Producer of full length feature film BEST IN CLASS, the making of a concour d'Elegance (trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFSuyVxpIDQ )
I'm a television producer. I came up in the world of Motorsports working for NASCAR and I was with them for about five years, three seasons on the road with the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. I've got two sports Emmy wins for the 100,000 cameras documentary series. I like to cook I'm pretty good at barbecue. You know, maybe that's what you think is most interesting because you're not interested at all at cars, which would be ironic.
0:46 I went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018. I went to rennsport with Porsche, Porsche and rennsport with Michelin and then also went to the mall with Michelin. And then I did a year of a show called THE TORQUE SHOW with Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall.
1:40 the number one thing right now is the documentary that we just put out. I produced my first feature length documentary last year, it was about cars and car culture, It's called BEST IN CLASS, the making of a concour d'Elegance. And it's available on any digital video or content rental platform, it's available for rent, I think it's 10 to buy it. It's a great story.
3:33 the audrain Automobile Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. (where film was made)
8:17 Speaking of millennials, I actually have a millennial anti theft device in my Honda Accord sport.
yeah, I was in not just the French guy who raised Ricky Bobby.
9:03 I was wanting to be a chef owner. And I was working through the restaurant industry.
11:18 nobodies. In fact. I mean, there I worked for a chef in Orlando, that my paycheck stopped cashing.
14:44 Valencia Community College had an incredible film program, I had to make a reel to present as part of my application.
19:04 I had taken a job shooting nightclubs, I was shooting like family photos. I was shooting wedding videos, I stumbled upon the opportunity to do West Walker's wedding video and Aspen which was a felt like a really big deal at the time. And I mean, it's a celebrity thing, whatever it was, but it was still a wedding video.
26:09 You know, you've honored and mentioned your dad and mom a number of times in this video, which just makes me love you more.
26:57 I remember Ferrari and Range Rover and Land Rover and then Bentley you had that big release party with the Continental GT. So you were very much in the luxury and sports car game. What I do remember specifically is maybe like once a month or so here comes a Ferrari 360 Modena and Jeff's like, hey, let's go for a ride.
28:44 my mom and I came over to the dealership and you took us for a ride on the the Range Rover proving ground.
30:34 What are these Porsches? Oh, those are GT3 cup cars....
31:06I Brett: "...I watch Formula One IndyCar NASCAR lower series, NASCAR dirt track modifieds. I go to my local short track here in Tampa, I really don't think that there's anything that beats the competition of sports car racing. So as a racing fan, and as a producer working on that series...you look at the Ferrari 488 GTLM car, the full factory spec racecar, and you go that is the sexiest thing I have ever seen. How do people not want to watch this? it's gonna go out and bang doors with a Porsche 911 RSR.
33:42 Jeff talks about NASCAR with the actual cars that you drove on Monday.
35:08 Jeff talks about selling "used" Ferraris into the Tampa Bay market that may have had an impact on Ferrari opening a dealrership there.
38:49 Brett: "...did a lot of work with Michelin... went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed... went to Rennsport with... Porsche and rennsport... LeMans with Michelin...I did a show called THE TORQUE SHOW with Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall
39:28 Brett goes into what goes into being a TV producer.
42:21 Brett talks about BEST IN CLASS and the concour world.
44:41 Brett talks about why people are into cars.
45:31 Brett on places/events like: Monterey, Big Sur,Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Audrain Museum. Casa Ferrari. Rennsport. LeMans, World Endurance Championship , NASCAR.
52:54 What's in Brett's garage?
55:00 regarding manual trannys
57:00 Brett on some new cars available now.
1:02:03 I've met a lot of people through the sport. Tommy Kendall, Mark Martin, Justin Bell, Jay Leno
1:16:36 Brett's dream car: 82 or a 90 air cooled Targa top 911 like an SC
1:18:49 On being scared of Andy Ramker
Brett Ranker - AUDIO
Sun, 2/14 5:41PM • 1:19:10
car, race, nascar, dad, ferrari, drive, job, michelin, year, video, daytona, buy, started, called, sports car, gt, film, porsche, point, couple
Brett Ramker, Jeff Sterns
Brett Ramker 00:00
So by trade, I'm a television producer. I came up in the world of Motorsports working for NASCAR and I was with them for about five years, three seasons on the road with the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. I've got two sports Emmy wins for the 100,000 cameras documentary series. It really just depends on what you find interesting. I like to cook I'm pretty good at barbecue. You know, maybe that's what you think is most interesting because you're not interested at all at cars, which would be ironic. You just said bumpers and teasers. Oh, yeah, bumpers and cheesy bumps and teases got a fat 30 got a 45 coming down the pipe. This place holds legends and history. We'll be back with the Daytona 500. Next. So how
Jeff Sterns 00:42
do you apply for a job to be a NASCAR video guy
Brett Ramker 00:45
I'm getting there. I went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018. Maybe I went to rennsport with Porsche, Porsche and rennsport with Michelin and then also went to the mall with Michelin. And then I did a year of a show called the torque show with Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall.
Jeff Sterns connected through Guys, if they're big wigs, we'll have him on the show. And yes, we'll talk about cars and everything else. Here he is now, Jeff Sterns.
Jeff Sterns 01:23
So we don't have to worry about or have stress over you plugging in. I want you to be able to plug yourself whatever you're doing in case God willing, this ever got out and six months from now? Somebody said, I want to go to buddy Brett and hire this guy. What would I want to say? The name of your movie on Vimeo?
Brett Ramker 01:39
Yeah, the the number one thing right now is the documentary that we just put out. So I produced my first feature length documentary last year, it was about cars and car culture, it came out at the beginning of the month. It's called best in class, the making of a Concord elegance. And it's available on amazon prime. It's available on iTunes, any digital video or content rental platform, it's available for rent, I think it's five bucks right now. I think it's 10 to buy it. It's a great story. And what we did was we kind of went beyond the concore and beyond the cars and really dove into what makes the people who build restore and own these cars tick and how they got into it and and what caused them to put hundreds and hundreds of hours and 1000s of dollars into restoring cars and at all levels. I mean, one of the starring characters of the film is a 17 year old kid who has and restored a BMW 2002 that he got for free at a party in a girl's backyard. It was just rusting out and his her dad was gonna have it hauled away. And he was like, What is that car and she's like, Oh, it's a piece of crap. You don't want it? My dad's gonna have it hauled away. And he's like, No, I do want it. And he restored it. It's not classically a concor car but at this particular concor where we shot the film, they had this amazing category called 30. Under 30 you have to be less than 30 years old, you have to spend less than 30 grand on your car so he slotted in and that but it it's it's as nice of a BMW 2002 as you could ever make. And he did everything himself with his dad and taught himself. He got it painted, obviously sent that out. He sent some of the engine work out but I mean, he did everything himself and he was completely self taught his dad's not terribly mechanically inclined guy. They just kind of spent time together and figured it out. So
Jeff Sterns 03:22
I wish he would take 30 grand for that car. Yeah, I was in love with that. 2002
Brett Ramker 03:26
Yeah, so it's chock full of stories like that. And I'll go off on another tangent when we first met with the Automobile Museum, the audrain Automobile Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. We were doing a live show at their concore. So we did three live stream three days of live streaming, the live event, the competition, and then my crew and my focus on that weekend was to shoot a documentary but for the live stream, we created a bunch of video packages about some of the cars in Adrienne's collection. And one of them was a car I had never seen before that I fell in love with which was a BMW 2002 turbo euro spec turbo. But to answer your original question, if you want to get in touch with me if you want to see what I'm up to, you can follow me on Instagram at buddy underscore Brett. Two T's on Brett or my website buddy brett.com in that kind of has all my latest and greatest my bio one sheet real all that stuff.
Jeff Sterns 04:17
Where did buddy Brett come from?
Brett Ramker 04:18
So buddy Brett came from? I lived in a house in college with three other guys and it was like a it was like a bro house and South Park. The Canadians and South Park buddy Hey, buddy. Hey, buddy. What's going on, buddy? So like in you know, a drunken stupor of bromance. Our roommates just started Oh buddy, Brett, buddy. What are you doing, buddy? Brett? Oh buddy, Alex. Oh, buddy, buddy, Kyle, buddy, buddy. And then I changed my Facebook name.
Jeff Sterns 04:46
When did you leave the house? When did you stop coming around?
Brett Ramker 04:51
I don't know. I guess when I went to college when I was 18. And you remember what kept me out of college? Probably the by you and the high school,
Jeff Sterns 04:57
high school. Got one. So you've been scarce for about 10 years. Yeah, I knew you were in the video business. And from time to time, I would see you with a video camera at a racetrack wherever I would see that. And think that you're like everyone else I know that has a long lens on their camera that just from time to time, goes to race tracks. And then I got a hold of you to let you know that I'm working on this podcast. I knew you had something to do with automotive, but I was really hoping for some editing advice. And you said Oh, yeah, here's what I'm doing. So tell us a little bit about NASCAR Michelin, yeah, made you a guest. Now you're a guest.
Brett Ramker 05:40
Yeah. So I'm a TV producer by trade. And what that means is that clients come to me they have content ideas, and then it's up to me to help them kind of bring those ideas to life. So for five years, I was on staff with NASCAR productions in Charlotte, North Carolina. And that's really where I cut my teeth and kind of learn how how the industry worked and learn my trade and specifically where I wanted to fit in. And then within that time at NASCAR specifically, I was the associate producer for the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. So I traveled with them full time for three years and went to all their races, learned. everything there is to know about sports car racing, at least as much as I could learn in that short time, and spent tons and tons of time at racetracks exploring them every corner of them. My job was to support the live broadcast on the weekends. So we would do packages for the fox show, and then deliver them to the truck to air in the race. And then on race day, I ran the camera team and operated one of the cameras that captured all of this specialty content. So we were using kind of more than movie cameras. So there was kind of the live broadcast team with the big box lens cameras that are feeding what you're seeing on television. And then there was my team of anywhere from two to four operators, depending on what race weekend it was. And we were getting all the specialty content that would be used for you know, the next race, the bumpers and teases and then also all of them says web content, everything that we know
Jeff Sterns 07:09
just in case any of our listeners are not from the television business. You just said bumpers and teasers.
Brett Ramker 07:16
Oh yeah bumpers and teasing bumps and teases got a fat 30 got a 45 coming down the pipe. So a tease is a tease is like what you open the show with so when you when you put on let's say the Daytona 500. And the race is coming on at three o'clock. Pre race coverage is over pre race was two to three 3pm black up from black displace holds legends and history. Everyone has one here 30 seconds 40 seconds tease opens the show sets the scene What are we doing here? Why do you care gets you engaged, excited to watch what's about to happen. That's the tease. And then bumps are just like 10 to 15 seconds of footage. Honestly millennials would know them as Instagram videos. It's like 10 to 15 seconds of pretty footage and good music just edited creatively and that will take you to a break. So we'll be back with the Daytona 500. Next and then boom, bump Bump to break.
Jeff Sterns 08:17
Nice. Speaking of millennials, I actually have a millennial anti theft device in my Honda Accord sport.
Brett Ramker 08:23
Is that a stick shift?
Brett Ramker 08:25
Yeah, well, my car's a three pedal. So what do you have to say about that?
Jeff Sterns 08:29
I'm proud of that. I'm glad that you shifted away from where the cooking was taking you towards more of a masculine thing.
Brett Ramker 08:37
Well, I'll tell you what, I don't know if you've ever met Gordon Ramsay or not. But he's pretty masculine.
Jeff Sterns 08:41
There are exceptions are there? Yeah.
Brett Ramker 08:43
So yeah, I was in the and I and I've met some pretty feminine racecar drivers too, by the way. But
Jeff Sterns 08:48
yeah, I was in not just the French guy who raised Ricky Bobby.
Brett Ramker 08:51
I'll tell you what some of those French guys are savages churston body a he will push you right off the track like he's racing a car and a prototype will not hesitate or an IndyCar. But yeah, I was on the cooking track. I was wanting to be a chef owner. And I was working through the restaurant industry. My dad wouldn't let me go to culinary school. Because he said he knew too many chefs who didn't know how to make money, which I understood after I left that profession. So I went to the Rosen College of hospitality management and got a business degree in restaurant food service management, which was 100%, the right path, side note for 30 years of my life, or really closer to 28 years. I tried to fight all of my dad's advice and carve my own lane, only to do it the hard way and then come around full circle and realize he was right. So at about 28 and a half. I just started blindly trusting him. So pretty much now anything he tells me, I'll just go. It makes no sense to me, but it will. So yes, I agree.
Jeff Sterns 09:48
So you've actually told him this directly.
Brett Ramker 09:52
Yeah, but he doesn't listen to anything I say. So I don't think he knows like he would listen to this and be like you don't know not true. I mean, maybe
Jeff Sterns 09:59
I never Appreciate it. What I told you
Brett Ramker 10:01
that the funniest thing about on that topic with him was the process of putting an addition on our house right now really small addition really small project. But I took it upon myself to manage it to save a little bit of money. It's been extremely challenging. As you can imagine if someone coming in with no experience dealing with the building department permitting, design plans, a contractor, all that stuff, and two weeks into trying to get the project off the ground. I called them and I said, I get it now. I totally get why you're frustrated all the time. Now. Brett's father is a builder. Yeah, my dad's a contractor, and he builds restaurants. And he always frustrated with the people that he works with. Not always, but a lot of the time. And it's just because it's it's herding cats, but there's a lot of money on the line. And it's it's a very challenging job as I learned on a very small scale, right? You're doing your addition, right? Yeah, by trying to put 400 square feet on my house. My dad built restaurants at Disney. I mean, what he's doing and what I'm doing or not, they are not the same. So just because
Jeff Sterns 10:58
you wanted to transition. Your dad gave you advice. I know a lot of great chefs that because your dad's in the restaurant business. I mean, he's building a lot of restaurants. And I remember he used to manage restaurants to going back. So I mean, he truly understands the restaurant business, not just the layout. He's saying, Look, I know a lot. And this is firsthand. He's not knocking chefs. He's just saying I know a lot of
Brett Ramker 11:18
nobodies. In fact. I mean, there I worked for a chef in Orlando, that my paycheck stopped caching, because she could not manage her payroll. And because she was buying hydroponically grown tomatoes to go on burgers from a local farmer, and they were like $1 each. So she didn't she didn't have her arms around food costs. And and I don't want to take away from what she was making, because her restaurant and her food was fantastic. But where the rubber met the road in terms of running the business and controlling costs, it didn't work out. And to that end, you know, I went to cash a paycheck for like 600 bucks, and it didn't cash. So didn't go through. Yeah, correct.
Jeff Sterns 11:54
So I mean, look, my dad, I disappointed my father because he didn't want me to be a car guy. He sold his dealership in the Detroit area. And when I was I don't know, 12. And my brother was a few years younger to ensure that we would become real citizens like CPAs and veterinarians or something. So I really let him down. When I went into the car business. I don't think he started admitting to people what I did until probably 20 years and oh, yeah, Jeff's a good car guy. So but you went from that hospitality, food business went to Rosen, and you ended up I don't know what it paid. I don't know if it's as sexy as it looks. But you end up in a job that a lot of guys would like to have video production around car races. How did you enter that?
Brett Ramker 12:38
Yeah, so I had always had an interest and a passion for making videos when I was like 13 was kind of the introduction of YouTube. And, and content coming online and off of TV. And so I said to my mom, who was always just like, you can do anything you want to do, if you put your mind to it, you're a smart kid, you'll figure it out, whatever. I said, Hey, I really want to, I really want to start playing around with making videos. And she said, Well, what do you need to do that? And I said, Well, I need to get one of these Apple computers. And I need to get a camera. And she said, Okay, well that's a lot of money. But it sounds really cool. And if you're really interested in it, if you can get half of the money together, I'll give you the other half, and we'll get you set up. And so that's what happened, I mowed lawns and did whatever. And I think it wasn't quite half, but she was like, whatever. So I kind of owe all of this to to her vision of me honestly. But so I started making YouTube videos and content, and then that evolved into making videos for all my school projects. In high school, that's catamaran couch.
Jeff Sterns 13:48
I love my couch catamaran 2005, mainly, because I can hook it up behind my neighbor's boat when they're not looking and pretty much take a nap for a few hours as they go up and down the intercostal space. It's got my television remote.
Brett Ramker 14:09
And then I got paid like I don't know, like 25 bucks or something by a couple of my other friends who had groups to do their school projects. And I did some like music videos and some videos for my theater troupe. And so it's just always kind of making content. And so when I went to college, I wanted to go to film school. And so full sail was really big at that time, but it was really expensive, and it was private. And my parents had Florida pre pay for me at Florida public school. So that would have gone out the window. And if I would have pushed them, they probably would have come up with some way for me to go to full sail to be honest, but I didn't because they were already being so generous. And I didn't want to ask for any more. So Valencia Community College had an incredible film program, I had to make a reel to present as part of my application. And at that time, and this happens to a lot of people who try to get into a creative field whether it's in a hobby or professionally creative people are extremely Critical I still to this day don't really have tons of self confidence in terms of my work and what I do. But I've been doing it for long enough now that I know those feelings will always come on any given project. And I know how to suppress and control them. I didn't have that skill at that time. So I literally thought I am not good enough to take anything I've done, which at that point was a lot, put it into a real and presented to this college because they'll think I'm a joke, and they won't let me in. And so I just didn't, so I just didn't do it. So I started going to Valencia General Studies skip the film program, I got a job in a restaurant, I had always cooked with my uncle and I'd always had a real interest in cooking and chefs. And that restaurant job was kind of the first job I had gotten myself I'd always worked for my dad doing construction and maintenance and demolition, kind of as a requirement of my namesake. And so this was the first job I had gotten myself and it was actually at Hooters in Orlando. And I started as a dishwasher. And over the course of a year and a half or so became a certified corporate trainer, I was running every station in the kitchen, I had the opening shift, I was opening the kitchen, I was managing lunch by myself, I was training other cooks. And I'm like 18 at this point. So I found my own success. And I said, You know what? This is a great business. I love cooking. I see the pipeline I'm in it. I'm connecting effort to success now. So let's just go for it. There's this Rosen school, I can go there. It's the best hospitality school in the country. Some people will say Cornell's and better. But Cornell is in Ithaca, New York. It's in the middle of nowhere. Rosen's in Orlando, there's every hospitality opportunity you could ever want in Orlando. So by those metrics, I think Rosen is a little better. So I just got sucked in. And I went down that rabbit hole. And then what happened was about my junior year, GoPro came out and my roommate got one. And he had shot all this footage. And he was like, I don't know what to do with it. And I was like, dude, I can show you how to edit. And so I started editing his footage. And I got that bug again. And I went, Oh, I forgot. I forgot how much I loved forgot you look at this was really what felt like my original purpose. And let go of your dream to be the first male waiter at Hooters. very progressive, very brave. And so yeah, so the light bulb just kind of went back off. And this was also the time that DSLR started shooting video like the five D era. Any filmmaker that came up around my time one knows the 5g era and how that changed everything. And that's when the barriers to entry to making great looking content dropped. When I was coming up. I had a Canon dv camera. And Google was not what it was now and YouTube and tutorials were not what they are now. So I was calling Apple support at like 13 and 14 going Hey, my final cut on my iBook won't do this. What am I doing wrong? And they would talk to me for hours walk me through stuff. Try this. Try that. And so coming back to being a junior in college knee deep in this hospitality career, this cooking career now I had left Hooters, I worked for my first chef at a restaurant called pine 22. I wanted to go work at her flagship restaurant called rusty spoon, I went and trailed there. She said, you don't have the skills, but you can go work at my fancy burger shop, learn everything you need to know. And then you can come here if you want to, needless to say that didn't work out ended up at White Wolf cafe with a bunch of guys that were really really incredible cooks had been cooking their whole lives a really good chef who really inspired me, but poor ownership and poor management, quite honestly. And so I had been three restaurants back to back with bad management and they completely burned me out on the industry completely burned me out. And so anyway, so so I got a DSLR I started shooting video then I was like I'm all in on video. I'm going back, I'm pulling the plug. And so now I'm like finishing my junior year of college entering my senior year of college. I'm supposed to be going this one way. I said Listen, I'm too late to switch majors. I'm going to finish strong in this program. But essentially I'm going to just start doing content on the side and see where it goes. So I got to
Jeff Sterns 18:56
apply for a job to be a NASCAR video guy.
Brett Ramker 18:59
I'm getting there. And so then towards the end of my senior year in college, I had done a bunch of stuff. I had taken a job shooting nightclubs, I was shooting like family photos. I was shooting wedding videos, I stumbled upon the opportunity to do West Walker's wedding video and Aspen which was a felt like a really big deal at the time. And I mean, it's a celebrity thing, whatever it was, but it was still a wedding video. It was an incredible opportunity and a lot of fun. Thank you guys for letting me do that. I had no I had no business doing that. And they let me do it and they ended up being happy with what I made. But I had like no business taking that job looking back on it. It's actually like preposterous. So then this is what happened. This is when everything changed. I knew I had to start monetizing my new career because I was leaving school and I needed to have a job I needed a way to make income. I think I had started working at Apple part time selling computers at this point, which was a phenomenal job. So much fun. And I was in one of my senior level classes at Rosen and the HR manager from Tony Roma's came in and gave a present Whatever. And I approached him after the presentation and I just said, Hey, man, my name is Brett, this is what I do. This is my background, this is what I'm doing now. If there's any opportunity within your organization, if you guys need content, or you need help, or you need anything, just let me know. And I would love to talk to you about it, because I'm really impressed by your presentation. And he said, It's funny, you should say that this guy's the director of HR for Tony Roma's, which is a medium sized restaurant organization, the director of HR he goes, it's funny, you should say that because me and my direct report, have this vision of converting Tony Roma's training to all video based we both have video backgrounds, to creating a recipe spec training video for every recipe on our menu and putting them on iPads at every station in the kitchen. So you don't have a recipe book. You press play, you watch the video. We've been doing this for a couple of years. But we're doing all the filming and editing and we've been looking for a way to outsource it. Do you want to talk to us about it? And I said yes, yes, absolutely. And so I went and had lunch with them. And they loved me and I loved them. And that was my first client. That was my first corporate client that paid good. They had good budget, it was appropriate for where I was at that point with my skill level and the gear I had and the ambition I had, I took over that job. So I spent probably about a week a month working on that project. It fit in with my apple schedule, and the other, you know, little odds and ends stuff. And so once I had that I was like, boom, I'm in video production. I'm doing it. This is what we're This is what I'm doing now. And so fast forward. I spent about a year doing that odds and ends freelance, working at Apple, whatever, whatever. And then I blew my knee out wakeboarding like an idiot. I was kind of lost. I moved home for a little while. And while I was basically Couch Surfing at my parents house, I started No, no, no, I'm telling the story wrong. My dad has a family friend that works for NASCAR. His dad, this guy, Matt, my dad's friend, are really old friends. My dad calls me out of the blue one day he says Matt's dad is retiring. We're throwing him a huge retirement party, you need to drop everything you're doing, come to this party and meet this guy who works at NASCAR. He and my dad by this at this point, by the way, did not take me seriously. He was like you had a great career. You were on the precipice of a great career, and you throw it out the window to make YouTube videos. What are you doing? Like, what are you doing? And I was like, I don't know what I'm doing. But I believe in myself. And I'm 25. So I really don't care. At this point. I'm just going to figure it out. And so I went and met this guy. And he just kind of talked to me pulled me aside and talk to me for a few minutes about NASCAR productions and broadcast and the world that I wanted to be in essentially that I had not gotten to yet because there is a little bit of there's a barrier to entry to get into that club of men. Oh, I work there. Now I work on live TV. I work with NBC, I work with Fox Sports, I work with NASCAR, that's a barrier to entry from coming from, well, I make YouTube videos and wedding videos and I shoot nightclubs. There's nothing wrong with that everyone starts somewhere, there's just layers to it. And I wanted to be on that level. And so I talked to him, he explained to me what he was doing blah, blah, blah, it made me aware of the organization. So fast forward, I'm blown my knee out, I'm bumming around Palm Harbor, I'm living in my parents house, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I'm running out of savings. I'm on hold with my job at Apple because I, I've just blown my knee out. And I've got to learn how to walk again. And luckily, my parents were able to help me out and give me a place to crash for a while. So I'm literally just on their couch browsing LinkedIn. And I start to see NASCAR jobs. And so I hit this guy, Matt up and I say, Hey, you know, are any of these jobs worth applying for? And he's like, Listen, I'm not going to be the guy that gets you in here. But you know, those are good jobs, and they would be related to what I do. So I started applying for jobs, applying for jobs, applying for jobs applying for jobs. That goes on for like six months, I go back to Orlando, I go back to what I was doing. And then it took about six or eight months and I got hired, I got hired into an entry level technical support job called post help. The people that ran the production department had no faith that I could ever be a competent producer. They wouldn't even hire me as a production assistant for $28,000 a year, which is like a throwaway job, they wouldn't hire me to do that. I had enough of a body of work to justify getting that position. And I found out later that the guy that ran that team was a dick, and only hired people he could keep under his thumb. And I probably gave off the impression that I was not going to be one of those people that I was going to get in there and be like, well, what are we doing? What can we do? What can we do that will do this? Then let's change everything, right? So I got into a job in tech support. Because the guy was like, Listen, you understand how to make content and you understand how to fix computers for my work at Apple, and I can teach you everything else. I just need someone who's friendly and approachable to coach these dumb producers who won't follow our workflow through, you know, being able to cut edits without their computers crashing all the time. And I said, that's fine. I'm happy to do that. And so that's how I got started there. And then from there, I just weaseled around until I found the guy who was producing everything for emsa Jason Jacobson, who was a dear friend and he kind of took me under his wing and I got to my leadership team under him who I'm still very close with. I went on a job with them two weeks ago. And that's basically how I got my foot in the door. That's it. It's a very long convoluted journey.
Jeff Sterns 25:11
Thank you very much for giving us the cliffsnotes. Yeah. It's amazing, though, because people got a wonder for sure. So really, anyone trying to follow in your footsteps? First of all, make sure you get invited to the right retirement party? Yeah, I
Brett Ramker 25:25
definitely had I had a couple things happen to me that put me in the right place at the right time. But that's that the adage, right, that luck is when opportunity meets preparation.
Jeff Sterns 25:35
Listen, it doesn't matter. People say Oh, it's because he knew somebody. I mean, look, I've gotten a lot of things done in my life, because I know somebody you wouldn't be here right now if we didn't know each other. Right? Right. I feel lucky to have you here. But in the end, if you weren't the guy, if you weren't the candidate, it doesn't matter. Right? Yeah, doesn't matter at all. And they're happy to
Brett Ramker 25:52
sit in 2020. in corporate America, I'm not checking any boxes, okay? If I get hired somewhere, I'm subtracting, you know, from a list, and they're gonna need to backfill me take that, whatever, it's fine. It's totally fine. But oh, you're a car freak.
Jeff Sterns 26:09
You know, you've honored and mentioned your dad and mom a number of times in this video, which just makes me love you more. Because I just love how you want to put your gratitude and appreciation where it belongs. That's a wonderful trait to see your parents get credit for that and you get credit for developing yourself. So I'm really impressed. One of the things you can't talk about so much with your dad is cars. That's true. So I want you to think about go and you're into cars. And you know, you made this amazing feature film, you know, that we talked about in the beginning about the Concorde. elegance. I want you to think about mentors in your life. I want you to think about who you look up to who steered you who guide you who you want to be like, who said and did the right thing, who is kind of extra cool, who you can count on and then I want you to think about why is it me?
Brett Ramker 26:57
I was wondering how overt this ask was going to be but this is actually true. This is this is not even backhanded. This is true. So we moved Sutherland drive when I was probably eight. And my grandpa my mom's dad was a car salesman, Cadillac, if I recall right? Cadillac, he was a Cadillac man, his whole career not not with Cadillac, his whole career, but West Palm Beach, high volume, Cadillac Dealer, Mercedes, luxury cars. So he always talked to me about cars, and always made sure I subscription to Motor Trend and Car and Driver. And that was kind of where it started. But then when we moved to Sutherland drive, and you guys became friends with my parents and we started coming to holiday parties and hanging out you didn't have kids yet. And you kind of took an interest in May. And you were doing in a wholesome way, in a wholesome way, by the way, but basically you were helping demit build you know their luxury car brand and you I think you had brought them a lot of those sports car brands I think you helped them bring in I remember Ferrari was on the building at one point and Range Rover and Land Rover and then Bentley you had that big release party with the Continental GT. So you were very much in the luxury and sports car game. And I think that along the way, you had figured out that I was kind of interested in cars and I was reading Car and Driver Motor Trend and maybe we just had some conversations I don't remember specifically but what I do remember specifically is maybe like once a month or so here comes a Ferrari 360 Modena target top and Jeff's like, hey, let's go for a ride. Let's go do 100 miles an hour on Belcher and I'm like, What?
Jeff Sterns 28:32
I don't know what you're talking about. Yeah, what?
Brett Ramker 28:34
Of course we would never break the speed limit. This is crazy. Look f1 transmission, it shifts itself blah, blah, blah. And so you kind of really started exposing me I remember one time my mom and I came over to the dealership and you took us for a ride on the the Range Rover proving ground. And so that was my first exposure to those cars in person. And yeah, that was huge. And then boats too obviously you always had cool boats you had to go fast boat when we first moved there. And then you had a big offshore boat for a while and teaching me to clean the boat. That was my job on Sundays 20 bucks clean the big offshore boat and you always give me a harass me about water spots on the windshield, which I thought was funny. So yeah, so I was just kind of like this kid that hung around but also you would take me I remember and I don't know if it was like a function of childcare. You just wanted to be like what's what's kids out? Like? what's what's that? Like? Let's try that out and just take me like on field trips would go to like Home Depot, and then that like Jewish deli? I think it's like on klostermann and 19 lucky deal that Okay, so that was lucky deal now on 19. Yeah, so lucky deal. And I'd be surprised
Jeff Sterns 29:36
it's not so Jewish. It's the best you'll find in our area. You're right. New York.
Brett Ramker 29:41
Wow. What is this wacky What are these big sandwiches? This is crazy. And you're just like yucking it up with half the waitstaff so yeah, so definitely you were definitely a big influence specifically with cars and kind of help continue to develop my interest in them. And then, for me first, I went from sports cars and then I was the Fast and Furious generation. My cousin took me to see that movie when I was like 12 or 13. That blew my mind. Then it was all Super Street and tuner mag, and Japanese tuner cars and then full circle learning about sports car racing, working with NASCAR and not even knowing that emsa existed or that it was a thing I literally when I worked at NASCAR, I walked into an edit bay one day, and this is how I met my former boss Jason, for a technical support issue. And he's got Porsche GT three cutdown show on the monitor that they're working on to deliver to CBS Sports Network or wherever that airs. And I'm like, What are these Porsches? And they're like, Oh, those are gt three cup cars. And I'm like, they're What? And he's like, yeah, you know, I produce him, son. I'm like, what, what is that? And I'm like, oh, Lamborghinis and Ferraris with spoilers and bodykit and arrow. Oh, they make race. These are race cars. Oh, prototypes, and then I was like sports car racing. And then I just went down the rabbit hole from there and never really came back out. How
Jeff Sterns 30:57
could you not?
Brett Ramker 30:57
Yeah, I honestly I don't know. And that's what it was. It was always the most frustrating thing working on that series. Like when you watch sports car racing and I watch every I watch Formula One IndyCar NASCAR lower series, NASCAR dirt track modifieds. I go to my local short track here in Tampa, and in my parents place in Georgia sports car, everything. And I really don't think that there's anything that beats the competition of sports car racing, in terms of pure auto racing. So as a racing fan, and as a producer working on that series, I could never wrap my head around how we could not get the viewership up around that series, just purely off of the sex appeal of the cars. I mean, you look at the Ferrari 488 gtlm car, the full factory spec racecar, and you go that is the sexiest thing I have ever seen. How do people not want to watch this and then not only is it sexy sitting there, it's gonna go out and bang doors with a Porsche 911 RSR for two hours and 40 minutes at daytona. It's it's more interesting to me on the homogenized, same body different stickers. Hey, and I'm in headlights. That's the thing about sports car racing is you it's it's it's multi layered, you know, and stock car racing. You have the competition and the drivers and you know, watching a pack of 40 cars with restrictor plates at daytona bank doors at 200 miles an hour. And you know, Ryan newman almost died last year and all these things and it's so exciting and so visceral. You have that same thing in sports car racing, but you have the additional layer of each car is different. I mean, rear wheel drive, oh, not well, not all wheel drive, but mid engine, rear engine, front engine. Oh, this is more of a GT style car. This is a low supercar, you know the difference between you know the BMW ma that they're getting ready to finish campaigning this year. It's a big bodied heavy GT style car racing the Ford GT, which is basically a prototype and you're like, they're competitive. It depends on the track. You know, Watkins Glen, that Ford GT really works because it's a fast track on the street circuits where you can fill up the corners with that big body, BMW and you got it's got a lot of horsepower on the straights and nothing can get around it. You know, it just depends on on where you're racing and what you're racing. So
Jeff Sterns 33:07
Well, I think I would be more interested in NASCAR. If it was back to that
Brett Ramker 33:11
back to what it used to be.
Jeff Sterns 33:13
Yeah. When it was the car, the body the right engine.
Brett Ramker 33:16
Right, right. Yeah. And that's what it came from. And they're they're kind of finding their way back. They're trying to figure out what to do with the competition and everything, but they just got it to your point. So homogenized for a while that if you unless you were really really into it and understood all the intricacies, you wouldn't find the competition. Exciting, but I mean, I don't watch football because I don't understand all the intricacies and I don't find the competition exciting. You know what I mean? So I get that right.
Jeff Sterns 33:42
But when I but I like watching, you know, with my son, some old NASCAR races, when it could be a boxtop 63 galaxy or fairly, you know, whatever again, and this is the year they had this engine, but then the engine was outlawed because and you know, it snuck it in and homologation I mean, that's interesting to me. Oh, absolutely. Not just a different decal on the same body.
Brett Ramker 34:07
Yeah, cuz Jr. Johnson put a you know, a fuel line in a fuel fill line in it that's a half an inch wider in diameter and got a quarter of a gallon more gas in the tank, you know, until they figured it out. Stuff like that.
Jeff Sterns 34:19
Let's talk about a little of the sexiness. And I don't just mean the mustache. I mean, we're bringing it back. And by the way, it wasn't hard to hang out with you and do stuff with you. I mean, I always like kids anyway. But it wasn't like a matter of figuring out if you like cars or seeing if you like cars, if I'd pull up the street, in whatever car and you are outside, you are over.
Yeah, that's true in one day,
Jeff Sterns 34:44
so it was it you know, after that it wasn't a big deal for me to drive three doors down when I was idling down the street to see if I can get you to take a look at it. By the way. I want to clarify, officially you said that we had Ferrari. We actually only had Cadillac Land Rover rolls Bentley and Lotus franchise at the time. Lotus.
Brett Ramker 35:05
What? Where did those Ferraris come from? Because those Oh, I mean, I remember,
Jeff Sterns 35:08
you know, who knows that might have one of the Ferrari guys from Tampa Bay here on the podcast and whichever other dealer in the nation, but I don't know and I don't think anyone will tell me but I think that I had something to do with the Ferrari franchise making it to Tampa Bay because we were selling so many used title a week ago titled A month ago at mile Ferrari's into the market at one time, I believe I don't know this to be true. I'd have to look up registrations, but the rumor was that we were selling more cars even into Orlando than the Orlando franchise, which that same fellow opened in Palm Harbor for Tampa Bay.
Brett Ramker 35:45
Yeah, cuz Palm Harbor is supposed to be like the bridge between like Sarasota and Orlando, right?
Jeff Sterns 35:50
No, it's not a no, it's not on the way that would probably be like St. Pete ish. Right, right. Thinking about the bridges and whatever. with Ferrari, it almost doesn't matter where you're located. I don't think that Palm Harbor Ferrari Tampa Bay is in like the ideal location for traffic or whatever. Because when you're dealing with an exotic car buyer, first of all, well, backing up when I had demott running on eight cylinders. In exotic cars, we were doing about 300 of those a year, which was a big deal, because when we bought the franchise, it would did one in three years. And from the prior dealer, and my first year, once we took it over that I was dedicated, we did about 100 in a year. So getting up to 325 cars a month was a big deal. In a one a day that you're open is a big deal. It was really just a Pre Owned car, the used car for you. I mean, it was an 80 mile title a week ago or a month ago, Ferrari but when you develop a client base, it's just what they want. Right? So we're just going out and getting it I mean, and in the car business, we have something called inventory turn, you might have something like that in restaurant where the number of times you could turn your inventory per month, typical dealer turns their inventory every 60 days. So if they're selling 50 us cars a month, they probably have 100 in stock. Got it we were selling about, well, they weren't all us, but we were selling say 20 ish, USD, a month out of about an eight car inventory. Wow. So we were turning it two to three times a month.
Brett Ramker 37:20
So you're not only sourcing them sourcing the next car, getting it in there.
Jeff Sterns 37:24
Well, that was the reason we mainly went out and got what somebody want. But where I got off on my tangent was it doesn't matter where the dealerships located. And I would say it double doesn't matter where a Ferrari dealerships located. Because in our case, when we were selling 25 cars a month, we might have met a customer in person. Hi, number five of those, it was mainly telephone, it was mainly shipping transporting, bringing in trades. I mean, I mean, at one time, we'd sold more cars in Detroit than the Detroit dealer only because we'd gotten into a beehive of somebody that referred a whole bunch of people in their industry. And there it goes. But with Ferrari, with the typical new vehicle on about a one and a half year waiting list. And people paying premiums to get one sooner and buying multiple cars to finally be able to buy one at sticker on a regular waiting list in all of that business. It kinda doesn't matter where you are in even in the Pre Owned market where people aren't on a waiting list that you're in a normal competition there. It's still that shipping and that sort of thing. Right. So that one didn't, but we didn't have the Ferrari franchise. I just wanted to.
Brett Ramker 38:29
Yeah, that makes sense. I remember I just remember those cars specifically. But you might
Jeff Sterns 38:34
have seen Lamborghini, you might have seen certain Jaguar you might have seen. lotuses Mercedes. Well, we had the Lotus franchise. Yep. As a matter of fact, so sexiness. You've been some places you are with NASCAR. And I think Michelin,
Brett Ramker 38:49
I did a lot of work with Michelin as freelance. So with them, I went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018. Maybe I went to rennsport with Porsche, Porsche and rennsport with Michelin, and then also went to lamal with Michelin, and then I did a year of a show called the torque show with Justin Bell and Tommy candle as their technical basically technical director. I built their set up for their show every week, got them on the air, and then also helped produce shooting produced some features for them. But that was all through Michelin as well. And that was just
Jeff Sterns 39:23
What does freelance mean, you fly there on your own dime, you make the films and then you try to sell it to him?
Brett Ramker 39:28
No, no, no freelances you, I'm a hired gun. So So right now I'm a freelance producer. So you can hire me or use me in a myriad of ways I can shoot a little bit. It really just depends on the scope of the project. So if you have a small budget, then I may come out and shoot the project for you by myself and maybe bring in like a sound guy and a lighting guy. If you have zero budget, I can fly in by myself and do it as what we call a one man band. I'm trying to get out of doing that. Trying to move towards projects that have better resources, which is really where you start to make really good work. You can hire me as a person Producer, which means I'm a person with an idea and some money, but no idea how to put together a project or how to make it good. And I can say, Okay, so this is what we're going to do, let's see how much money you have. Okay, cool, that can buy you this level of production. If you want to do this level of production, it'll cost a little bit more money, I'll get the whole crew hired, I'll get the whole crew to your location, I'll get your project shot, I'll bring it back, I'll manage post production, I'll make sure you know the project that we shot for you fits within what your vision was for it, and then I'll get it delivered to wherever it needs to go. So you can hire me in a handful capacities, I can do shoots, I can manage full production, from start to finish, I can come out and just you know, pull cable, or operate a camera, or I can do edits and post production. It just it really depends on on what people need. For me, my goal and my career and where I'm going is to be a full time producer, meaning that I'm hands on. But I'm building the team and organizing the team. Rather than filling an individual role like a camera operator, or a dp or an editor. And I may do those things like we were talking about with the documentary, I produced that they came to me with an idea they wanted to do coverage of this event, I was partnered with the production company that was doing the live streaming show and my partner and I decided he was more live focused, I was more post focused. So we decided it would make more sense if he 100% manage the live show, I 100% manage the documentary project. So they brought me that project, they brought me a budget, I hired the crew, I picked the crew, I brought the crew flew them out, booked all their travel, got the job shot figured out, you know, who was going to be in it with the director and the museum, obviously, because we wanted them to have a say and make sure there was continuity for what they were after. And then got the project through post. So I operated a camera on that project while producing it. I was one of the three editors that edited the film. And then I did what we call the online edit, which is essentially the final edit. So we've got the story laid out, we've got everything here. Let's make it perfect and polished. And then I did the color grade and the delivery to to millcreek, which is the distribution company that then sends it to the network's
Jeff Sterns 42:07
said, well, that should really be your resume now. I mean, best in class, phenomenal movie, I've shared it with a couple people, as I told you and a couple are like, that's what I want in my project. So we need some people to see that for sure. It's beautiful.
Brett Ramker 42:21
We we tried to approach that concor world and it's surprising because for as much money as much money as there is tied up in that concor world and you can you know, kind of speak to the levels of, of wealth that people have that own those cars that are concor cars. Yeah, Pebble Beach, obviously one of the greats, you know, I just haven't seen any compelling or interesting content. In the documentary space. I've seen some good live shows, I've seen some decent cut down shows of the event from the live broadcast. But in terms of pure documentary about these events, I really haven't seen much. And so we wanted to really approach that storytelling from a different perspective and not go all in, we didn't want to go all in on the cars and the competition. We wanted that to be the wallpaper of the film, you're gonna see the cars, you're gonna see the competition, it's inevitable. We don't need to tell you every single detail about every minute of this cars restoration and what engine COVID has. That's interesting to 1% of the audience. We wanted to watch this film, when the director john and i sat down and we started really hashing out what we wanted to do with this film. The the objective that we had was to make a film that our moms could watch and enjoy. And our moms both lose track of their cars in the grocery store parking lot. They do not care about cars, they're not interested. They literally I mean, I can't tell you how little they care about cars, the emotional connection to the car into the restoration experience into fathers and sons and Yep, I'm sure after we were after what's the human what's the humanity females to there were female. I didn't mean you know, fathers. Yeah. Family members love. Yeah. And co hankow. You know, she, and she tells the story. I mean, she was, you know, she's hanko is probably in her late 50s or early 60s. So, you know, she really was part of the era of when women weren't treated so nicely, and especially in circles of her dad was a factory worker and she's working on cars with him and all his friends are like, what are you doing in the garage? Why are you here? And she's like, I love cars. And they had that amazing. The little roadster I forget exactly what it right.
Jeff Sterns 44:27
I'm picturing it now to
Brett Ramker 44:29
a little red car. I forget. It's something extremely rare. And then it was even rare because it had a motor in it that was built by a boat company.
Jeff Sterns 44:37
That's right. Yeah, that's right. It was doing the high performance in boards.
Brett Ramker 44:41
But that was the point. The point was that we wanted to we wanted to really get into why people are into cars, what makes them so into cars, and this is what I grew up with. You know, this is what I knew, in my heart of hearts. keeps me coming back to watching car content and going to car shows and reading car magazines. Is there some thing that I connect so deeply with to them. And if you wanted to talk about, you know, my lineage or whatever it would be, you know, riding in Ferraris with you, it would be talking about Motor Trend with my grandpa, but really, I just love cars,
Jeff Sterns 45:13
where have you so I want you to hit me from two different angles, top two or three places. You've been just exotic, just locale, just geography, whatever. And top two or three places because of something that happened or what was happening.
Brett Ramker 45:27
Yeah, so number one, my number one place that I got to go to regularly was Monterey, California. And the Big Sur area. Yep, that whole coast. So we had an MC race there every year at now formerly Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca now was a Raceway Laguna Seca, but Laguna Seca. So we had an annual trip there. And then I got to go to Monterey car week a few years ago with the audrain Museum. They were showing a they actually have a Michael Schumacher formula, one Ferrari in their collection. So they were showing it there at Casa Ferrari. So we went to tell that story. So geographically, Monterey, for my favorite place that cars had in my career has brought me experience wise. Oh, and also rennsport at Laguna Seca. So that's tucked in there as well. Experience wise it was a llama. Absolutely. I got to go to Lima with Michelin to tell the story of the North American Porsche program that raced in emsa. They were going so every year, Porsche brought the European team mathy racing that races in the World Endurance Championship, obviously, they're shoo ins for a llama, and then see proton and the GTM teams. And so this year, I think it was for Porsches, maybe 70th anniversary or something. They brought the American team as well, to go and race and note and those were the guys that we were with every weekend at the races. And so that was for Michelin, and that was my last year on staff at NASCAR. So I was at the pinnacle of what I was doing with my career there. I was as deep as I ever got in sports, car racing. And in that culture in that world and those paddocks and then I was also it was where my career was kind of coming to a head in in its next juncture as I made the jump to where I am now, which is full time freelance and running my own business. I had taken every hour of PTO time from NASCAR that year to go on jobs. And that was the year I went to rennsport. And then was Lamar was the big one. And I was there for about 10 days with Michelin. And to be there to be at Lamar was so much hype around them, I always wanted to go, finally getting to go getting to go behind the scenes with this team that I knew well. I was familiar with the guys, they're great guys are having beer with the crew guys every night and the drivers are cool. We know them, we spent time with them. And I mean, even if I got to go back to LA again, in some type of other capacity, I don't think it would match that experience because it was it was just special. from so many on so many different levels. Well, it's
Jeff Sterns 47:53
funny how the memory works. When I was doing our conversation with Derek bell. And talking about the hospitality tent part was nice, where we were in the food and the slot car racing and me sitting outside with the guy that had been tailgating for three days and not showered or shaved and been drinking the whole time watching the beginning of the race. And I said when the guys all run to their cars and jump in and go and he goes, You didn't see that mate. And I'm like, What do you mean, I tell everyone that was my favorite part.
Brett Ramker 48:26
Now they haven't done that. He says, when I
Jeff Sterns 48:29
when I first raced Lamar in 70, we didn't do it, because you had to have your seatbelt on, and you hit your starter when the light hit. So it's kind of like and I told him that it's like when they interview, bank robbery witnesses why they get a different story from everyone. Different composite drawing of the bad guy ever since I was there for the Bentley debut. I always imagine everyone running to their car. So I probably wasn't watching. I was probably already like leaving, you know, off the tour pairs. I only stayed the first hour in the last hour. By the way. Now you said you know being there was great. But if you were just a normal and a spectator spot, and you only got to see your car come around every four and a half minutes. Interesting or not interesting. Well, and this is where I know you're not that much of a race fan, which is okay. It's not for everyone. I would find a camping spot near one of the screens so I could see the live feed. Well, I'm kind of a race fan. I mean, you're the St. Pete background. I took my wife and sons to St. Pete Grand Prix a couple times. We drove. We went to the parking garage nearby looked out from the roof between the two buildings. I know I watched probably at least 1012 minutes before we left. Yeah. But telling you that the place across the street.
Brett Ramker 49:40
Yeah. So And to your point, you know, going to a race. And that's that's what's so different about the experience of going to a sports car race versus going to NASCAR you know, if you have a good seat, a pie at daytona or Martinsville or Bristol. You can see every you can see the whole race you see where all the cars are where they're going because it's an oval, right? If you go to Road America, that's a, like 3.8 mile circuit. To your point you're gonna see him come flashing through whether you're at Canada corner, or your turn one or your carousel, you know, you're gonna see him come flashing through. So sports car racing is much more about wandering around and getting drunk and seeing, you know, all of the vendors and now all the manufacturers bring their cars and have these great activations back to Road America eating a bratwurst or 10 of them vendor area. Right, right, right. You know, if you're at Sebring going to Green Park and seeing all the weirdos over there. And you know, those races like Sebring, it's an endurance. So it's a 12 hour race. It's really an 18 hour day of partying, you know, and they start they start drinking in about eight or nine o'clock in the morning and go, you know, well past midnight, but
Jeff Sterns 50:47
I went to petite llama was Celine. Oh, yeah, it when Celine was talking to us about taking on their franchise, which
Brett Ramker 50:54
was probably driving that car at that point, who just retired from Corvette you wouldn't know but he probably was he drove ASCE seven. So when so? Yep. And I went to a movie.
Jeff Sterns 51:08
It was at Road Atlanta. I remember going to a movie and then when I came back, everyone's like, yeah, where are you been at the other end? Yeah, the other end?
Brett Ramker 51:15
I've been here the whole time. Isn't this great? Yeah, yeah. Sounds Lord. Oh, it like I nerd out on it. I wander around. And even as a you know, going now as a spectator, I probably look at what's going on at the racetrack a little differently. Your average fan, as you probably do, if you walked onto a car, lot to buy a car. Exactly right. You look around and you know exactly what's going on. You can pick out who's who what they're doing, is working like, now I always enjoy it.
I still enjoy
Brett Ramker 51:44
Jeff Sterns 52:26
You're the tour guide.
Brett Ramker 52:27
I can I know a little bit now. And what's fun is so I can speak to kind of the track operations and specifically television and then my dad's buddy Joe raced forever and really knows that style of racing so he can tell us all the intricacies of what they're doing with the car and how the pit operations work and all that kind
Jeff Sterns 52:46
of stuff. New not racecars. Not necessarily a crazy sports car. What cars do you like right now?
Brett Ramker 52:54
So I just bought I bought a GTI this year, just one of the best cars you can get for that money. It is so it they Volkswagen and i and i think this I haven't driven the older gt eyes, I have what they call a mark 7.5 which is 2018 and up and with that generation, they got the golf RS brake so it has big brakes. I think it's about a 280 horsepower car six speed. It's it's a little heavier, it's German, so I think it's like 3300 pounds. But would that mq be common chassis that they got when they merged with outtie? They have that car so figure it out. I mean, it does not drive like a front wheel drive car. No torque steer, no torque steer
with the stick?
Brett Ramker 53:36
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I've tried to find it. I can't find it. I got I got it to understeer once up, and hiawassee coming into there. So my parents have a place up in North Georgia near hiawassee. There's incredible driving roads up there. The pavement is exceptional, just winding and it's really where you can roll like second and third gear and just really see what those see what sports cars can do, you know, safely not anything absolutely outrageous. But I was coming into a little bit of a hairpin and I just said let's see really how good these brakes are. And I finally found a little bit of understeer, like full lock, it just wouldn't turn. And then I finally got it slowed down and it turned I was like okay, there it is. Let's not do that again. Okay, we're gonna just go home now. I really liked the new Supra. I'm really upset that they don't have a six speed option. I listen. Don't at me. I know DSG is faster. I know. Those I know the automated manuals are faster. Okay. I work in racing. That's what it's in the race cars now. There is nothing more satisfying than pushing the clutch don't at me won't change my mind. I don't care. I don't want to hear it period. Cars are about feeling they're about emotion.
Jeff Sterns 54:43
If I have two manual transmission cars, I read the manual I mean with the new visceral experience
Brett Ramker 54:48
with the new Corvette. We talked to the program manager and the lead engineers with emsa and did a bunch of content with them when that car was getting ready to come out the car I'm talking about. They said it would cost To us too much money to get the manual transmission through the regulators for us to do it. And I said, that is the most unAmerican thing I've ever heard of in my entire life. That is ridiculous. So
Jeff Sterns 55:13
well you know it is sorry you know Ferrari did it a while back and
Brett Ramker 55:16
listen, you can't match the performance and and actually Oh the shift speed it's you know it's right and but but also can't match the feeling of being able to properly heel toe downshift and come into a corner and get it exactly without Herky jerky and the brakes and smoothly downshift. I mean, like that's, it's a dying skill. And so when I went to go buy my car because Volkswagen and with the GTI brand, that's such an iconic three pedal car. You know, they're committed to it, but I wanted to reinforce You know, there is demand in the market for three pedal cars, and Porsche To that end, you know, they went all they went all in on what do they call they call, there's PDK but they're all the same thing. hydraulically. actuated, manual transmissions, they call theirs PDK. I think they went all in on PDK. And then their customers are like, hold on a second. No, no, you've got to have a couple cars with a three pedal and so I think they brought it back with the Cayman GTs. And then I think now one of the 911 you can get it as well. But like the 911 GT threes, now forget about it. You're not getting a three pedal on those anymore.
Jeff Sterns 56:19
Well, that actually impacted my shopping list on the makes that I would buy.
Brett Ramker 56:23
Oh, really? Yeah. So
Jeff Sterns 56:24
when I needed to switch, add a car for my wife and having a baby a little, you know, SUV ish thing. I needed an extra car. So when my BMW lease was ending for me, I needed to get something that I get still at least like a little. Yeah, that's how I ended up in the manual at first. My son Jackson, who's Mr. 71 slam Ford. And knows everything back the Flathead v as you know, whatever.
Brett Ramker 56:50
He's a proper Hot Rod guy.
Jeff Sterns 56:51
I didn't want to say what he called me because it's politically incorrect. But once he saw that it was a stick and now everyone wants to borrow it. You know, I mean, for sure makes driving a pleasure makes driving.
Brett Ramker 57:01
It's fun. Like the first couple weeks I had my gt I was like, I really committed to this. I'm like, Okay, and now I'm like, I love it. I don't pick my phone up in the car. I don't use my phone in the car. I'm just driving. But so the new Supra I love the new super. I think they did a great job. I can't wait to see the GT three version racing. I wish they had a six speed option, but it is what it is. I still love tuner cars. I'm really disappointed Subaru hasn't continued with a wr x or si hatchback option, I probably would have gone that way over a GTI if they would have still had one getting up into the little bit higher end cars. I absolutely love the GT four came in. I think that's probably the best value you could get out of a Porsche a newer Porsche. So much driving experience so much fun for not not an incredible amount of money. What else is good? I love the new defender. I hated it on paper. I saw pictures of it. And I was like that's not a defender. This is bullshit. That looks like a Range Rover. I don't want anything to do with it. And then there's a forest green or whatever they call their kind of military green color one in my neighborhood. And I thought and I was like, Oh, no, that is a defender is needed to see it in person. And on paper. It doesn't. It doesn't look right the about Bronco love Bronco. I think that they really so we'll see because Ford, you know, some sometimes Ford's follow through isn't great. So we'll see once we actually see him on the street. But the thing that I loved about what they did with the new Bronco, it's uncompromising, and it's off road capabilities. And that's what that vehicle supposed to be, you know if it rides like a piece of shit going down the highway, but it's incredible. And the dunes, that's what it's supposed to be. And the second thing that they did that I'm a really big fan of, is they created a really basic entry level one, which is the same philosophy that Subaru and Toyota did with the BRC FRS, they said, Listen, we're gonna build a car, that's a platform. And that it's, it's up to you to modify and do what you want with and you can buy a, I mean, cheap, relatively cheap, right? What is, but you can buy a cheaper one that's that the idea is, it's a base for you to modify for you to do with what you want. And then of course through you know, the, the brand they've built with for performance. They have a huge amount of factory support and accessories and if you have the cash, you know, you can leave for the Ford dealership with a 60 or $70,000 off road monster without having to take it to a third party, you know, shop.
Jeff Sterns 59:26
I mean, really that's the range of the original small Broncos.
Brett Ramker 59:29
Right? Yeah, it's
Jeff Sterns 59:30
a little male Jeep wheels and yeah, I pan wheel covers Yeah,
Brett Ramker 59:35
yeah, I mean, so they did I mean real I'm actually Ford is really winning me back I drove a Focus RS My friend has a Focus RS that was fun to drive. It does have incredible torque, steer and understeer, front wheel drive, you know, classic front wheel drive behavior, but it was fun to drive. I love the new Mustangs I would never buy one because I'm not a guy that would do a burnout leaving car meet and run into a tree. And I think that's a fear Was it of owning a Mustang as far as I'm concerned? So, you know, it is what it is. But those Gt 350 rs, I mean, that is a capable track car. And what Ford did that was so smart was, you know, they they have really embraced sports car racing. So they have a GT four homologated Mustang that races in the lower MC series. It's called the Michelin Pilot challenge and that car is a monster. I mean, it is a monster. It sounds and looks like a problem proper muscle car. But it goes door to door the McLaren's Lamborghinis and GT for trim Porsches and GT for trim and wins races, you know, on its merits a big heavier, bigger front wheel drive, big horsepower, VA, you know, American muscle car. So I love what the during the bat I loved what they did with the Ford GT I was really sorry to see it go. It's not racing anymore. They pulled the program, there's some speculation they're going to come back with the new lm d h hybrid prototype because they want to go win overall law. They built that gt to go win law, they did it. Now they want to go win overall, Porsche is coming back out, he's coming back, there's going to be another era, another incredible era of prototype racing coming in the next three years. If the wheels stay on the global economy. We'll see about that. If you're allowed to go watch in person or Yeah, but I mean, you know what, man, like NASCAR had the best ratings it's had in 10 years this year, to be honest, I mean, they were the first sport back and they did huge numbers because people were so desperate to watch live sports on TV. So Darlington in those first handful of races, and then they I mean, they had a really good year this year for television. And it's a it's a real shame that they can't that there can't be fans there though because, and they started doing they started doing kind of limited access towards the end of the year, depending on what state The race was in. But it's not. It's not like what it was, it's going to be a long time before you see 100,000 people on their feet on the front stretch of Daytona. Unfortunately,
Jeff Sterns 1:01:54
I think the list might be too long. So I don't even know if I should ask this. Okay, I want you to like ask who have you met, but I think you've met everyone.
Brett Ramker 1:02:03
I've met a lot of people. I haven't really met any like, in my career. I haven't really met any like ala celebrities. Most of the people that I've met have been, you know, iconic racing drivers. I mean, I worked for Tommy Kendall for two years. And if you know if you're really into American Racing, then you know who TK is. Not a lot of people know who he is because trans-am never really became the biggest thing out there. But he was one of the most talented racecar drivers in those early trans-am cars. And I believe he had, I believe he had a season of either a perfect or a near perfect season where he won either every race or almost every race but an incredibly talented driver. His career got cut short, he almost got his legs taken off in a horrific accident in a GTP car at Watkins Glen, and then his career kind of petered from there. But I mean, you know, there's footage of him. He would he was a trans-am guy, which was kind of one of the lower series for NASCAR at the time. And that's in the mid 90s when NASCAR was the biggest thing ever. He got a couple opportunities to go race in a cup car at Road tracks because he was a he was a road race Ace right so that he was the guy they would slot in. And there's footage of him you know at Watkins Glen in a cup car. Maybe Mark Martin bumping and bang with Mark Martin spins Mark Martin and gives himself a flat on his way to win the race on the last lap and then flats out and racks but so I worked with him for a couple of years, you know, worked directly with Justin. I worked with Justin for a long time and Justin is it Justin is the is just a great guy. He comes from racing royalty son of Derrick Bell, obviously and he had a he had a pretty good racing career one law with the Viper team in the 90s, mid 90s maybe ran one of my favorite livery cars ever with his dad. And I think they won the MA or almost one and on Father's Day together in the McLaren GTR Harrods livery the green one with the girl Yep, old yellow livery, which is just such a such a pretty car. And Justin is just one of Justin's one of the funniest guys you can ever be around to be honest, and
Jeff Sterns 1:04:06
he's got to be nice. The family they just seem so he's a sweetheart down to earth man.
Brett Ramker 1:04:11
You know, Justin, Justin is one of the many people that opened a lot of doors for me. You know, with Michelin, all those experiences. I talked about going to Goodwood going to rennsport. Going to Lima with Michelin, he really opened that door for me and gave me the room to walk through it. And we've worked together for a lot of years. And he is a he's a fantastic guy, really great guy to work with and go get a beer with after work and yeah, so those guys I mean all the racing drivers when I started when I started working at the track, you know, they were all like celebrities like oh, here they come, oh my god. And then you you know, you go to the banquet after party, and you're just like doing tequila shots with them and you're like, Oh, these are just these are just normal guys. I mean, okay, so Leno. Leno was in Leno, you can't be in the car. Industry anywhere. Right? I
Jeff Sterns 1:05:01
have met Leno.
Brett Ramker 1:05:02
Yeah, Leno was, I mean, he was a guy and and a sweetheart too. I mean, we worked with him pretty closely that week, we were at the audrain audrain. Yeah, doing the film. And he was one of the, one of the main character interviews for the film. And he was the brains behind the 3030 under 30 idea, that category that Coleman slotted into that was his, you know, he's like, concours have to stop being old white guys, that's his philosophy. You know, it can't just be for old rich white guys, it has to be for everyone, or this whole thing is gonna die. And these cars are gonna die because people don't care. This is kind of a side note, but one of the things that I took away from that, from being in that world for a few weeks, was most of the owners of these cars consider themselves especially the super rare stuff, you know, the coach cars in the early 30s, cars and all those things. They consider themselves stewards of the cars. So they they own them for now. But they know that they won't own them forever. And it's there. And they feel that it's their responsibility to show them to make sure the story gets told correctly to make sure the car gets kept up with and gets driven. And then to pass it on to the next person who's going to do that for it. And they treat these cars, especially most mostly with the super rare stuff. But even like Coleman and his BMW, they treat these cars like their living entities, almost which I found super, super interesting as
Jeff Sterns 1:06:29
well. And then the beautiful couple, I can't think of their names now in your film, The Pearlman's
Brett Ramker 1:06:33
with the Jaguar Perlman who said
Jeff Sterns 1:06:35
that prior owner of the car wanted it to go to someone younger. Yeah. And I guess I was we were younger than them. They were like, 83 or something.
Brett Ramker 1:06:43
Yep. Yep. They were 83. And he was 90,
right. So they qualified. Yeah.
Brett Ramker 1:06:48
Yeah, they were so cool man. And they had done they had done a ton of like rallies, right, in long distance stuff. And that car was a driver. Like to be honest. It wasn't show quality. But the whole story of it. It's an absolutely incredibly beautiful car and it just it but the thing was, is I don't I don't totally love cars that are pristine, because it looks like they don't get used. You know what I mean? Like I like a car that's got a couple scuffs on it, you know, the rims got a little scuff on it. There's a couple paint chips on the front bumper, because yeah, you blasted that thing down the highway. You took it on a rally you drove it, you know, that's what they're that's what they are meant to do. They're not actually struggling
Jeff Sterns 1:07:26
a little I don't know if I could make it in the concore. But did you know I had that yellow dune buggy. Did you ever see that? Yeah, of course. Okay. So, nada Meyers Manx. My dad had a couple Myers men you know, we all want what we grew up with. Our dads are you know, nostalgia so many many times when he was alive and then after he wasn't alive, I decided I had to get one that are 69 Lincoln Mark three these were a couple of cars we had grown up and I would go look for a dune buggy and it would either be in in boxes in Nevada or perfectly put together and too much money in Daytona or what I just never, I never did the deal. So I get back on the kick because my kids are getting a little older and I really want them to have this memory because I've got photos of me and a couple of these dune buggies and my brother and I just loved having to climb up on the tall back tire to get into the thing. It seems so high back then. So finally I'm looking at a pizza place with my sons. And I'm seeing the one in crates in Arizona. I'm seeing the $9 million one in Daytona and I'm and I can't land and then I'm driving down aldermen road next morning, and there's that thing on the side of the road. Not a Meyers Manx and I don't always love all of the knockoffs. I usually don't like the knockoffs but this is a body that I liked. And I got the car and we loved it to death and we put wheels on it and steering wheel and cool Sunbrella striped interior and made it ours and would drive it down to the beach all the time. Throw the dog in the back take windsurfer I'm sorry paddleboards on the roof and get sand in it and not care then I found a real Meyers max that's ridiculous like restored over restored and I bought it or family bought it to your point. I don't know if I'm taking it to the causeway. I don't know if I can get I mean my wife I see goes Why don't you just drive it slow on the sand I said because I the undercarriage is cleaner than the top of any car that I ever I mean, I fell in love with it because of what had been through in the history of the car and it used to be a camel colored for I forgot Air Force or army that was doing dragsters in Southern California and it was the tow car for the cammo dragsters in
Brett Ramker 1:09:36
the early 70s Myers makes
Jeff Sterns 1:09:39
ma nx Meyers Manx and actually Of course Leno did a show with him and an original Meyers Manx but Bruce Meyers was the
Brett Ramker 1:09:49
oh it's a Bruce Meyer deal. Yeah, okay. Okay.
Jeff Sterns 1:09:53
And that's how Bruce got famous. I mean, if there was ever a I think this is a Concorde dune buggy You know, this is a 1969 too nice to you know get in and out of it unless you lower yourself in with a crane so you don't accidentally scuffed the floor mat or the
side of the car
Brett Ramker 1:10:08
currently have this. It's not the yellow one you get rid of the yellow one the driver.
Brett Ramker 1:10:13
So I'm storage or is it in your garage? I'm
Jeff Sterns 1:10:16
struggling, it's in storage. I have nowhere jack we G's car in the garage, Jackson 71 Ford and the great, you know, we have cars. And then of course we have a kid that moved in with us. He asked if he could stay with us two weeks. It's I think that was two years ago. So the garage, the driveway in the garage is full. So anyway, I actually can identify I mean, I understand it's not a Duesenberg or whatever. But I can identify with, I kind of need to get the first scratch on the car, so I can enjoy it.
Brett Ramker 1:10:43
Yeah, that's a that's a tough one, man. I mean, when they are concours quality, it's a different thing. You know, you know, I've
Jeff Sterns 1:10:49
never had a trailer queen. And I think that I don't know what cars I had. When you're around. I mean, that that little hot rod.
Brett Ramker 1:10:57
But I don't know enough about those cars to know what that was. That was a fake 32 b model.
Jeff Sterns 1:11:02
It was a 31 model a with a B model front end and a flathead v eight.
Brett Ramker 1:11:09
And I remember the day you got it. You wheeled it down to my house and you were like get it and let's go drive it. You're driving and I was like, Listen, I'm 15 years old, and I've driven a suburban. What am I going to do with this thing? And you're like, Yeah, come on. Let's go. You'll figure it out.
Jeff Sterns 1:11:23
I think I had Jackson driving to school since he was 14. So I think I can't go on record there. So but the thing I loved about your feature film to the point of the Pearlman's not being a perfect car is the whole film was about the emotional connection. Right? I mean, that couple had a life around the car them each other with the car all the social connection. powers are phenomenally social. I mean, the one thing I always liked about the dune buggies is if I pull up in the dune buggy in a 10 grand driver or, or much more expensive. It's crazy. Now what they're worth in a Ferrari is at another gas pump. I'm not saying I'll get more activity, but depending on who it is, I might get more activity. Right, right coming over depending on what they remember. But you know, the cars I had growing up my very first car was a 70 I wish I had one now 78 Jeep Golden Eagle 304 v eight Levi's interior package? Yes. The gold wheels the eagle on the hood? The dual exhaust 63 vw after that? I don't know. Don't ask 75 to 80 z.
Brett Ramker 1:12:32
That's a good one. I would love to have a 280
Jeff Sterns 1:12:35
that I drove it was the first 280 so it was right after the 260 and the 240 and I drove that car straight to Detroit right when we graduated high school was just amazing. The header header header and the header would make us sound at exactly you know, I don't know pick a speed 82 we kept it right at the speed to get the header home. Oh my god. I mean 56 Plymouth Belvedere because it looked good with wind servers on top when we lived at the causeway 65 Mustang VA car 67 Cougar stick white and white. Nice car 289 302 I don't know. 62 Starfire
I don't know that
Jeff Sterns 1:13:14
394 two speed automatic tack in the center console.
Brett Ramker 1:13:18
Oh, there it is. Wow, car.
Jeff Sterns 1:13:20
Wow. Stainless on the side.
Brett Ramker 1:13:23
Yes. Oh, this is like your classic doc. What they would make a classic donkey? Yeah.
Jeff Sterns 1:13:29
When I met my ex wife 78 Corvette Pace Car 74 Corvette convertible. had those at the same time. 67 galaxy 428 air conditioning disc brakes ama track convertible. That kid I went to high school with Gus still has
Brett Ramker 1:13:46
not chick fil a Gus. Yeah. You went to high school with him? Yes. Oh, that's funny. I didn't know that.
Jeff Sterns 1:13:51
I've known him since. Like, I was 14 or something like that. When I married my first wife. I needed a car for her. He had a never used just garage car. 91 Mazda Miata, I needed a car for my wife. So we valued the Miata at I don't know, 11 grand. And we valued the galaxy for 28 at 75. So I paid him 30 $500.
He still has the galaxy. Yeah,
Brett Ramker 1:14:21
I almost bought me out. Actually, when I was in the process of thinking about buying my GTI I thought about buying a Miata because you can get one like, you can get the second generation one now, like clean manual with 40 or 50 or 60,000 for like four grand for SCCA. You're thinking kind of I was like, I'll get this thing. I'll do a little work to it. I'm just gonna have it to be my little fun car. And then I was like, I'm not gonna do that and I bought the GTI instead, but tear gas stations and actually, you know, I don't really have anything. I don't really have anything done to my GTI I got the wheels and the wheels are painted black and it's a really cool color. It's called a silver white. And it kind of changes colors. It's it looks, if you're a car guy, you would know it. It looks like Nardo gray like Porsches naroda gray. But it's a little bit more changes colors a little bit more than that does. But yeah, I mean, I'll pull into a gas station or you know, to go get takeout food and be like, Oh, is that your GTI? Like? Yes.
Do you love it?
Brett Ramker 1:15:18
Yes, I love it. I love it. You should buy one. You will love it too. It's like, you know, because people people don't really buy those cars that aren't into cars. You know?
Jeff Sterns 1:15:26
Isn't that funny? Yeah, I mean, AI is definitely an IndyCar Of course when you said you got a GTI I thought you meant like an 82
Brett Ramker 1:15:33
now and I bought that new one. They're nice now they're really nice plaid seats. No, I didn't so I went I actually went for the SEC so the SEC is a little bit nicer one because I was driving a Santa Fe Sport before that with like an all option Santa Fe Sport that I bought out somebody lease on I got a killer deal on it. And it has like, you know, like push button start. You don't have to take your the key out of your pocket to get the doors locked and unlock like all that stuff. Oh, when I was looking at the GT eyes, if you want the plaid interior, they call it tartan. If you want the tartan interior, you either have to go s which is the entry level car and that's like a keyed ignition. Key door locks, nothing, you know, nothing fancy, no real good electronics. Or you have to go for what they call the rabbit edition, which are really hard to find. Alright, so
Jeff Sterns 1:16:25
your income doubles. What are you driving?
Brett Ramker 1:16:29
I would get a Porsche for sure. But I wouldn't get a I wouldn't get a new one. I really, really want an air cooled car.
I want Yeah, I would
Brett Ramker 1:16:36
love to have I would love to have like an either like an 82 or a 90 air cooled Targa top 911 like an SC? Yeah, I would really love to have that. And I would do a little bit to it. I would stance it a little bit, I would have a little bit of motor work done to it because those cars actually don't have tons and tons of power until you get into the turbo cars. But I really like the NA stuff. If my income multiplied by 10 I would either get a singer or rod Emery car. Absolutely. We got to meet rod Emery at we got to meet rod Emery at the audrain concor and spend some time with him and his cars. And that guy is like the last of the Mohicans of car builders. I mean, he is he is custom building pieces of bodywork for those. What are those Porsches he builds? They're not in their pre 911 what's what was their original sports car?
Brett Ramker 1:17:32
Yes. 356. So he resto mods 356 bath tub? Yep. And so what he does is he does I mean, he'll do like a pure, you know, factory restoration if you want that. But the car he makes they call it an MRE special. And it's basically a resto mod. So it looks like a 356. But its stance a little bit, and it's got much better drivability, but he's known for them. He hand builds every single one he's based in LA. And then obviously, everybody knows singer now singers like the biggest thing in the aftermarket car game. But if you don't have 1.5, you're not you're not calling singer for anything. Sorry. And so I really love what he's doing. And I would I would be hard pressed to not go for one of his cars.
Jeff Sterns 1:18:12
Excellent. So Brett, we've been together for a while. On this. I was worried that you know, it was gonna be a little bit of dead air to 20 years plus an hour and 53 minutes plus that. So do I get this one edited for nothing? Or what's the deal?
Brett Ramker 1:18:26
I mean, I think you can just play it full. I think this is really gonna really gonna move the needle for your brand.
You do think okay,
Brett Ramker 1:18:33
what what do we what did we not covered today? I
Jeff Sterns 1:18:35
mean, we've covered it all. We know everything from the restaurant business to listen to your parents, how to get into your video business to how to negotiate a car deal. Yeah,
Brett Ramker 1:18:45
I mean, definitely listen to my parents. My parents are a plus. No doubt about it.
Jeff Sterns 1:18:49
Yeah. Except, you know, your dad gets mad at me too. I still have a little bit of that. p&l my leg thing when it comes out of the house looking upset about some.
This has been Jeff Sterns connected through cars.
Emmy Award winning producer, operator, editor
I’VE BEEN CREATING CONTENT PROFESSIONALLY SINCE 2012. IN THAT TIME I’VE WORKED WITH SOME INCREDIBLE BRANDS, COMPANIES, AND INDIVIDUALS IN A MYRIAD OF ROLES. I’VE WON 2 SPORTS EMMYS FOR MY WORK ON THE FOX SPORTS 100K CAMERAS DOCUMENTARY SERIES, AND LAST YEAR I PRODUCED MY FIRST FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTARY.
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