Mighty Car Mods
If you think car shows are limited to the choice between Top Gear presenters in million-dollar supercars, or the three Bs of car culture – boobs, beers and burnouts – the creators of Mighty Car Mods want you to think again. “I'm a vegetarian and a commercial music composer by trade, and if driving modified cars doesn’t fit with people’s pre-existing ideas, I think that’s really healthy,” says Moog (his stage name for privacy).
Evidence suggests Moog and co-presenter Marty have hit on something. Their channel has more than 1.7 million subscribers and 250 million views — all the more remarkable because the videos can last for up to an hour. Episode titles include: How to Install a bleed valve, Make your slow car fast, and Budget street cred. Their six-part series Lend us a Ride, funded by Screen Australia, was picked up and screened on Qantas flights, and the pair have also been involved in promoting car-related films such as Furious 7 and Mad Max: Fury Road.
The quality of their videos is remarkable, considering there is no crew. Moog describes it as a bit like Wayne’s World.
“We used to have a piece of string tied around one of our legs attached to the tripod’s pan handle, so we could make the camera pan and look like we had a crew,” he says.
They started in 2008, and for years refused to “turn on the ads”, preferring to self-fund. “In some ways we are envious of people who can sit in front of their laptop and talk in an entertaining way, because we have really substantial costs: bringing cars in from overseas, modifying them, often times trying to do things that have never been done before.”
These days, a combination of advertising, carefully selected sponsors, and merchandise keep them in the black. “YouTube hates it when we say it, but no, we haven’t gone full time on this. Mighty Car Mods is a permanent part-time hobby.”
Moog says future ambitions centre less on profit or celebrity and more on community.
“I think there is a really vulnerable section of young men from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, who love modified cars but are too afraid to even ask a question in the comments section,” he says. “What I'm most excited about is to have a garage to provide a place where people can learn about cars and tools, and themselves.”
Moog, left, and Marty
holding a turbo