Shop Talk Podcast Episode 3: Mike Burroughs of Stanceworks on the Future of Car Customization

Muna Idriss Muna Idriss October 23, 2023

3 min read

Welcome to Shop Talk, a podcast where we catch up with designers and makers live from their workshops. In this episode, designer, fabricator, and Autodesker Trent Still speaks with Mike Burroughs of Stanceworks.  

Mike is best known as the editor-in-chief of Stanceworks, an online journal featuring some of the best-modified cars that focus on stance culture. But he’s more than just a writer, photographer, and storyteller—he’s also an accomplished car builder, amateur TimeAttack racer, and authority on K-swapped Ferraris. His latest venture is documenting his work on a wide swath of exciting car builds on his Youtube channel.  

Trent and Mike talk about all things car design, racing, fabrication, and the future of the car customization industry. Below is a short excerpt from the conversation to give you a taste of what to expect. You can also listen to the full episode below: 

This excerpt is edited for brevity and clarity. 

What’s your process? When you look at a car, do you just go for it and wing it? Or is it more methodical? 

I have this habit where once I decide I want something, there’s no stopping me. It’s all I can think about, and I become consumed by it. I will move mountains to make it happen. And I think that’s what yields each of the major projects that I’ve built a name around. It starts as this idea, and then once something in my head clicks, and I say, “Yeah, that’s what I want to build,” then there’s just no stopping it. The train leaves the station and you got to be on board or you’re getting left behind.  

For example: the Ferrari. My stepfather introduced me to the 308. When I was in high school or maybe early college, he was pointing out these Ferraris. He knew them from Magnum, P.I. And he said, “Man, you can get these cars for 20 grand right now.” When I saw that car, it was very much that moment of “Oh, that car is beautiful. That’s one of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever seen.” And I latched on to it.  

I tried to find one to buy for myself. I considered selling my 3 series, which was one of the first cars I built a name around. I had a guy who wanted to buy it for way more money than any of them were selling for at the time because it was one of the very first S 54 swapped cars. And with that money, I’d have been able to have a Ferrari in college! But I couldn’t part ways with it. I’ve now had it for 18 years.

I got really lucky with some of the cars that I bought. I had a Land Cruiser that exploded in value. I took all of the money I got from that and chased one of my first dream cars, a Hummer H1. I bought the cheapest one that I could find. I got really lucky, it was a solid truck, I flipped that for way more and I had enough to buy this Ferrari. It was every penny I had, but it was like, “hey, I can I can do this now or I’m never gonna get to.” And so I went for it.  

I knew before I ever actually bought the car exactly what I wanted to do with it. I knew from the get-go, this old VHS, it’s gotta go. I want to pick a lightweight power plant, I want to pick something that’s reliable, that has a huge power ceiling, a huge aftermarket to it, and has, let’s call it a solved engine, right? People race with certain motors at racetracks every weekend all across the world. Any problem that I’m going to encounter has already been figured out. Any weird issue that I want to type into Google, someone out there has encountered it.

Therefore, the case series was the most logical engine that I could put in there. I think a lot of people look at it as an engine choice I went with just to upset people. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth. It was a logical way to approach the problem in a car that I wanted to build. 

Stay tuned for the next episode of Shop Talk. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, catch up on any episodes you missed, and get your audio-only fix on Spotify.

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