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The winner of last month’s $200 FAST Gift Certificate was Warren Ingram – Congrats, Warren!
This week’s podcast show guest is Albert Melchior, the owner of Carbon Kustoms. I was introduced to Albert at the Columbus Good Guys show this past summer while catching up my friend Tom Ferrington. Tom, his wife Debbie, and their son Sam are big followers to the world of Pro Touring and they know everyone. After talking to Tom for just a minute he introduced me to Albert and just left me with the phrase, “You gotta meet this guy!”
After talking with Albert for just a couple of minutes I realized why. First, he was a cool Canadian guy from Toronto, complete with a cooler full of ice cold Molson’s. Second, he’s bananas about 2nd Gen Pontiac F-bodies, and since Smokey and the Bandit was a staple of my childhood I’ll always have a soft sport for them as well. Third, he’s passionate about creating OEM caliber carbon fiber components for F-bodies, and he’s building his business, Carbon Kustoms, to provide lightweight body components, interior components, and even wheels for the Pro Touring crowd.
He’s put together an incredible team, complete with one of the few people on the planet certified to lay up carbon fiber components for the F-22 Raptor. Albert will be the first say that the easiest way to make a little money in the automotive industry is to first start with a lot, but he’ll also admit that he’s having a ball, and in the scheme of things his company is really just getting started.
I asked Albert what led him into the carbon fiber business as it’s not something one would normally jump into. He stated that his family had once owned a marina and in that environment he became very familiar with fiberglass, and later composites. He found the entire technology incredibly interesting and thus he decided to merge that interest with his Poncho F-body passion. He takes a very OEM style approach when designing components, and thus the materials that would go into a hood that would be exposed to high engine temperatures would be vastly different than those that would go into interior components. He’s also developing a carbon fiber center for Forgeline Wheels, a product which is currently be strength tested by Texas A&M University! Once successful it will debut on a SEMA car he’s preparing.
Albert is a member of the Pro-Touring “Rat Pack” and makes all of the events. It’s his goal to field test all of his products and have a ton of fun doing it. I find it hard to argue with his logic.
Thanks for the interview, Albert! Let me know when you start cranking out components for ’64 Chevelle’s! For those that would like more info on Carbon Kustoms, a new website is coming down the pike. For now just follow them on their Facebook page.