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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/18/21 2:22 p.m.

What’s your side hustle? Have you been able to put a passion project into play?

Do you gig with a local band? Offer welding services to local racers? Trick out die-cast cars that you sell via Etsy?

I guess mine started with photography. Race car photography, of course. 

As a student a…

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parker Reader
11/18/21 2:54 p.m.

I wasn't smart enough to figure out how to make money with an automotive side hustle so I switched to photography.  In 2018 I left my "day job" and the side hustle is now my sole source of income.  It took 12 years.  I started with magazine articles in 2006.


calteg Dork
11/18/21 3:10 p.m.

Yup, been flipping 3-4 cars a year for the last 16 years.

RadBarchetta New Reader
11/18/21 3:15 p.m.

I think we may have killed Enamel Garage.

Also, I need one of those "I <3 Terrible Cars" stickers on my Triumph.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/18/21 4:02 p.m.
RadBarchetta said:

I think we may have killed Enamel Garage.

Also, I need one of those "I <3 Terrible Cars" stickers on my Triumph.

Well poop on Enamel Garage. Love their stuff.

You can check them out on Instagram, too. 

msterbeau New Reader
11/18/21 4:12 p.m.

I'm pretty sure every automotive designer/stylist I know has had a creative, money-making outlet during their career. I'm no different, though not doing anything currently. I have at times done automotive photography, car illustrations, motorsport graphic designs, body kits, magazine illustrations and a few other things.  

iansane HalfDork
11/18/21 4:12 p.m.

I'm trying to. I just do weird motor/transmission swaps for locals.

Olemiss540 HalfDork
11/18/21 4:22 p.m.

Sure do! I buy lusty cars at the bottom of their depreciation curve, spend 1000 hours fixing/upgrading until they are perfect, and then sell them for a loss. 

obsolete Reader
11/18/21 4:26 p.m.

Sure, I buy parts for projects, stick them on a shelf or in a plastic tote somewhere, then a couple years later, I sell them for less than I paid for them!

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
11/18/21 5:58 p.m.

I've always had an entrepreneurial way, and always done something on the side. I think it runs in the family.

I've been interested in camshafts since I was a kid, and with what I'd learned over the years racing cars with no aftermarket, I recognized  a market in need, and started a side business doing custom camshaft grinding. That soon evolved into custom cams and cylinder head work, then sourcing and selling all the associated parts. At one point I had to decide whether to scale it back or quit my job and pursue it full time. I did neither and took on a partner, but a few years ago, as the market slowed, and I got old,  I decided I'd had enough, sold all my parts and now only grind every 3 months or so.  When I fully retire from my day job, I may decide to build a few engines a year, but I'll probably continue to flip bikes and the odd car.

octavious Dork
11/18/21 6:12 p.m.

My friends pay me in beer to have my help and use my garage and tools for brake pad/rotor or oil changes, and electrical issues. 

I also accept chocolate chip cookies as a form of payment. 

jmc14 HalfDork
11/18/21 6:13 p.m.

I have a passion for the 50's-60's sports racers.  I've been fortunate to be able to design and build several cars inspired by those shapes.  I've been building for almost 20 years now. 

Some  people that have seen my cars have wanted to build their own.  Since I had to create molds and jigs I've sold some kits. This is a hobby for me.  

Having Fun 

NOT A TA UltraDork
11/18/21 7:34 p.m.

I do a few different things. As far as automotive, I designed billet aluminum center caps for A.R.E. wheels so Torque Thrust and other model wheels can look unique or have a more factory appearance. Also fabricate chassis reinforcements and reproduce some parts for 2nd gen GM F body cars. Laboratory Fourteen is the name of the company.     lab-14.com  is the online store.  Everybody likes pics so here's a couple of my products.







Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/18/21 7:40 p.m.

Actually, I'm considering taking on something that the business wouldn't. Won't be lucrative but it would be cool. But I guess that's why it's a side gig and not a main gig.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/18/21 8:26 p.m.

When I was in the Navy on shore duty I had multiple jobs and side gigs.  One of them was doing vinyl on cars and race cars.  I may start doing that again, as I want to do something pretty cool for the challenge MR2.  I'm struggling with how much to invest in a new cutter.  When I divorced my first wife I sold the cutters, large printers, heat presses, all of it.  I bought the stuff for my Subaru cut and put it on myself.   It got some wrinkles, but I had 3 kids under 10 that wanted to help, and since it's a rallycross car, sure why not.  When I go full rally replica later, I will take the time to do it perfectly.




Mr_Asa PowerDork
11/18/21 9:15 p.m.

For a year or two I worked on old Fords that people would bring into the shop that I was a service writer at, but both my manager and corporate didn't want to mess with them.  I'd write down my phone number and tell them to call me and I'd come poke at it and give them an estimate.

Broke even a couple times, beat the hourly rate a couple other times, then stopped being a service writer.  It was enjoyable for the most part.

Tom1200 UltraDork
11/18/21 9:23 p.m.

I used to wheel and deal on Datsun parts. It paid for my racing for several seasons. On occasion it brought extra money into the house, usually at a very handy time, so the wife liked it.

Don't know if the paid instructor gigs counts but I did several of those as well.

These days I'm blessed that my job pays me very well.

With that said I've been encouraged to start writing again. While I managed to sell some short stories many years ago it didn't exactly pay well.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/18/21 9:57 p.m.

Small update on my side hustle: I'm back making zinessmiley

I'm sighed up for Orlando Zine Fest December 18, so I need to have the next issue finished and printed by then. So I'm a working on it. 

CrustyRedXpress HalfDork
11/19/21 7:00 a.m.

Dig those enamel pins-they even got the Honda's Phoenix Yellow right. 

Good luck with the Zine!

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman SuperDork
11/19/21 7:43 a.m.

This describes my automotive side hustle 

DjGreggieP HalfDork
11/19/21 8:43 a.m.

I do automotive video-graphy as a hobby. I wanted to become the 'next big thing' in the YouTube car world, but I own an Intrepid and then it became dormant for 3 years getting paint so I had nothing world posting (like track days) so now I mostly attend events and film as much as I can to put that footage to music, it really doesn't pay at all, but its fun! Hopefully I plan to attend more events this coming year depending on how busy my paying side gig (wedding DJ) keeps me. 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/19/21 9:20 a.m.

Standalone installs, tuning and systems kptuned.com and now doing some other important hard parts (gears, engine parts) for specific platforms. Likely it's my retirement gig.

JStrobel80 New Reader
11/19/21 9:22 a.m.

I have been stuck at home with an injury, so I taught myself how to do illustrations and am creating posters like this now. Considering selling them if there is enough interest. (I was advised by another user to watermark my work in another post on the forum) Thank you! Farnsworth House and 356 NO.1

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/19/21 9:48 a.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

Dig those enamel pins-they even got the Honda's Phoenix Yellow right. 

Good luck with the Zine!

Thanks. Got another piece written and pasted up last night. It's kinda like my real work but different. 

BA5 Reader
11/19/21 12:01 p.m.

Never turn your hobby into your job.  

Then you've lost a hobby but you're still working.


I might be lucky that I have a career I really like, though.

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