 in Selma, Alabama.

And went to grad school out west because I like climbing mountains and winter sports, camping, mountaineering, and stuff. So I did that. And climbed most of the peaks in the Pacific Northwest and got a Ph.D. in chemistry on the side. And was the guy that actually analyzed Mount St. Helen’s Ash

for, you know, its health effects, et cetera, my claim to fame there. And then went to P & G as a scientist and then product developer. And one of the guys that did all that stuff. I’ve worked on Pringles, I worked on, cookies, and all sorts of food products for the eighties.

I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse to go to Bristol Myers Squibb to be a director of global product development. I did that for five years and then got really sick of it, and resigned while I was in Bangkok, Thailand. Actually said, I can’t do this anymore. I quit. And had to find a way back home, but it. And had been playing with this little, this little show on the side.

And it was like, you know, if I’m going to make a change, I may as well try it now. I can always go back to corporate. But that was like I dunno 27, 28 years ago. And I never did go back to corporate. So, I completely fell into this by accident. It was one of those happy accidents. But it was also kind of, it just worked.

You know. I just got lucky and it worked. And it was kind of catching lightning in a bottle. I caught it. And [buzzing noise] I’ve been doing it ever since. I mean that’s sort of the long and the short of it, but it was just not much has been planned. It just all kind of unfolds before you.

Jeff:

Now. Can you talk about your automotive journey a little bit? What, how did you transition into what you do today? You don’t, I don’t think, decide, Hey, I’m going to be a personality, have my own television show and travel all over the country and talk to car people. But that’s kind of what you do. But what if, how did that step happen?

Dennis:

Well, you know, again, it was just, it was just a weird like Bob, Dylan would say it’s like a simple twist of fate. But it was just a weird chance meeting really with the guy that ended up being my business partner for about 15 years. But I was, you know, I had this good day job. I was director of global product development for a Fortune 500 company. But this guy who had been, who worked in television since college. And, he quit the same job four times. But this time, this time, for sure he quit.

And you know, cause he wanted to start his own company and he had an idea for a show and that show is My Classic Car. And we had a chance meeting because he was just doing local commercials to pay the bills and he needed, he was casting a commercial. He needed a turn-of-the-century scholar-looking guy.

Well, you know, when this is curled up it’s pretty turn-of-the-century scholar-looking. And I get this call and said, Hey, you know, this guy ran across your picture, like do this, you know, pays $25. And I’m like, whoa, $25, you know. I can go retire. So we, we did that commercial and you know, kind of got talking about cars out of the blue.

I didn’t know why. As we were leaving the wardrobe department and you know, and it finally goes, I’m just doing these commercials to pay bills, but I got this idea for a show, and I’ve been looking all over the country for a host. And there are these TV guys that don’t know anything about cars and these car guys can’t string three words together into a sentence.

You know, you seem to know a lot about cars, you’re kind of a character, that’s a hell of a mustache. You know, would you like to do a camera test? And you know, if we get, if we get through this commercial, I’ll do a camera test, see how that goes. And we did, and it went okay. And, and so that’s what I was really playing around with on the side in 1995 while I was still working at Bristol Myers. And in 1996, the show got picked up in 1996 and I was doing full-time for Bristol Myers, was traveling really literally all over the world, a lot through Asia and stuff like that.

And I would be gone in Asia for three weeks and then come home and change suitcases and character and go out and shoot television. After a year of that, I just, like the only time I slept was on airplanes. And for years after that, every time the plane engines came on, I just, I would fall asleep. I can now stay awake on a plane, but.

Yeah, that 96 was a, was a tough year. And that’s when I, you know, just decided I can’t do both of these. I’m sick of this one. So I’m going to try that. And really that it just, it really did just take off from there, Jeff. I mean, it just, it, it shouldn’t have worked. I always, I think of myself and this whole show as a bumblebee, which aerodynamically should not be able to fly, but it does.

Because nobody’s told it. so I’m like, I’m just flying around and I don’t know any better. But it really, really did roll out that way. I mean, it just took off and never looked back and, and in 27 years now, there’s not been a, there’s not been a week in 27 years that I haven’t been on national TV on some network.

Jeff:

Wow.

Dennis:

Without a single miss.

And that is a, it’s actually a record. U.S. Television history is a show in my category. I’m the OG. And the O part is getting. The O part is getting out more prominent all the time, but, yeah, I’m the OG.

Jeff:

And, your program is extremely entertaining because you’re chatting with people. You’re showing off their cars.

You’re talking to people who really don’t know what it is to be on television. You don’t know what they’re going to say. You don’t know what’s going to happen. You’re not a hundred percent sure if the car is gonna start. And you have to allow for all of these circumstances when you’re interviewing them.

Tell me, is there a moment that you were absolutely trying to figure out how quickly do we resolve or change gears or correct this crazy problem while we’re out here shooting.

Dennis:

Oh yeah. All the time of just about every interview, but really everything’s in the moment, it really is. I mean, nothing is there’s, there’s no script in any of this.

It’s not really planned. It’s like even at a car show. It’s like Hey, I can send you a list of everything going to be here. Like, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me. You know, it’s like, I’ll know it when I see it. You know, at the moment will be the right car, the right. Person, the right light. And really the only skill I’ve actually got Jeff is that I’m easy to talk to.

That’s really good. And I can make people forget that there’s a camera. And so, I mean, you’re talking, you know, like people, like, I couldn’t, I couldn’t possibly do this, you know what I mean? I’m like, well, look, you know, we just, we’ve been talking about your car for the last 10 minutes. Well, yeah. But you know, that’s all we’re going to do.

And, and, and I’m easy to talk to, you know? And so people just, the camera disappears for them and I’m able to talk to people that, you know, normally would just [freezes]. You know, would go catatonic if a camera was pointed at them, but they don’t. And we just have a great conversation. I, I asked the questions I ask because I genuinely want to know the answers to them.

You know, it’s stuff I don’t know. And everybody thinks I know so much about cars and I do. But that’s because I have a near-photographic memory. I know everything I’ve ever been told. So I know so much because I learned from people that know more than me. You know, that’s, that’s just it. And I just remember it. It’s, it’s a curse actually.

Cause it’s really, there’s a lot of stuff crammed up in here. It’s sorta like Robin Williams, just not as funny, but it’s just about that manic.

Jeff:

Well, you’re an enthusiast and you genuinely do love cars. And like me, I’ve never seen a car I don’t like. It may not have a style or be a car I want in my garage, but behind every car is a story and you have art for drawing that story out and being able to put it on television, which is probably the reason you’ve been on TV for 27 years.

And that, that, that is an art. Tell us about what is your first car purchase?

Dennis:

Oh, that was my first car purchase as I was age 15, and I bought a 1959 Thunderbird for a hundred dollars, a hundred, a hundred bucks back in it would’ve been like 1967 or something. Carry the one. Yeah. That’s probably about right.

I didn’t have a driver’s license, uh, you know, because farm boy and stuff. And I. I would say that I remember, I remember buying that car. It was like, you know, I was going to go look at this car and it was like working all day in the summertime. And, you worked until sundown basically on a farm. And so it’s, it’s dusk. It’s Twilight. You know, and I’m like, I gotta go see this car.

And I go, and it’s like, it looks pretty good. It’s a 59 T-Bird. The square bird. Not the prettiest car in the world, but you know, leather interior. And I’m like, all right, I’ll take it, you know, a hundred bucks. And. You know again, you know, it’s sunsetting, it’s just this twilight’s dusk. And I always say that

I learned so much from that car. And probably the most important thing was never to buy a car at… Never, never buy a carat twilight..

Jeff:

It was a hundred bucks. I mean, if it’s started, you could drive off the lot. How much risk were you really taking?

Dennis:

Yeah. Well, the next morning I looked out the window and there was this pink car sitting out there.

And I said I wonder, whose is that? It turns out it was mine because in 59 the Thunderbird had a color called Flamingo, which was really, really light pink. And it had a white top and very light pink body that at dusk looked white. It wasn’t white. So I’m this farm boy with a pink Thunderbird. It wasn’t pink long, but yeah, that was my, that was my first car.

I drove it. I mean that thing had. Yeah, it had been abused. I pulled, I remember pulling the valve covers and that those rocker arms hadn’t seen oil in decades. Do you know what I mean? Well, it was only about a decade old, but I mean, it was just like, it was just this sludge up there. Wasn’t even, it wasn’t even oily sludge.

It was just like almost a dry sludge. And so, yeah, I finally threw a rod in that thing about six months time, and retired it for $25 and went on from there.

Jeff:

I remember a, and I may not have a year right, but I might. I think it was a 56 Lincoln Premiere when I was on the set with you early, early on, we were shooting for a cover for my publication back then.

And you had that 56 premieres. And I don’t think you had it long. I think you had just picked it up. But, man, you were proud of it. You loved that car.

Dennis:

I, to this day, think that’s one of the prettiest cars ever built. It actually in 1956, it won the design award for automotive. And it’s just, I mean, it’s just, it’s this gargantuan car that carries its size so elegantly.

 It’s so, you know, and it, in 57 they completely destroyed that car. Do you know what I mean? It was just, that they put fins on it and stacked headlights. And Lincoln said, well, you know, we gave it a facelift and it was equivalent to putting a beehive hairdo on the Mona Lisa. But the 56 Premiere was to as turquoise and star mist white. Oh my God. How the fifties. And this thing’s a block long and oh, I just, I really love that comment. That thing for probably about 15 years, it lives in Canada now. But I still think when I, I see one of those on the road, I just, I just think that’s a magnificent car. It’s beautiful.

Jeff:

But to what your, what cars today are you most interested in or a specific car you’re most interested in?

Dennis:

Well, you know, I mean I love all classic cars. And, you know, to your point, there’s always something in a car that I find interesting and just something. I’m still looking for it in the Yugo. But it’s got to be there. I haven’t found it

Jeff:

Maybe the fact that the car even existed makes it interesting.

Dennis:

Exactly. How did you do that? You know, so in, as the show has kind of become known for off of beaten off the beaten path cars cause I’ve been doing this

so long that I’ve really been Mustanged to death. And you know, and not that I don’t love those cars and haven’t owned all of them, but you know, I’m really looking for stuff that’s, you don’t see every car show and you may have never seen, or you may have forgotten or, you know, was, was overlooked and under-loved. you know, that’s, that’s still, I love them all in that respect. Really personally though

I’ve gotten rid of it. Jeez. I had so many cars at one point and I still have quite a few, but, but I’ve really gotten rid of most of my older cars, over the years that 56 Premiere’s gone 63 Stude Hawk, 63 Falcon Futura convertible, 60 V8 I have a 63 T-Bird 67 T-Bird suicide four-door you know, and, and the reason was I just, I wasn’t driving them enough.

And boy there’s nothing worse for old cars than leaving them to sit. They just, they will return to the earth on their own, and, and when I realized that the last time I fired that car up was a year ago when I had to move it so we could clear the place out too, to shoot television in that building.

It was like, you know, it needs, it needs a better home. So now actually, while I still have, like, I guess I have eight cars and eight motorcycles.

Jeff:

Wow.

Dennis:

Yeah.

Jeff:

Do you tour it all?

I’m sure you go to a lot of local things. Do you tour? Do you like to go on a tour? And I know maybe you don’t have, because of your program, you’re already touring. You’re out all the time.

Dennis:

On tour. I’ve been on tour for a quarter-century. Yeah, I mean in cars. Well, I gravitated to what I, what I now consider kind of future classics. So, I mean, I’ve got a ’99 JAG Coupe. XK8 Coupe. Which I think is just beautiful, kind of E-Type DNA still in that car. I’ve had E-Type coupes and stuff. I’ve got up an ’06 Mercedes CLS, kind of the early first-gen, you know what they call it the four-door coupe, which doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what they called it really. Truly a Fastback sedan and stunningly, stunningly beautiful.

I got an ’02 T-Bird. You know that when they brought back the two Seater. The first year they did that. And a two-tone interior, the only year they did the turquoise and black. That’s so cool. You know, and, and a couple of newer Lincolns that are incredibly fast and stuff like that. So I’ve got that the the motorcycles are… seven of them were BMWs and I have one kind of [unintelligible]

and you know, so I do now with the, you know, like with the JAG and Mercedes and the T-bird and stuff like that. These newer cars. Yeah. I’ll take those, you know, drive to Colorado to see my son or to Wisconsin for this or that. And, um, and on the motorcycles too, I mean, I do pretty, they tend to be surgical strikes, you know, like I’ve got three days, so I’m going to, you know, I’ll do 1200 miles in three days.

But I’ll still do some touring on bikes. Like not as much as I’d like to, but I’m also dialing back the production. The road time back a little so I can do a little bit more of this with the amount of light that I actually have left.

Jeff:

Now, what was the best car you’ve ever purchased? Where did you find it? And why did you buy it?

Dennis:

I mean, actually, it’s, it’s tough, that’s a tough one. Because I really do love every car that, that I get into. And every time I get out of it, it’s like, damn, I got to get me one of these. I think I think that my 63 GT Hawk is a pretty cool car. And it just, I think, I think they’re neat because nobody knows what they are.

It’s. It was real… You know when car people see those and they go like, Oh, is in a Mercedes or that, you know, it’s got a kind of a T-Bird-esque roof, you know, what is that thing? So I think that was nice. I do love that 56 Premiere. You know, so I think, I think those are the ones that stick out in my mind, but really all of them that have, you know, fond memories and good times associated with them.

Do you go,

Jeff:

do you go out searching for a specific car you want? Or do you have my problem where I’m a, see it want to buy it? I see it and say, oh my God. I gotta have this. Next thing you know, it’s in the garage. Hey honey. Guess what look who came to visit? Oh, and it’s now leaking.

Dennis:

Yeah, that happens. I would actually say that for the most part

I seek them out. Something will catch my eye. And then I, I decided I want one. And that was the premiere. We were actually shooting, and this is way back in the early days of the show, we were shooting at IMO. International Mercury Owner’s Club. I M O A. Up in someplace in a Chicago suburb. And I really liked, I liked the 56 55 56 Montclairs.

You know, I think that’s a pretty car. I always kind of wanted one of those. But we were at the show. Shooting as Merck show. And I was leaving and I went out just kind of walking through the parking lot. And there’s this gargantuan. Just gorgeous ’56 Premiere convertible in wisteria, which is that lavender.

And it’s like totally over the top. And it was actually Jerry Capizzi’s car. Jerry Capizzi. He’s a big-time collector in the Chicago area. And, and he had some mercs in the street. But he had also driven there in this premiere that wasn’t even in the show. It was in the parking lot. And I had never seen one. I just missed that car.

Like, oh man, this thing is gorgeous. And that sets me on this. You know, it was on a two-year-long quest to find one. I didn’t even know that I didn’t really even want a convertible. I just wanted a two-door hardtop and, you know, finally, you know, I found them in red and white and stuff like that.

It’s just, that’s too much. I want something that was, you know, a little more fifties and boy that turquoise and white. So that was one that just really, you know, I saw it and I had to have it. And most of the cars are that way. I’ll fall in love with one somewhere and then, and then decide, that’s the mission I’m on.

Jeff:

What’s the car that got away?

Dennis:

I, you know, I, I there was Lincoln Mark 4. It was a ’72 Mark 4 that I wish I had bought, but it would have been those, those cars once I bought it, I would go on, “Why did I buy that?” Because I did that with my 67 T-Bird. I bought that because I was on the farm in 1968. I, it might’ve been actually might’ve been ’67. But, but we,

we lived in Northern Illinois, Northwestern Illinois, and my aunt lived in the big city of Rockford, you know? About 50 miles away. They came up to visit on the farm and they came out in the ’67 Thunderbird. Which, you know, is a really weird-looking car, and it totally changed body style.

It was like, nothing looked like that car. And it just looked like it landed on another planet. And I’m like, I’m like a 15-year-old kid. 14, 15-year-old kid. I’m like, damn. Oh, man. That is just, that is so cool. And so all my life, I think it was, you know, in my mind. And I finally got ran across one on eBay or something.

This was, this was like over 20 years ago. And it was out in Vegas. Suicide. Four-door. It looked like a Phoenician yellow with a black bank top. Looked in good shape. And I do this all the time. I tell everybody not to do it, but I do it anyway. Which is like, kind of by car sight unseen. Like get a good vibe from the guy and

 yeah. Okay. Fine. And you, and I haven’t been disappointed. I really don’t think I’ve been disappointed. I’ve been kind of like, yeah, I guess it’s okay. And this one was sort of that. It was like, it really is completely original, solid as a rock. And I, and I, I kept it. I just sold it like maybe six, nine months ago. I had it for over 20 years, and I probably ran four tanks of gas through it.

It was just, that I never drove the thing. And I decided, I finally decided I had to sell it without driving it. Because every time I drove it, I went, damn, oh, this is so nice. Oh, man. I. And so I literally did sell it this time without driving it. W

Jeff:

What is the purpose of most of your cars?

Are you taking them to be judged? You take them to any, you take them to Concours events? Put ’em on a trailer.

You just want to get in and turn the key and drive them and have fun.

Dennis:

From 20 feet away, they looked pretty good. And I had a guy I pulled into this Roadhouse kind of out by us. Out in the country. A while back. I was driving ’63 Thunderbird. I pull up and I just get out and start walking and this guy I know is coming up and goes you need a paint job on that car.

I said, You know if I paint it then I have to worry about where I parked it. [Unintelligible]

I mean my car is nice enough, but I don’t want anything that’s over-restored because then I’ll be, I’ll be freaked out. Oh my God. A paint. Oh, oh no. Oh. And I don’t want to be in that situation. I I want to enjoy well I want it to be nice. Nice and presentable, but I don’t want to be obsessive about it because, because the fun is, it really is driving them.

Jeff:

You’ve had My Classic Car for, gosh, ever since. And perhaps that’s the first time I met you was when you were involved with My Classic Car. Tell me a little bit about what are you working on today? Where are you going? What’s your future? You’ve been extremely successful with that program. It has a huge following.

Obviously, you’ve been doing it for 27 years. It wouldn’t be if it were different. What, what are you working on? What’s happening?

Dennis:

Well, you know, we’re still doing the show. I mean, amazingly enough. I really did travel a lot. I mean, I fly about a hundred thousand miles a year. And it, it takes a toll. And then I’ve been, I’ve got 2 million miles with Delta alone and they love me.

And, as I said, I’d like to kind of get the little bit of my life back. And then, enjoy it a little bit more of what I’ve got left. So, you know, we’re still doing 26 episodes a year, which nobody does anymore. We still do. But I’m also because I’ve got, a quarter-century of, of archival footage that is just, I mean, magical stuff.

It’s timeless. That’s the other beauty of it. It’s absolutely. I mean, a 69 Camaro is only cooler now than it was in 69. It’ll be cooler still five years from now. It’s, it’s not like I was doing a show on 2022, whatever. And in 2023, nobody cares.

Jeff:

Right.

Dennis:

So the stuff I’ve got is timeless.

You joked about it earlier, but I really look and sound pretty much the same as I always have. The show hasn’t changed a bit and never got any better. It is what it is. And it seems to work. And so you’re able to drawback… you dig back into this archival stuff, for people who’ve never seen, or parts of it they’ve never seen.

So we’re creating some stuff out of archival footage and then, we’re still producing new things which keep me out in the public eye. And keeps me you know, current and, and, and, and, uh, feeds the little bit of travel desire that I still have. It’s a lot smaller than it used to be. So we’re doing that, certainly, the internet and streaming have changed the world drastically.

I’ve been in cable TV for 26, 27 years. And I reached through that alone. I reach a hundred million households a week. But then we had a, I’ve got 300,000 subscribers on YouTube. So we have a truly global audience that I, you know, people from all over the world. It’ll, it’ll come in from Thailand or will come in from Eastern Europe.

And I know cause I know what the script looks like. The alphabet looks like it, but I can’t read it. You know, the comments will come in and I’ll either Google translate them or, or, uh, whatever. And you know, so I mean, and I know in Bangkok, you know, that caricature I use there are t-shirts with that caricature on there in Bangkok all over. The car club, it just loves me.

So we’ve got this global audience through, uh, through things like YouTube and then, and then just streaming in general. So now we’re, you know, we’re on Pluto which is, a big streaming platform and, we’re the predominant show, on their cars channel. So, Reach hundreds of millions of people.

Jeff:

And that… I’ve been with you at events like Sema, or I’ve walked with you on the floor. We don’t walk far, you get stopped every three steps and somebody.

Dennis:

You know, it’s the glasses that give me away

Jeff:

Yeah, I’m sure. I’m sure that’s it.

Dennis:

Gotta be it.

Jeff:

But people stop you. They ask you for all kinds of things. It might be an autograph and it may be a picture.

You are amazing in the way that you interact with these people, which has, I’m sure a lot to do with your popularity. What is the most memorable experience that you have, or perhaps it, that makes you laugh a little bit when you think about it?

Dennis:

Well, you know, I mean to your point about, yeah, people do stop me you know, everywhere.

But, but I, I mean, I, and I, and I appreciate that. I mean, I appreciate that people like the show. And my, my general life philosophy is that I, I treat people the way I’d like to be treated.

I mean, it’s simple enough.

Jeff:

Imagine that, huh?

Dennis:

Seems like the right thing to do. And, and so, mean, I, I, I think I’m a genuinely nice guy. I try to be. I mean, I try, that’s sort of my contribution to the world. I try to make it better one person at a time. And I’ve had, I met lots of people over the years and just people, I can’t believe I did, Carol Shelby who was, and I’m sure you’ve over the years, met Carol over.

And, he was just this really gracious guy. Here, this guy is, almost a God to, you know, too, uh, American racing and automotive and stuff. But he was always just such a. a gracious person.

Jeff:

He was real. He was approachable.

Dennis:

Very approachable, and he…,

Jeff:

He’d tell ya whether you like it or not. He’s going to tell you what’s on his mind, which really made him such a unique character.

Dennis:

He was just, yeah, I appreciate that you take the time to chat stuff. He goes, Dennis, you know what I mean? Really? It’s what you do that it keeps this, this whole thing going. And he like completely flips it around and, tells you what a great guy you are. And that’s like, that’s, that’s incredible. And I think so.

I mean, Carol’s somebody that sticks out in my mind as just a really great. Guy, that I was glad I got to know and got to know reasonably well. Of course, Leno is a good friend, and he’s been a great friend of the show. He’s been on like 40 times.

Over the years.

Jeff:

And you know, he’s another very nice, very approachable guy. He um, uh,

Dennis:

He’s real.

Jeff:

I’ve been to his garage. I’ve seen him several times. I’ve known him forever. He always says hello. He remembers who I am. He and he is another one. Like you, he gets stuck. You can’t walk three steps with the guy. I mean, it’s just, that’s just the way it is, but I’ve never seen him get upset. I’ve never seen you get upset.

I’ve never seen you turn people away. I’ve never seen you put your hand up and say stop. You know, it, or maybe it’s the persona. But that in itself says a lot about your character. And perhaps again, why your show was so successful.

Dennis:

I, I, it don’t hurt, and, and, and Jay’s a bit of a model of that because I mean, you really captured him.

Is this, I mean, this guy has got the really big stage. And, and yet he’s, he’s, he’s really, he’s grounded, he’s gracious. And I think that’s good, I think that’s a good role model.

Jeff:

Yep.

 As we kinda wrap things up a little bit, what is the best thing, the best advice you could give someone who wants to get started in this hobby? Perhaps buying their first car. Or, you know, they’ve got a little money.

They, they, they love cars, and they want to get started. What, advice would you give them?

Dennis:

My advice is always to go buy the best restored or fixed-up car you can afford. And let that owner take the 50 cents on a dollar hit that you invariably take. It’s, everybody’s when people get, I found this, I, I can fix this up. Don’t don’t do it. Don’t do it. You know, unless this car, unless you were born in the backseat of that car, and therefore you must fix that car up.

Go find one that’s just like that car that’s already been done. Because you’ll never ever get your money back. I mean, it’s just, I mean, when were kids about, it’s like, look, if you’re making money in this hobby of doing something wrong, um, you do it for the love of it. It costs way more than you think it costs to do a restoration or, you know what I mean?

Don’t. My advice is, don’t buy a fixer-upper, buy the best thing you can afford. I mean, like. And,

you know,

get over the emotions, you know? Yeah but that was Uncle Bobby’s car.

There’s a really nice one, just like it over here for the same price. And they’ve already put twice that much money into it. So I think that. But I also believe it doesn’t, you know, I mean really a four-door post ’65 Lemans is a fun car. With a six-banger in it. And I mean, you’re the only, I guarantee you, the only kid on the block, that’s got it.

You know, so even if aunt Bessie’s got this old thing in her garage, Hey, it’s fun. You know, it doesn’t have to be this, you know, this Hemi powered, you know, whatever. Hey, they’re all fun. And, and in fact, the quirkier it is, I think the cooler it is. Do you know? It’s like, again, people get upset with me sometimes because I’ll walk by all these, you know?

Well, if you don’t, you don’t know, but that was the only two of the Mustangs that were, that were optioned that way. Everybody else looks like a Mustang. Look at this ’65 Lemans four-door post. Oh my God. When was the last time you saw one of those? Original. The stuff that I think actually stands out is because there are Mustangs at every show. There’s, you know when’s the last time you saw ’65 Lemans four-door post?

I mean, really? I don’t even know what it looks like come to think of it. But if I saw one, I’d probably go, Hey, that’s pretty cool. So, you know, I think it’s like, uh, Hey, just get something you could afford. That’s fun. Uh, you know, And manage your dreams of turning it into a pebble beach winner and, uh, you know, let somebody else take the, take the loss and, and you, uh, and you, and it’s your game.

Jeff:

So basically buy what you like driving. Enjoy it.

Dennis:

Yeah. Yeah. Have a good time. Do you know? Just have fun.

Jeff:

You know, closing thoughts. Talk about your program. Where can we find you? How do we get ahold of you? How do we watch the program? How can we get more of Dennis Gage?

Dennis:

I’m everywhere. The main network is, is a Motor Trend is the big dog that these days.

So we’re Motor Trend Saturday mornings, 8:30 Eastern. We run on MAVTV about, well, about once a day. Um, that’s thirty some times a month. Um, you know, Pluto runs all the time. I mean, it’s like, I mean, of course, you’re getting 24 7, see us find us on not on YouTube. And so, I mean, it really is it, and there’s, I mean, there’s like 700 episodes or something.

I mean, Now we’re dicing them and blowing out all these episodes, these, these interviews that we had to cut down on for TV, but they’re way longer. So we’re, you know, we, we ran this thing, this 20, over 20 years old, it was a Carol Shelby last interview. It’s an hour and 38 minutes on YouTube. And, and we, we use, we use three minutes of that in a show 20 years ago, and we had an hour and 30 minutes, 38 minutes of lost, uh, Carol Shelby interview.

And that thing has now over a million views. It’s just, it’s amazing. It’s just Carol talking and for an hour and 38 minutes. . So, you know, we’ve got thousands of those things on YouTube and, and more common. It’s just, just. It’s never going to end.

Jeff:

Is, is there a blooper moment that still makes you kind of chuckle a little bit?

You just, you, you think about it and you know, the beauty of what you do is you could cut, rewind, take another shoot, go out in a few times. Unlike what we’re doing here, it’s live streaming. If something happened, a dog jumps in my lap, we’ve got to deal with it.

Dennis:

And, you know, not too, it’s funny because a lot of shows we’ll put together a blooper reel and stuff like that.

And when we try and do that, um, we don’t have many. I’ll have an occasional bobble at something I say, but it’s not the, we’re pretty surgical, it’s like, here we go. And, and so, you know, we’ve had, we’ve had, things fall over and stuff like that, but for the most part, it, this stuff is as if live almost. And it goes off pretty well.

It’s really… looked at another way. It’s all one big blooper. Let’s look at it that way.

Jeff:

Well, keep doing what you’re doing your shows are extremely entertaining. You seem to find a way to bring out the best in all the people you interview. That is an art and just keep doing what you’re doing. Keep making us smile. And I, I sure appreciate your joining us here today.

Dennis:

Always a pleasure, Jeff. Great seeing you man. We’ll do this again sometime.

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