Meet Michael Essa: 4th Garage Owner in eBay’s Car Tricking Competition
The past few weeks have been hectic for our 4 garage owners duking it out in their garages, all competing to create the best car build (utilizing a car body and auto parts strictly from eBay). Today we introduce our last contestant, but not least, Michael Essa. His crew, Team European Car, has the chicest car in my opinion, a 1984 Porsche 911.
Co-owners Michael Essa and Nick Richards make up the company GSR Autosport, which specializes in European cars (which they race professionally). Their challenge? Stretching their dollar. Compared to the other contestants (Brian Mackey, Rico Duran, and Mel Wade), the purchase price of their Porsche and auto parts are much more expensive than the other players. The final creation will be auctioned off on eBay with proceeds benefitting SEMA Cares, a community built around Specialty Equipment Market Association. Here’s a little intro to Michael and his team…
Jauretsi: What’s your earliest recollection of falling in-love with cars?
Michael Essa: I went car crazy when I was 14. I knew I would be able to get my driving permit soon, and I started paying very close attention to cars. My dad told me to get a job if I wanted to buy a car, so I got a shop helper job at a car stereo shop. I saved a few hundred bucks, and bought a non-running 1970 VW beetle from a neighbor. Now, I had a car, but it didn’t run, and I had no money to pay a mechanic, so I had to learn how to fix it myself.
Q: What type of music do you like to listen to when spending hours fixing in the garage?
A: We listen to a wide variety of music in the shop. We’re here all day almost everyday, so we constantly are changing our Pandora stations. Some days its classic rock, some days its Cuban jazz!
Q: For a regular fashion girl who doesn’t know much about cars, what are the top 3 things to pay attention to keep your car running healthy?
A: Well, its tough to break it down to 3 things. Think of a car like a human body, (obviously much less complex). Preventative maintenance and checkups are important. If you stay on top of the maintenance and have a knowledgeable mechanic inspect the car every few months during the routine maintenance, you can almost always avoid a breakdown by replacing the parts that could fail in the near future.
Q: Does any facet of your car build have an adorned or fashion element to it?
A: When we set out to build the Porsche Rally inspired car, we knew we had a challenge ahead of us. With a very limited budget (especially for a Porsche, where parts are double or triple the cost of most cars) we would have to focus on the small details to show that we can build a tasteful car, not an overly done show car that might not really work well as a car anymore. The paint scheme we chose was a mix of the 1980’s Rothmans sponsored rally car, with a more modern approach, and lines that would show off the curvy shape of the 911.
The car pictured above is the “before” photo for Team European Car. Stay tuned to view the “after” photo and all web video showing the transformations on Built From eBay. Now that you’ve met all four garage owners, visit the Built site and vote away! The competition runs through August 27th.