Giuseppe’s Garage: How to Raise a Gearhead

Giuseppe’s Garage is on a mission to help shape the next generation of gearheads. His parents—and the automotive industry—are behind him 100%.

Autobody Source staff

How many nine-year-olds do you know who are hip to the fact that a stretch-damaged body panel is normally impossible to reshape? Know any who’ve trained to repair one good-as-new with old-school heat-shrinking techniques using just an acetylene torch, a bucket of water, rag, dolly and a hammer?

Meet Giuseppe, a content creator and 3rd-generation gearhead whose parents own a collision repair shop and began fostering his love of cars when he was born. With automotive techs in critical demand, Giuseppe aims to close that gap by engaging young enthusiasts with autobody, mechanical repair and product demos filmed straight from his garage.

His metal-shrinking video alone has over 13K views on YouTube. He’s partnered with numerous companies including ZF, TRW, Sachs, Eastwood, LiquiMoly, Peak, Capri Tools, Speed and Kulture Magazine and, most recently, 5 STAR Xtreme, Pure Reflections Coatings, and The Autobody Source. And he’s just getting started.

From the day he opened shop, Giuseppe’s been on a mission to fill the lack of automotive-inspired content for kids, and champion the trade skills his father gained in vocational school. His parents have nurtured him into the trade with that goal clearly in sight.

A Lucky Start

Giuseppe’s father, Lou, owner of Lucky’s Auto Body in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, decided early on to mentor his son’s passion for cars differently than his own father did. “I grew up around cars. Every chance I had I was in my dad’s shop. Giuseppe is even more so than me, because I used to get yelled at for doing it,” Lou recalls. He describes his father as more of a critic than a teacher.

“My father was old school, he didn’t care, he just wanted to get his paycheck,” Lou says. “So there was no enthusiasm for the industry.”

“But I always loved autobody, so I decided to go to vo-tech for it, and that’s when, slowly, he inspired me to get into it. That’s when I started doing my own thing,” Lou says. “Then Giuseppe came along and we’ve been two peas in a pod.”

It was Giuseppe’s idea to launch his own shop & platform. His YouTube video “How To Shrink Stretched Metal The Old-School Way” has over 13K views, and he’s surpassed 4K IG followers.

You Can’t Know Too Much

When we asked Giuseppe his favorite type of automotive job, he picked them all, including autobody and mechanic work. And that’s not a coincidence. “You can never know too much,” Lou says. It’s a philosphy Lou lives by—and trains Giuseppe by to help him value teamwork and his fellow mechanics.

That’s because Lou feels today’s industry climate can be different from the welcoming culture of the town he founded his shop in 25 years ago, where area mechanics borrowed tools & shared advice like close neighbors.

“We were like a family. The world is changing and I’m trying not to let it change too much with my son.”

Giuseppe was invited by ZF Aftermarket US to attend the 2020 SEMA and AAPEX shows as a technical trainer. He was recently photographed alongside his father, Lou, by Speed and Kulture magazine, was featured in his local newspaper, and is in talks with podcasts and other automotive tech editors. Photo: Trent Sherrill, Speed and Kulture Magazine

Inspire Your Peers

Lou and his wife Rachel feel two things drive youngsters away from exploring automotive careers: Lack of exposure to the trades and the design of today’s cars compared to the classics. “New cars are insanely complicated and they look bland, there’s nothing attracting the eye. So I’m trying to bypass that,” Lou says of training Giuseppe to restore older cars. “We also want to expose him to both mechanical and autobody, and he’ll decide which route he wants to take,” Rachel says.

Giuseppe’s idea for opening a shop and launching his platform was inspired by kids his own age. “It was all his idea,” Rachel says. “He said “Mommy, I go on YouTube and there’s nothing for me to watch, just little kids opening toys. There’s nothing about cars. Can I do a YouTube channel?”, and that’s how it started.”

Lou and Rachel are imploring YouTube to change the algorithms that block Giuseppe’s videos from being included with YouTube Kids content, but for now parents can subscribe to his channel on their adult accounts to view his episodes with their children.

Giuseppe is home-schooled with his sisters “so when he’s done with all his lessons for the day, going to the shop is his reward, it’s what he looks forward to,” Rachel says. “It motivates him to do well in school, to do a good job, and then he goes to learn in the shop with dad.”

And he’s definitely motivated. Giuseppe gave us a rundown of his project list at the time of this writing: “Right now I’m doing the Scirocco engine, it’s a bare block. I’m going to be putting the pistons back on and when I’m done with the piston rings I’m going to be reinstalling the radiator, the radiator fan, freeze plugs, the engine head, and painting the hood,” which he’ll respray with his newly installed Sherwin-Williams mixing system.

Giuseppe has literally been in the shop since he was born, Rachel says. “He eats, sleeps, and breathes anything cars, autobody, mechanical. He loves every minute of it.”

He’s also been at his gig online for just over a year, but he’s a natural teacher on camera. Giuseppe’s parents say his videos are never scripted; he’s simply telling viewers what he’s learned, explaining to the camera what he’s doing as if he were chatting with his dad. “Usually when he’s talking about this stuff, I can’t even keep up,” Lou says.

Kids Are the Future
Giuseppe aims to continue promoting the automotive trades to inspire the younger generation.

“What better way to get Giuseppe in front of the eyes of all these kids who are eventually going to end up in the vocational school system and into the automotive field?”, Rachel says. “Giuseppe’s motto is, “I’m nine years old, and if I can do it, then you guys can do it, too.”

“The kids are the future, and in this industry we need as many as we can get, especially if they have a passion for it. That’s where it starts.”

Subscribe to Giuseppe’s Garage YouTube Channel

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