Hey, folks I'm Alan Mandic, aka “The HotRodHippie”. Growing up I had a love of all things technological and powered by wheels. In my early days I was one of those “kids who took things apart to figure out how they work” without worrying about whether I’d be putting them back together. The son of a carpenter / car enthusiast I've been working with my hands for as long as I can remember. As I've grown up, it remains true that I still take things apart to figure them out, but now with much more success in putting them back together and maybe even enhancing their performance along the way. Usually anyway...
During school I took every single Tech Class I could get myself into. When something sparks my interest there is no stopping me from researching and learning the topic thoroughly. Metalworking, Woodworking, Electronics, Computers, and more were the primary focus of my High School education. After High School I decided that Computers, Cars, and Fabrication were going to be my focus in life. With that goal in mind I attended WyoTech in Blairsville, PA and graduated in 2005 with an Associate Degree in Specialized Technology in Automotive Repair.
After WyoTech I moved on to Dealership Automotive repair, then a brief stint selling Matco Tools as a Tool Distributor, before finally landing in the world of Automotive Restoration and Customization. The opportunities I have pursued thus far and my experience with the politics of how warranty repairs work, combined with the hands-on customer experience with their Classic vehicles has put me in a unique position to contribute to the aftermarket Automotive and Fabrication world.
The creation of HotRodHippie came about when one of my favorite Tool Reviewers stopped doing reviews. I found myself wanting to fill that void and so I started providing honest and experienced Tool Reviews. I then started looking for resources that shared information on custom fabrication work and found it lacking. It seemed to me that all too often the real “how-to” kind of information and knowledge sharing was viewed as something to be closely guarded. So, I decided it was time to shift that mindset and to work towards making the type of information I was seeking available to the masses who are willing to sit through a YouTube video or read a Blog post.
It is and always will be my goal through the HotRodHippie to provide fair and honest information. To inform the viewers as best as I can on any given topic and to seek out the information from others with expertise that I myself cannot provide. I hope you enjoy what I produce and are happy to come along for the ride.