Customized American cars have been hugely popularised thanks to American TV shows such as Overhaulin’, Misfit garage and Fast n’ Loud. Naturally, nearly all of these shows are based in the States, but the audience is global and for some, the desire to own one of their own gets the better of them.
For those of us living in Great Britain, we face multiple obstacles in the process of owning our own American vehicle. First, you have to find the right car and selection is very limited, you then need to have a big enough garage to be able to park the generally enormous vehicle, a decent bank balance to fund the guzzling engine and a mechanic who is knowledgeable in American motors.
Hard Up Garage near Portsmouth is leading the way in the UK with its recently formed garage. Sam Hard has been brought up by a father who is obsessed with American cars, and consequently has caught the bug! Up until recently, Sam was working with Mercedes, but he has now changed his tack to pursue his real passion, and this passion for American Cars is leading him to great places.
A few years ago Sam and his father embarked on a trip to El Paso, Texas to pick up a car that Sam’s father had bought online. The trip was a fairly instrumental point in Sam’s life as it gave him the final push to really go after what was already burning inside him. A chance meeting with Michael Lightbourn led to an opportunity to meet with Richard Rawlings from Gas Monkey Garage. This has since led to more meetings with the big names in the custom car culture in the USA, trips to Barrett-Jackson, Sema and more. It was a snowball effect starting with a bit of luck and then combining hard work and drive from Sam the business is really making waves.
The whole story of how all the above unfolded is a fairly wild tale that is best heard from the man himself, when you meet him, be sure to ask him about it! The result of a chance meeting and a huge amount of drive and commitment from Sam has produced one superb garage on the south coast!
Since then Sam has grown his business and his reputation in the UK rapidly and has achieved a huge amount already, especially considering he is only 28! Sam now works on a variety of vehicles, some are still European cars from previous customers of his, but the majority are now American cars, trucks and bikes. When we visited, his yard was alive with a vast array of vehicles from GMC’s to Winnebago’s, Harleys to Rat Rods and his trusty tour bus that he uses to travel around the events! Sam also employs apprentices from the local college as he is keen to help give the future generation a chance to fulfill their dreams.
Sam is now moving on to the next stage of progressing The Hard Up Garage with the potential screening of his own show on a major television channel, an exciting project which would give the ever popular TV car shows a British twist. Sam’s energetic personality and extensive knowledge of American cars would make for a fantastic show, one that we will be very keen to see!
If you would like to find out more about Hard Up Garage then be sure to check out their site here!