NOW heading into its ninth season, the Discovery Channel TV show Street Outlaws has been a runaway success. Two of the most popular cast members, Farmtruck and AZN, blew into Summernats 30 like a tornado, and everyone wanted a piece of them. The pair are household names the world over; not that you’d pick it, as you couldn’t ever hope to meet more humble, knockaround car guys.
Here’s an excerpt from our chat, the full version of which you can find at www.streetmachine.com.au.
AZN: The show Street Outlaws has its own demographic, but when it comes to what countries adopt our show, we have no idea. When we came to Australia and
saw the amount of fans that we have that have watched our show and fallen in love with that street racing culture – man, it’s blown us away.
Farmtruck: We were welcomed the way car guys always welcome other car guys’s – like family. It’s been amazing.
AZN: I’ve probably known Farmtruck for 15 years. I was a young kid, I’d lost my parents, and I was lost. I didn’t know what direction I was going to take, but I knew I liked cars.
I had a car, I had just put a small-block in it and all my friends had no clue. But I found this one guy on the streets of Route 66, in the heart of America. I was in my ’64 Chevy II four-door. And he had his C10 pick-up with a small-block in it.
FT: Oh, he had heard the rumours about the Farmtruck, but he wanted to step up and give it a shot. I had heard rumours about him, that he’d lost his mother and father. We raced, pulled over and started talking, but mainly we started laughing. He cracked jokes and I cracked jokes. That was 15 or 18 years ago, and we’ve been laughing ever since.
AZN: I think the main point that drew me to Farmtruck is he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder. He beat me in a street race the first time I met him. He was holding the trophy for being the street king at that time. I thought I could overtake him and I couldn’t. We pulled over and he was happy to show me every single thing he’d done to that pick-up without any hesitation. I don’t think most people do that. Everything is a secret and their ego is hiding how they did it. He had no problem taking me under his wing and showing me exactly how to do what he’s done. This man wants everybody to be successful and that’s one thing that has carried on.
FT: If you want to be successful you have to wish success for everyone. That’s what I do and that’s what we do. We want everyone around us to be successful, and that will help us to be successful.
FT: Never. We didn’t know that our lives were interesting. We’d done it for 10 or 15 years before the show came along.
We’re still in awe that people think we’re interesting. We’re normal guys, we just happen to go out in the middle of the night and race people for money.
How long has the Top 10 list existed for?
FT: The list has been around a long time, way before the show. The list was started in Oklahoma City by Big Chief. It’s his list, he’s organised us, and he’s a good leader.
We’re proud that he represents us, and he does a good job of that.
AZN: The list represents truly the fastest cars, we feel, in the world. Anybody who’s anybody has heard of the list. They can say they’re the fastest in the world, but the fact that they’re calling themselves that is because they’ve heard of our list first.
If they haven’t come out and challenged us they’ll say: “Well, you need to come to Minnesota, you need to come to Sweden.”
No. You don’t pick a fight with somebody and then ask them to come to you. You go to them, you knock on their door, you walk forward, you grit your teeth and you start punching. Same goes for a street race. If you want to call someone out you go to their doorstep and you race them.
FT: I grew up a block away from Route 66 and I could hear people street racing all the time. We have the weather for it, and we also have a lot of flat, straight roads.
There’s a huge car culture there, and I think that’s what makes it. Ever since I was a
little kid, I was flagging street races with a flashlight above my head for my brothers and their friends. It’s just something we grew up with.
AZN: We had nothing better to do than to get in trouble. You go to the west coast and you can surf. You’ve got cruises, car shows and great weather. You go to the east coast and you’ve got Cuban cigars, great weather and great fishing. You go up north and you’ve got great skiing; you go to Texas and you’ve got Mexico and all these things to do. But you go to the Midwest and you’ve got a bunch of rowdy rednecks who have got nothing better to do than fight and street race, and you know what?
FT: We’re about out of beer!
FT: I always say that you have to take the long way home every time if you’re going to build a true sleeper. We can use the bed because the batteries, the fuel pump, it’s all underneath the vehicle. We can open up the tailgate and haul bricks if we want. It was a lot of work, but it looking like a true sleeper was the most important thing. Not being the fastest; I wanted it to be the funnest. We started off with the 400ci small-block and that lasted about a year until we blew it up and put a 502ci crate motor in it, and that was the best thing we ever did to that thing. It lasted 14 years and we sprayed thousands and thousands of bottles through it, but it never gave up. Now we have a 632ci with two kits of nitrous, and it’s absolutely stupid.
The truck was never meant to do what it does, but we have a lot of fun making it do it.
AZN: The Dung Beetle was a collaboration between Farmtruck and myself. We had to decide what kind of vehicle I was going to introduce to the show, and to keep the brand going of AZN, it had to be an import of some sort. But it had to be a vehicle that represented us, and we decided on a Volkswagen Bug. We couldn’t just throw a random engine in it, we had to ensure that it stayed pure, so it had to be air-cooled, and it had to be fast. The biggest myth of a Volkswagen Bug is that they’re cheap to build – that’s a lie! We borrowed parts, we begged for parts and we’ve made it as quick as we can without breaking the bank, and what makes it all possible and consistent and what keeps the car going is the Haltech.
It manages my fuel and ignition, it tells me my data at the end of each pass, it tells me what I’m doing wrong.
AZN: Oh yeah! After a victory there’s an important trademark of ours that has continued and become a tradition, and that is: FT & AZN: FARMAGEDDON! s