For all car guru’s we appreciate every aspect of any car – from the curves, to the lines, to the rubber left on the ground. It starts at an early age. Salivating like Pavlov over cars that pass by our parents windows as we go to school. Fantasies we skip rocks over on the play ground with our friends. Running around in our kicks, soaring like birds, driving behind horses that scream power. Whistles blow calling us in for classwork, but when it comes to recess, that’s our racetrack of imagination. Believing we would be the next one on the block with a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or a classic Stang. Then life hits you as the childhood dreams grow old and reality hits. For one enthusiast, he stayed in the mindset of dreaming is reality. Nicolas Jimenez from eGarage has done this without a winning lotto ticket, nor a platinum spoon in his brown bagged lunch.
Let’s roll back the clock and get to know a little about the man behind the wheel of automotive social media. He stands in the shadows of giant media groups, which he has helped create with a few friends, Luxury 4 Play and eGarage. No one really knows who he is – family, friends, yes, but the public, no. It’s time to shed light on that shadow Nicolas Jimenez stands in. I was able to catch up with Nic at one of the local’s favorite watering holes, Philz Coffee in Redwood City, California. As I watched Nic in his alternative stance, hipster approach – you think Dotcom IT, rock musician. Never judge a book by its cover. As we chatted, he opened up to his real life. His tough life growing up on the streets of East Palo Alto. For most who don’t know, you can often catch East Palo Alto on the evening news reports of gun shots and stabbings. “Nothing has changed much,” Nic said. “I believe it’s actually safer now verses a kid. Now you at least have access to cell phones to call 911.” Nic interrupts his thoughts to this. “Life is just so different now. Especially in the car world. Nowadays the car scene for any kid near a big city is as easy as just rolling up to a car meet and seeing 100’s of cars like they’re no big deal. We are so terribly desensitized.” I could see Nic doze off into his memories of his childhood, where he would crawl into the front seat of his mom’s Datsun 280z pretending he was Knight Rider. Where his room was laid in car posters that started his ignition for his future’s destination. Nic dreamt big and put every cent into his drive. Did he ever expect to be working for OEM’s like Mercedes, McLaren, Tesla, and also attending Goodwood Festival of Speed, racing a Koenigsegg CCX while driving an Ultimate Aero, to cruising down the streets in the Gumball 3000? No, but he did. Nic has worked with many greats such as George Barris, Chip Foose, and SteveStanford, to name a few. The best memories Nic says is always with people in the industry – sharing experiences. They are very special to him. He said his dreams were very specific and feels very lucky to have achieved them. Without family and friends, what do you have? No strength or support to attain what you pursue. Life is never what you expect. Especially with the projects Nic has been involved with. “Everything in life has its ups and downs.” So it’s not shocking to hear that Luxury 4 Play had its fair share of roller coaster rides. It was created with three close friends before Facebook was even on its rise. There wasn’t much online spotlighting in the world of car enthusiasts. This is where they felt Luxury 4 Play could land its mark. Well, it did, with leaps not just strides. Nic said, “it was a great collaboration of friends and perfect timing that made L4P so successful.” With eGarage, it was more difficult than Nic expected. Nic partnered up with Ben Abrams on this adventure. “I simply wanted to work with all the people I admired and it allowed me to work alongside some talented people. I can’t begin to explain how rewarding it has been.” Nic went with what suited his talents best, video and photography, which fuels eGarage. “Our syndicate includes Richard Thompson III, Jeremy Cliff, Magnus Walker, Targa Trophy, HRE wheels, AccuAir, JonSibal, BecauseBags, Nakai + RWB, Stanceworks, Cinemotive, Pagani, Lamborghini, and my buddies at the newly formed Abandon Visuals.” Having those names on your resume is any car enthusiast’s dream. “There are so many other individuals who just slaved all day- they know who they are. Healthy diet, living lean on design / inspiration – truly, truly, though. I feel so blessed to even be mentioned by these folks or even to have my name alongside with all the people aforementioned.”
What’s up Nic’s sleeve of passion for the future? For the past year he has been the Creative Partner at SS Customs in Redwood City, California (http://sscamerica.com/). Where his seven year relationship has grown into a brotherhood with fellow enthusiast Shareef Khan, founder of SS Customs. Nic also just became a partner at Vintage Electric Bikes (http://vintageelectricbikes.com/) where they create some awe striking twists to the modern era. Being his third love is with bikes this is just perfect for a kid at heart. Just as all his projects he’s started Vintage Electric Bikes with a boom. Having customers such as Hunter Pence from SF Giants. As for eGarage, “I’m gonna give the VR video a try. That whole first person perspective seems to be where gaming companies are headed. Could be a total game changer in Automotive entertainment. Imagine full visual control in 360 viewer perspective as you ride along with Ken Block, The Stig or Lewis Hamilton? The future is going to be so rad.” More hard working nights that leave him sleepless. “Life isn’t about finding yourself it is truly about creating Yourself.”
At the end of the day with Nic’s garage filled with one of a kind custom cars, with a side of motorcycles and bicycles – with all the success in his life, Nic always leans on not the surface layer in his life, but what got him there and what keeps getting him there. If it’s either his dad, mom, or brother, his two beautiful daughters, or the friends at the shop. That’s what life is about. It’s about the people that surround you, remembering the help that has gotten you where you need to go. You can have all the toys in the world, but it comes down to how filled your tank is with love. Gas can get you down the street, but love can get you your dreams. It’s all the childhood wishes that have been made, that drive, that inspiration from others, the support. Nothing is more important than who has your back, who’s sitting shotgun with you. It’s all about Familia.
This is Trev Nish reporting for Paint Is Dead, motor out!