HE&M Saw founder, Gerry Harris and his son, HE&M Saw President & CEO, Doug Harris, recently traveled to Georgia, to Sam Mahdavi’s shop, Mahdavi MotorSports, to be involved in the filming of “Project Hudson Hornet”, for Sam’s GarageTV. What an experience that was!
Sam’s GarageTV is featured on MotorTrendTV (formerly Velocity), MAVTV & REV’N networks and is produced by PowerScope Productions INC, owned by Butch and Sherry McCall, a national television production firm, specializing in automotive and marine programming, along with video production by Revma Media.
Sam’s Garage TV host, Sam Mahdavi, founded Mahdavi MotorSports with his brother in 1999 and last year, Sam moved the business to a larger space and became the sole proprietor. While his shop may specialize in diagnostics and repairs, Mahdavi is known for building turbocharged performance vehicles. While he works daily in his business and hosts his TV show, he can also be heard co-hosting the nationally syndicated radio show, Sam’s Garage Radio, with Sam Memmolo, who you might remember form “Two Guy’s Garage”, “Shadetree Mechanic” and “Motorhead Garage”.
But let’s not get our Sam’s confused. Sam Mahdavi has been involved with motorsports long enough to have been part of the SEMA installers challenge 2004, two NDRA drag racing Championships, as well as many other NRDA podium appearances, and winner of the Speed Channel hit series “Pinks” in 2008. But that’s not all, Mahdavi MotorSports has provided more than 10 performance cars for the “Fast & Furious” movie series, appeared in “Fast 7” and was involved in the making of the hit movie ”Let’s Be Cops”.
It’s safe to say that with all his experience, Sam Mahdavi is qualified to work on any year, make or model car. And according to Gerry Harris, so is his son, Doug. Mr. Harris tells us “I expected Sam to be up to speed, but I was surprised at just how knowledgeable my son was about the Hudson”, Mr. Harris added that maybe he was just “being a proud father.”
And why wouldn’t he be knowledgeable, Doug Harris became involved in auto racing as a mere child, just 16 years old when he started racing his MG, the front clip of which ‘might’ have been heavily filled with Bondo, in Autocross events. Funny story; Doug and lifelong friend, Paul Beha, who is now Products Manager for HE&M Saw, showed up for an autocross event, their first, with their motorcycle helmets strapped to the luggage rack. Being 16 and having zero experience, they assigned the car a lap time and had written it in shoe polished on the windshield. As the story goes, the entire race the announcer kept saying, “Mr. Harris must have been drag racing last night, as he still has his times on the windshield”.
Well, that was a lesson learned and soon after that, he progressed up to running a Lotus Europa in SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) sanctioned road races and rallies and in 1984 was E-Production Track Champion at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, just west of Tulsa, OK.
Until the late ‘80’s-early ‘90’s, he ran his Lotus and Alpha Romeo in road races all over Colorado, where he was living at the time, until he and wife Mary, decided maybe it was time to stop dragging their kids to every race track around.
Seems that ‘retirement’ only lasted a few years and by the middle ‘90’s Doug was back to racing again. By then he and his family had moved to Oklahoma, to be more involved with the company his father founded, and racing was back in the picture. And just about every June, you can find Doug Harris, out at Hallett Racing Circuit, participating in the road course events of the Mid-America Ford/Team Shelby Meet, held every Father’s Day weekend, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Between these three men, there are volumes of electrical, mechanical, engineering and automotive knowledge. I’d say the Hudson is in pretty good hands.
And just to be clear, this is not a frame-off restoration; the goal is to maintain as much originality as possible. Mahdavi says “This is the most feasible restoration, without spending $100K; it makes the Hudson affordable and drivable.” This car is solid as a rock and aside from a small bump under the passenger side headlight, the body is straight and the chrome is all intact and seems to just need to be cleaned and polished.
Over the next few weekly shows, you will see “Project Hudson Hornet” get a new master cylinder, bushings, lower control arm, driveshaft, and exhaust. You’ll also get to see the gas tank removal, carburetor rebuild, and engine and transmission removal.
Be sure to tune into Sam’s Garage TV, featured on Motortrend TV, Saturdays @ 9AM EST and Sundays @ 8AM EST or on REV’N channel Saturdays @ 6PM EST, Sundays @ 12:30PM EST and Wednesdays @9PM EST.