Ben Shaffer, co-founder and CEO of Unplugged Performance, discusses their extensive upgrades for Tesla’s Cybertruck, while Ford’s Juan De Peña provides further insights into the 2024 Ford Ranger. Additionally, the crew unveils a significant announcement about the show. Proudly sponsored by Nissan, in association with Banks Power, this is The Truck Show Podcast.



The following transcription of The Truck Show Podcast was generated using a speech recognition software, and will contain errors. Please review the timestamp and listen to the corresponding audio for accuracy. 

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Sean P. Holman (0s):

So Lightning, I know that you usually start the show, but I felt it would be special if I did it this time.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (9s):

Go for it. Start the show. I,

Sean P. Holman (11s):

I bought, I bought you something.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (14s):

I mean as much as I love when you get me gifts, I’m all, I’m, I’m, I’m often scared.

Sean P. Holman (19s):

You shouldn’t be.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (20s):

I shouldn’t be. Look, It, is it Oh? Yes. He bought me another legal pad that I was out of paper for

Sean P. Holman (28s):

For weeks now. Lightning’s Yellow Pad that he does notes on the show. Yep. Has been filled up. He’s like, do you have another one of these? I’m like, no. I still, I I, I answered that weeks ago. I still don’t have another one. Yes. So I. I made a special trip to Staples. Staples. I love it. And bought you a new legal pad. Thank you. So that you could write your notes for the show.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (46s):

That is, that’s a really thoughtful gift. Thank

Sean P. Holman (48s):

You. These notes are also new pens in the cup. Yeah.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50s):

Except they’re fine point. They’re almost tearing through the paper. No, just don’t I don write it. don don’t wanna sound like I’m not an in great here, but I like the pen. I’m happy about the pad. This is great. All. right? We’re off to a good start.

Sean P. Holman (1m 0s):

Oh, see, there you go. Perfect. I also wanted to bring up, I was going through our emails and, you know, it’s the end of the year. What’s cool about the end of the year is Spotify does a bunch of like, stats and they put together, like your year in review and

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 13s):

Tell me we beat Joe Rogan. Yes. I’ve been waiting for this. Yes,

Sean P. Holman (1m 17s):

Absolutely. The Truck, Show Podcast. Yes.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 18s):

Oh, didn’t,

Sean P. Holman (1m 19s):

No Oh. no, that’s, that’s not it. But there was a bunch of like, really cool just stats that I thought, you know what, this would be kind of fun to share with everybody. All. right. So Lightning, it’s pretty cool. Spotify, which is the second biggest platform behind Apple, does our, our 2023 wrapped for podcasters is here. Okay. All. right. So check this out. According to Spotify, what do you think the number one show of the year was?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 50s):

Our, our show. Our episodes.

Sean P. Holman (1m 52s):

Episodes. Yep. Oh, holy. This is all gonna be US-centric.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 55s):

Okay, got it. Oh, okay. Just when I think everyone loves like a, an off-road episode or something with you talking about your Mojave trips. We might have like a, a, you know, a Mike Finnegan or some, I don’t know, All. right. C 10 Show

Sean P. Holman (2m 10s):

Do Well, season two, episode three, season two, episode three, state of the automotive industry with Gale Banks

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 14s):

Oh no kidding.

Sean P. Holman (2m 15s):

And according to Spotify was streamed 723% more than our average episode. You’re

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 21s):


Sean P. Holman (2m 21s):

Me. So I sent that to, to Gail today and he texted me back after I sent that to him. And this is a quote from Gale Banks himself, which I found super hilarious. There’s a big stupid ass smile on my face right now. That’s when he texted me back. Alright, so check this out. This is pretty cool. 58% of our listeners on Spotify discovered us in 2023.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 46s):

That’s surprising.

Sean P. Holman (2m 47s):

I It is, do you wanna know which episode brought the most new listeners?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 53s):

Well, that would have to be a famous guest, I would think. Right. And we, we haven’t had Finnegan on in quite some time. Who would bring, I, I don’t know.

Sean P. Holman (3m 4s):

Scott Birdsall, the luckiest man alive. Scott Alive. 10% of our new listeners came through. Scott.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 9s):

Scotty. Yes. How is that All? right? Okay.

Sean P. Holman (3m 11s):

Yep. Okay. And so check this out. How many countries do you think that we were streamed in on Spotify this year?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 18s):


Sean P. Holman (3m 19s):

What? 85% of you were in the US though. Okay, so, which, which makes sense.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 24s):

What’s the, what’s the weirdest one? Do you know?

Sean P. Holman (3m 26s):

Yeah, so check this out. The most new listeners

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 28s):

Can, I guess, Bangladesh,

Sean P. Holman (3m 30s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 31s):


Sean P. Holman (3m 32s):

And, and Norway continues to climb because

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 34s):

When you think of trucks, Norway No.

Sean P. Holman (3m 36s):

Right at there. No, no, no, no. Dude. The the, the Scandinavian countries have amazing, they love American vehicles. There’s like a whole like subculture there. Huh? It’s, it’s super rad.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 48s):

I don’t know what to say about that. So. I need to do some investigation. They’re

Sean P. Holman (3m 51s):

Hard, they’re hardcore American car people up there. No kidding. And they found our podcast. So

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 55s):

All, right? What’s up Norway?

Sean P. Holman (3m 56s):

Yeah. I was gonna say, don don’t know.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 59s):

You know what you say Norway in the house. All.

Sean P. Holman (4m 3s):

Right, right. All, right. Check this out. Is

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 4s):

Norway in the house?

Sean P. Holman (4m 5s):

I don’t think they’re in the house. I think they’re up by the Arctic Circle. Check this out. What are the top music genres of our listeners? Oh,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 12s):

That’s an interesting, I

Sean P. Holman (4m 14s):

I thought this would be a good one for you. Yeah. Because you love

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 15s):

This stuff. So, I. I gotta think Country. I gotta think Country. Followed by classic rock

Sean P. Holman (4m 22s):

Top three. Oh,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 23s):

Oh, keep going. Alt rock is number three. Followed by, there’s probably no hip hop in there.

Sean P. Holman (4m 32s):

Okay. Number three. Yeah. Rap

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 35s):

Number three is rap.

Sean P. Holman (4m 36s):

Really Number two, rock.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 38s):


Sean P. Holman (4m 39s):

And number one, those

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 40s):

Are pretty broad categories.

Sean P. Holman (4m 41s):

Contemporary country. Okay. Alright. So Ray, you, you were pretty good. Was were I mean? You mentioned them. So. I. Think that, I think that’s good. All. right? Our podcast was shared all over. 41% of you shared a direct link to a show. 31% texted 15% Instagram, 7% Facebook, and 6% other. I thought that was kinda interesting. Thank

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 59s):

You for the other

Sean P. Holman (5m 0s):

And the most shared episode. What do you think the most shared episode was out of all of our episodes this year?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 5s):


Sean P. Holman (5m 6s):

Not one we’ve mentioned already. So let’s take those

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 8s):

On. It is not the Gale Banks episode.

Sean P. Holman (5m 9s):

It’s, and it’s not Scott Birds Off

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 11s):

Most shared Dang SEMA.

Sean P. Holman (5m 17s):

You might be surprised

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 19s):

Not. Our Seima shows

Sean P. Holman (5m 20s):

35 episode, 35 season 2 35 Truck House and Stellar Built.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 25s):


Sean P. Holman (5m 25s):

So the Toyota guys found us and decided that. No kidding. What do you think our podcast rating was on Spotify?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 32s):

Our podcast? What do you mean our podcast rating? You mean like out of five stars? Yeah. Oh, 4.8.

Sean P. Holman (5m 38s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 40s):

No way. Yes. Go us.

Sean P. Holman (5m 42s):

I know. Go us.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 43s):

So my takeaway so far, Holman is more Gale Banks and Toyotas. Yes. Gale Banks hops up Toyotas. That’s the winning combo right there, right? Is that what It is? Yeah. So then Gale Banks test drives the new Tacoma D.

Sean P. Holman (5m 56s):

Done. Done. Yeah. As soon we, I’m break when I get one, I bring it to Gail and we’re doing a podcast with him driving it. Dude, I’m not even joking. No, I’m not

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 2s):

Either. That would like hedge would

Sean P. Holman (6m 3s):

Explode. Yeah. And then we’ll drive to Scott Als for lunch.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 6s):

Oh, that’s mega.

Sean P. Holman (6m 8s):

What if we kidnapped Gail for a road trip and said, Hey, you’ll be back tomorrow. No, I’ll

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 11s):

Tell you right now. I’ll have Scott fly down. We’ll pick him up at Ontario Airport, bring him straight over to Banks. ’cause he hasn’t been there yet. All. right. Have lunch with all with me, you and Gail. And test drive the Tacoma. All of us. Oh,

Sean P. Holman (6m 23s):

I love it. All. right? So check this out. Our streams this year on Spotify, were up 5%.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 29s):

Oh, that’s not, oh, Hold on Hold

Sean P. Holman (6m 31s):

On our followers. Were up 16% of people listening to us on Spotify. That’s pretty cool. Okay. And our, our minutes, we, we were 4% longer than last year. That’s what She said. And this is another interesting stat that they do. I thought that was kinda cool for 777 people we’re their top 10 podcast I

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 53s):

Don Dunno how to extrapolate that. Yeah, I don’t either. It’s into goodness All. right. So to you guys who are 777 people Yeah. That were, you’re in their top 10. Thank you. Thank

Sean P. Holman (7m 2s):

You. Well Hold on, but you gotta think the 569 where, where we are their top five.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 7s):

Oh wow. That’s super cool. Thank you. And I wanna know, I wanna meet the guys Where we’re the number one Show Podcast that would

Sean P. Holman (7m 13s):

The podcast list? Well, that would be 201 people we’re their number one show that they listen to every week first. Nice. I like that. Right. That’s kind of cool. Cool. And then let’s

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 21s):

Have a meetup for just those, just those

Sean P. Holman (7m 22s):

People just Yes. Spotify in

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 25s):

Radio. You call those your P one, your program one.

Sean P. Holman (7m 27s):

Yeah, we, we like them. Our P one

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 28s):

Listeners. Okay.

Sean P. Holman (7m 29s):

And then total minutes of podcasting that we, that we created up to this point in the year, over 4,000 minutes of sitting here together. Oh, well that’s what the po that’s what the listeners get. We’ve created 12,000 minutes. There’s a lot

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 42s):

Of editing going on. Yeah.

Sean P. Holman (7m 43s):

I bring this up because A, it’s cool. And b, I want to break some news here on The. Truck. Show Podcast All. right. Lightning. For this bit of news, I Think. we need the breaking news music.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 55s):

All. right. Here we go.

Sean P. Holman (7m 58s):

Alright, for all of you hardcore podcast listeners, The Truck. Show Podcast is going to be doing you a solid for 2024. I would like to announce on behalf of Lightning and myself, The Truck, Show Podcast. We’ll be going to Two episodes a week. Whoa. In 2024. Whoa. What are you sure that we want to do that to ourselves? Well, here, here’s the, here’s the secret sauce. It seems like you guys really like podcasts that are around 90 minutes or so. And it’s impossible. We’ve tried and we can’t, we just have too much of, of too much goodness. Too much goodness to fit into a five gallon bucket. So what we’re going to do is we’re gonna have your normal Monday drop long form show.

Sean P. Holman (8m 42s):

That’ll be around 90 minutes just like we do today. And then on Thursdays we’re going to have a short form episode. That will be about 15 to 20 minutes. It may be news may well it may be something we pull out So. it will most likely start with and be news. But it could be other things depending on if there’s breaking something’s happening. ’cause right now, if something happens on a Thursday after we record, we have to wait all the way until the next week. and then you have to wait, wait another week. This will give us more opportunities to engage with you guys. If there’s something cool that’s happening, it’ll give all you folks who, like a short form podcast, something to listen to. And it’ll give us two episodes a week. So one again, one long form, one short form.

Sean P. Holman (9m 23s):

So it’s more podcast goodness for anybody who wants to listen to all of it.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (9m 27s):

So our goal with this Thursday episode is to make more of a snackable, timely piece of whether, whether it’s news or it’s a story or it Holman just did a test drive, for example, and we want to beat, you know, our friends at t Ffl or something like that, right? We’re like, what? No, we love that. I’m just saying I love Andre. Like he’s a, he’s our, he’s our boy. But let’s just say that we, you get the picture right. It

Sean P. Holman (9m 49s):

Gives us more opportunities to engage with you, gives you more opportunities to download the podcast. Here’s the two things that we hear from our listeners. One is we need more. And that’s what She said. Also, why can’t you have a, a second episode? And the truth is because it’s a lot of freaking work. But, but we’re willing to try that out for 2024. See how it goes. We’re both committed to this two episode format and hopefully you guys are happy about that. So truck Show Podcast at or hit us up on the five star hotline. 6 5 7 2 0 5 61 0 5. This is our Christmas present to you guys.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (10m 22s):

That starts next year. That starts next

Sean P. Holman (10m 24s):

Year. Yeah.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (10m 24s):

So we’re delaying our present today. Oh no, next

Sean P. Holman (10m 26s):

Year. This is, this is like, we ordered it late and UPS couldn’t deliver it till next year.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (10m 30s):

I feel like this is a gift card that’s only redeemable

Sean P. Holman (10m 32s):

In 24. In 24.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (10m 34s):

Is that legal? No, but it doesn’t matter. We’re making the rules. All.

Sean P. Holman (10m 37s):

Right? I like it. So anyway, prepare yourselves truck Show Podcast two times a week in 24. And and that’s our, that’s our big news All. right? The, the next big news is I had a chance to go down to Unplugged Performance in Hawthorne, California, which is literally right next to SpaceX and Tesla and SpaceX had a giant rocket sitting on the street ready to be shipped, which was kind of cool. It was So Falcon Rocket on its side on a all, all wrapped up on a trailer, which was awesome. Unplugged

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (11m 5s):

Performance. They are the Tesla Upfitters,

Sean P. Holman (11m 8s):

They’re like the premier Tesla Upfitter tuner. They own some time attack records. Pikes Peak, Randy. Oh, Randy Popes. Yep.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (11m 16s):

Yeah, I was standing right next to their Model s with Randy Popes. Yeah. Driving what? I was up there two years ago at Pikes Peak. Yep. So they’re,

Sean P. Holman (11m 22s):

They’re known in the Tesla communities for for Wheels suspension, a bunch of parts that they make full interior redos performance stuff. They are breaking into Cybertruck. And so they invited me to come out and said, Hey, we know you’re huge in this off-road space. We’d love for you to come out and take a look at the products. This same day as the Cybertruck announcement, I was on site when they announced their whole line. So we’re gonna go through, I got some audio with Ben Schafer, who’s the CEO and Co-founder. And then we will play that later in the show and kind of walk you through some of the cool, the cool Cybertruck stuff that’s coming for me. Whether you like the Cybertruck or not. And honestly, I’m still on the fence, but whether you like it or not, it’s awesome to see an aftermarket company that’s investing in another truck line.

Sean P. Holman (12m 4s):

There’s more choice for there. That’s for all of us. That’s never a bad thing. Did you

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 7s):

See the debate that happened when I posted my, I I got a note finally from Tesla, by the

Sean P. Holman (12m 12s):

Way. Oh, you did? I didn’t see that. No.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 13s):

What do you mean you didn’t say it? You, you commented on it

Sean P. Holman (12m 15s):

On your note from Tesla.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 17s):


Sean P. Holman (12m 18s):

I don’t think I did. I

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 19s):

You commented on my Facebook page on the Tesla thing that I posted.

Sean P. Holman (12m 22s):

Then what I did was I responded to a comment that was in my, my notifications without reading the post. Oh.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 28s):

So what I did is it says, Hey Jay, it says, Hey Lightning, you are in the queue for your Cybertruck And. it says, while you’re waiting, do you wanna check out the model three? And the model s and some other things? Wait. Oh, okay. They, they acknowledged the fact

Sean P. Holman (12m 42s):

That I didn’t realize that that was a personal note to you. I thought you just had posted because your comment was, am I gonna do it? Or something like that. And, well,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 50s):

That, that was an email. I opened my Gmail one day. Got it. And I’m like, Oh, my God finally like this just happened. Yeah. Like they reached out to everyone the day that they announced it. I’m on the list and I assume anyone that gave the a hundred dollars deposit gets an email like I did. And So I post it on my Facebook and said, do I do this or do I keep with my, my noisemaker? You know, my 702 horsepower noisemaker,

Sean P. Holman (13m 13s):

56 people laughed at you.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 14s):

And 56 people laughed at me. But by the way, Walter Cheney came in. He is like, guy, he started battling some of the other people in the thread. He’s like, no, you need

Sean P. Holman (13m 23s):

Offered to buy it from you if you bought it.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 24s):

He’s like, you need to consider this. Like this is legit. I’ve, he’s made the conversion over to full ev for a lot of his, you know, performance build, et cetera. Anyway, I thought it was a really interesting debate. A lot of people are like, no, stick with the T Rx. It’s gonna be a lot more fun. This is like a hokey one off and it’s not fully developed yet. Well, you

Sean P. Holman (13m 41s):

Don’t have a charging infrastructure. Oh, we have

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 42s):

None of that stuff. We get all that stuff. But I thought it was really interesting to see this, like a little micro debate happening with the listeners. Well, I, I think

Sean P. Holman (13m 48s):

The, the guy, the thread who had the most reactions, they had the best comment, which was Sean, P Holman. You, you aren’t a serious person.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 57s):

That’s true. I couldn’t debate that. Yes. So the reason that we are going to talk about the is because it’s crazy polarizing. It’s either gonna be the future of trucks or it’s not. Or it’s it’s not, or

Sean P. Holman (14m 8s):

It’s not even truck. It’s just a lifestyle vehicle. And who knows I mean It’s, but

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (14m 12s):

Everyone’s got an opinion.

Sean P. Holman (14m 13s):

Everyone’s got an opinion. We’ve got our opinion. We’re, but we’re not gonna not cover it. I mean it’s the Cybertruck. It’s one of the hottest things being talked about. So’s a truck. We’re gonna have fun with it. That’s one of the reasons I want to get down to Unplugged Performance. ’cause I know the quality of work that they do and I wanted to be a part of it. And I made a lot of interesting Tesla people there with all sorts of like, crazy moed out threes and ses and Ys and all that. It was a, a whole different part of the segment.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (14m 34s):

I tell me, they all did fart noises in the parking lot. There were

Sean P. Holman (14m 36s):

No fart noises. Really? No. But there was a lot of like underglow and stereo stuff and, and slam. So wait a minute, one dude was on airbags.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (14m 44s):

Wait a minute. One dude, when I was in Huntington, there’s a, do you know there’s a place about two miles from where we are right now in the Poshed that specializes in bagging Tesla? Yes.

Sean P. Holman (14m 54s):

Alright. Also on this episode we have Juan De Pena returning. He’s the, the chief engineer of the Ford Ranger. You may remember back in May when they announced it with the media, I had a chance to sit inside a Ranger with him and kind of talk about the, the program and a little bit about the trim levels and all that. Well this is a little bit of a deeper talk. He and I had a chat earlier today and It was great. We, we covered a lot of things about the midsize truck segment, their philosophy, what they see the Ranger doing. And I asked him if he thinks this will be the, the Ranger that takes Tacoma down.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (15m 28s):

Did he give you a real answer?

Sean P. Holman (15m 30s):

You’ll have to listen to, was

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (15m 31s):

It a political answer?

Sean P. Holman (15m 31s):

He just, you’ll have to listen to it. That’s why we’re here Lightning, is we want people to listen to the show. I

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (15m 37s):

Can’t, I can’t wait to get

Sean P. Holman (15m 38s):

His answer. Alman. There you go. That’s much better. All, right? All. right. Before we get into all of this great content and more, we have to thank our presenting sponsor Nissan. So Nissan has been with the show since the beginning. Really, if you’re in the market for a new truck, head on down your local Nissan dealer. You wanna check out the Frontier, the Nissan Titan, the Nissan Titan Xd, the industry’s best warranty, five year, 100,000 miles on those Titans. And the Frontier is one of the hottest selling mid-size trucks here in the United States. So if you want a truck, Nissan’s the place to go and support them. They’ve been supporting your favorite podcast, at least 202 of you since the beginning.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (16m 14s):

And on behalf of Gale Banks and Banks Power, I wanna say thank you to The Truck Show Podcast audience. And Holman, you don’t know this, but as of just a couple of days ago, the Pedal Monster has become one of the all time best sellers in the company’s 65 year history.

Sean P. Holman (16m 33s):

And I believe I just sold another one for you this week. So I have to

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (16m 37s):

In in what kind of

Sean P. Holman (16m 37s):

Truck? In the forerunner.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (16m 39s):

Oh, nice. So I have

Sean P. Holman (16m 40s):

To connect with you later on

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (16m 42s):

That. Okay. So I want to talk to you about that very thing. Yes. So you guys, Think, we all do. Everyone thinks of Banks Power as the Diesel guys and rightfully so. Since the eighties, Gale Banks kind of created the Diesel performance aftermarket. But before that he had almost 30 years of gas performance. And the pedal monster is getting us back into the Toyota market, the gas market, the small block Chevy market, all that. I wanna talk about Toyotas really quickly. If you have a Tacoma and you’ve overloaded it like an overlander does, you, you put 30 threes on, maybe you squeeze 30 fives on. The first thing that happens is you notice it’s sluggish pedal monster is for you.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (17m 24s):

It’s the best throttle controller on the market. It doesn’t throw check engine lights like all the other guys. If you want to get rid of that sluggishness in your Tacoma or your Tundra, go to pangs, type in your year, make and model and find the one for your truck.

2 (17m 38s):

The truck show. We’re gonna show you what we know. We’re gonna answer what the truck, cars, truck rides with the truck show. We have the Lifted, we have the lowered and everything in between. We’ll talk about trucks that run on Diesel and the ones that run on gasoline. The truck show. The truck show. The truck show. Oh whoa.

3 (18m 10s):

It’s the truck show with your hosts Lightning and Holman.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (18m 15s):

You know it’s funny when Dave who’s helping us out with our social media when he was in a couple episodes ago, I think he was surprised that we were singing along with the intro. Like, you know, it’s obviously him. Did it ly recorded. Well I just think he expected us to just sit and bob our heads as we listen to it. And here’s you and

Sean P. Holman (18m 33s):

Me. He didn’t expect you to pull out the guitar and meet the synthesizer and go to town with a flashing disco ball lights and everything. And the smoke.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (18m 39s):

It’s like an eighties disco in here I guess. No, that would’ve been seventies disco eighties. New Wave Club All. right?

Sean P. Holman (18m 43s):

Well, speaking of flashy eighties parties, this may not have been that, but I did get a chance to talk with the co-founder and CEO of Unplugged. Performance. Ben Schafer. And we actually had a pretty, pretty good conversation. They have some seriously cool products coming out. I don know if you were on my Instagram and I posted some photos and it makes it go from looking like a steam punk thing to some, like a salt buggy on the moon. Like all the stuff that they’re doing. It’s, it’s really cool. Alright, so here I am at Unplugged Performance in, in Hawthorne, California, right next to Tesla and SpaceX and all these musk companies. And why am I here?

Sean P. Holman (19m 24s):

Well today, Lightning, as you know, was the day of the official Cybertruck launch. They’re going to customers finally after all these years. And I’m here with Ben Schafer, CEO and Co-founder of Unplugged Performance. So for those of you guys in the truck space, you might not know, but Unplugged Performance is one of the premier Tesla modifiers from as far as suspension and tuning tires, wheels, body kits, arrow, they’ve raced, they do time attack, Pikes Peak, all sorts of cool stuff. And now they’re getting into Cybertruck. So Ben, I’m sure you’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while.

4 (19m 57s):

Thank you. Yeah, it’s really an exciting day. We had 10 years now working with Tesla vehicles and the Cybertruck is just the next level platform on many fronts. So we’re really excited for this debut to happen for the Cybertruck and also for us to introduce a whole new way of tuning.

Sean P. Holman (20m 12s):

So here’s what’s cool. You guys threw a party and invited me, so thank you for that. But why the party? What, what, why are we here? Why did 400 people come and eat all that pizza?

4 (20m 23s):

Well, anytime you got pizza people come, right. That’s,

Sean P. Holman (20m 26s):

That’s first

4 (20m 26s):

Part. And beer especially. And a lot of people come. So yeah, we had a sold out event in our business park here, And. it was a celebration of Tesla finally delivering the first Cybertruck. And for us, you know, as a Tesla modification business, we have a lot of plans around what that platform is. so we took this opportunity also to kind of share a little bit of our thoughts about what you can do with the Cybertruck in terms of modifications.

Sean P. Holman (20m 50s):

And you also unveiled some of the new products that’ll be part of your new invincible line, which is going to be a a Cybertruck lineup of, of super tough parts. Steel, carbon, steel. You know, traditionally, because you guys have worked in racing and EV cars, it’s all been about special materials for lightweighting. Well in this case you actually went to heavier materials to make them even more heavy duty, more durable, more hardcore for off-roading. And some of the products that you hinted at that are on the way and some of the ones that will be immediately released just really uplevel the Cybertruck.

4 (21m 22s):

Exactly. It’s a little bit weird for us because we have spent so much effort making things like Lian Windows to save weight and making things like preread carbon fiber to replace even aluminum, to take any weight out that we can. And here we are making, you know, heavy duty steel products. But ultimately as a car enthusiast and as someone you know who runs a business modifying cars, all that matters is understanding what’s the problem you’re trying to solve. And then engineering for that. And what we’re engineering for on a Cybertruck is very different than what we’ve done with our Pikes Peak race cars and other vehicles. So we’re making the most heavy duty invincible stuff we can make. And that’s why we call the brand invincible. We want this thing to be as rugged as it gets

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (22m 2s):

Holman. There aren’t any companies that I’m aware of that do what they do. Any idea why

Sean P. Holman (22m 9s):

There are other companies out there? But I think they got in really early and their stuff is super high quality. They’re making their own wheels. You can get a carbon fiber spoiler. I think it’s for the s or the three that’s been co-designed with Kona Seg I mean they’re partnering with the right people. The products are very expensive because they need to be, it’s really the top shelf stuff. Some people might be interested to know. Unplugged Performance actually came out of Nissan tuning. They were known or their other company as Bulletproof Automotive and they built GTRs. Oh. And so there’s actually, so

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (22m 46s):

They got some

Sean P. Holman (22m 47s):

Pedigree. They have some pedigree, yeah.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (22m 48s):

Okay. And the other question is, do you guys discuss in this piece, and if so don’t don’t elaborate, but do you discuss if he thinks Tesla will release their own line of upgrade parts?

Sean P. Holman (22m 59s):

Well they’ve already announced it as part of their thing show. Oh they did? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn’t see that. So there’s things like a, a extended battery pack that you can snap into the bed. They have all their own Molly panels and all sorts of different things. Unplugged is really taking the idea of Tesla, sort of getting into their accessories division, but then going to the next level with it. Gotcha. All. right. So walk me through some of the products. Let’s start with the ones that you unveiled tonight. That’ll be immediately available to early adopters and then some of the stuff that’s on the horizon. Horizon that you hinted at that I’m pretty excited about. Yeah.

4 (23m 32s):

You know we’re, we’re coming out with our, our guns blazing on this one. We are, we’re trying to create a statement of what we think a Cybertruck can be with the right outfit of goods. So it’s all the things you’d expect. But there is some twists and turns as far as far as how we approach it. so we have beadlock wheels. It’s not some show stuff with fake bolts, it’s legit beadlock wheels. They’re forged of course. We actually have two wheels. We have a forged Beadlock Wheel and a Forged Street Wheel.

Sean P. Holman (23m 56s):

So by the way, the street Wheel, you may have seen in some of the social posts, it’s the Cyber Hex Wheel it. I saw it on an on a S and I was like eh, I don’t really get it. I saw it on the Cybertruck, which was, or it was originally designed for Yeah. By a automotive designer who was involved in the Bugatti Veron and Conus Av Chiron. Yeah. Or what? Sheron right? Yeah, Sheron. Yeah. So it’s, it almost looks like a honeycomb. Yeah, it’s super cool. But on the Cybertruck with all the square angles, it’s awesome. In fact, So I hated the plastic Wheel covers that are on the production Cybertruck. Okay. I think they take away from it. And I saw a picture that was posted that was a, I think a render of your cyber hex Wheel.

Sean P. Holman (24m 39s):

Yeah. It was basically the front a pillar, forward And. it showed the Cybertruck with your Wheel on it and I go, Oh my God. They finally got a production Wheel that looks great on the Cybertruck. I didn’t realize that was your Wheel.

4 (24m 50s):

That is the most honorable thing I can hear as far as someone who designs and and produces product is to have something that looks fitting on the vehicle. That’s really the purpose. We’re not, we’re not here to change the character of the vehicle. We’re here to make it more of what It is. And yeah, the cyber hex Wheel a hundred percent is inspired by the angularity of the Cybertruck. The, the brute force of it. And yeah, we’re excited to debut it. And in terms of overall modification of the Cybertruck, we’re approaching all angles of it. We have a lift kit, we have wheels, we have brake pads and rotors, we have metal bumpers, rock sliders, underbody armor.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (25m 29s):

So Holman, you just brought up those wheels on potheads studio. Yeah. Monitor here. And

Sean P. Holman (25m 35s):

That’s the 20 inch Cyber hacks, which is

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (25m 39s):

So. it looks like a awesome A honeycomb. Yep.

Sean P. Holman (25m 41s):

That looks so much better on the Cybertruck than the cool but crappy wheels they

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (25m 45s):

Have on there. I just realized when I said honeycomb, people are thinking like BBS. No, no, no, no, no, no,

Sean P. Holman (25m 48s):

No, no, no. It’s not laced.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (25m 50s):

Yeah. This is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 giant honeycombs. This looks like, it’s

Sean P. Holman (25m 57s):

Like if you mixed a flour and a honeycomb together, they’re six side. It’s a really good look. I just think it’s so cool on the Cybertruck. It’s so much better. And then here’s their, their bead lock Wheel on one of their renders with

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (26m 12s):

So I. I’m not gonna lie, I like the bead luck even better. Yeah, the

Sean P. Holman (26m 14s):

Bead luck is pretty cool. Totally

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (26m 16s):

Wildly different style. Yep. Yeah, that’s a really interesting look. Holy mackerel. They’re going for broke dude. Oh yeah.

Sean P. Holman (26m 23s):

Dang. All. right. I’m gonna leave this photo up while he’s talking so you can kind of take a look at it while he is talking about the parts.

4 (26m 28s):

We have Molly panels everywhere. You can imagine that lots

Sean P. Holman (26m 31s):

Of Molly, Molly the world.

4 (26m 33s):

Molly the world. Yeah. Pretty soon we’re gonna have our bathroom here with Molly Panels on the wall as well. You know, it’s really about increased opportunity to do whatever the hell you want to do. And It is fun to engineer something where we don’t know what that even is. It could be anything, you know, building a race car, you know where it’s gonna end up. It’s gonna end up on a racetrack building something like this is fun because we’re not necessarily defining how you use it. Another example is we’ve built out a fairly complicated storage system for the trunk. The overall goal here is no matter what the hell you’re doing, we want this truck to be as usable as possible. And everything is designed around that.

Sean P. Holman (27m 11s):

There’s some of, some of the products I was really impressed with. I know you did early renders on a skid plate system. Yep. But your rock rails are pretty cool ’cause you have the rocketer protection but then you have bolt on rails that stick out from it. Yeah. Those bolt on rails allow you to remove that part of it if you don’t want ’em on there without removing the whole system, while still protecting the edges of the body and the battery. And they also act as a step. And then you’ve got your bumpers are made to, for the vehicle to be lifted with high lift jack. And you go to the front bumper and you’re like okay it’s a steel bumper. Better approach angle. You got the bull bar as an option, you got the lights. All the different things. The real interesting thing for me was the rear bumper because it’s almost like a rear bumper slash skid pan or butt pan if you will because you incorporate the, your your beast hitch and this thing goes the full width of the vehicle And, it probably sticks in at least 12 or 18 inches underneath the back of the vehicle.

Sean P. Holman (28m 1s):

So you can fully lift it with a high lift. You’ve got D-ring shackle mounts, you’ve got this hitch that will not reduce the towing but you can use it as a recovery point. And then to that you can bolt on all sorts of stuff. You can bolt on the, the rock sliders for the corner. Kinda like on a Jeep gladiator you’ve got dual swing away Molly panel swing arms on the back so that you can put a spare tire and Wheel on one or the other as long along with anything else that you want to bolt to Molly.

4 (28m 28s):

Damn. I I, I would, I would say Sean knows this stuff as well as we do at this point, but absolutely there’s there’s a lot, you know, and, and that laundry list of things that just the rear bumper enables really, I think speaks to how much care and thought and excitement we placed into what you can do with one product. And we, we really try to have that ideology transfer over to everything. You know, we’re really trying to look at this thing as a Swiss army and knife and figure out how many things can we do here on, on every product.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (28m 58s):

Holman, I’m looking at the photos still up on the screen here. Scroll back up to the, to the first photos. The first thing I notice and I kudos to Unplugged because those bumpers, if they actually turn out like this rendering that I’m looking at, they are perfect for the truck. The rock rails are perfect for the truck. Yeah.

Sean P. Holman (29m 18s):

Those are all gonna be production

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (29m 19s):

Parts. That’s gonna be great. But what I notice immediately and what now I know why the stock one looks so feeble. The offset on the wheels. Look

Sean P. Holman (29m 29s):

At those fender flares. Those are actually carbon fiber fender flares and they’ve been remodeled. You see the little peaks

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (29m 35s):

On the top? Yes. They look like diamonds on the top be to stretch them out so they look like they’re out. Maybe pyramids. Pyramids maybe. Yeah, that’s better. Yeah. Yeah. Pyramids. Yeah. That’s almost impossible is you gotta go do Unplugged Performance on Instagram and see these photos that we’re talking about.

Sean P. Holman (29m 49s):

Or you could go to my Instagram ’cause I’ve got some photos up there as well. Some the products that

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (29m 54s):

This offset makes it look so much beefier and wider. It’s kind of like way better. The reason I went to 30 sevens on the T Rx. Sure. I felt like the 30, the stock eighteens on 30 fives were just sucked in too far. You push ’em out a little bit bigger wheels and tires, it just instantly transforms the look of this. So if you’re me and you have the a hundred dollars deposit on this, like what

Sean P. Holman (30m 15s):

I would buy it and sell it to Walter Cheney.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 18s):

You would

Sean P. Holman (30m 19s):

At a really high

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 21s):

Do You know what I brought up at work? What? What do you think I brought up at Work?

Sean P. Holman (30m 25s):

Engine Swap. Yeah. You can’t do it though. Why haven’t you followed the dude who tried to LS swap? Or did LS swap a Tesla three?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 32s):


Sean P. Holman (30m 33s):

It’s like the amount of work he had to do. ’cause you can’t do a floor pan. There’s no real firewall in the same sense. There’s no hump for the transmission. It’s a skateboard chassis. So the body has to come completely off. You can’t use anything on, on chassis.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 45s):

No, I there I know. Yeah, yeah. I

Sean P. Holman (30m 47s):

Mean you’re, you’re

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 48s):

Basically rich, rich rebuilds I’ve been following for years.

Sean P. Holman (30m 50s):

You’re you’re only using basically the body. I get it. And not all of the body.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 54s):

I get it. But Can, you imagine if someone put a Diesel in this thing,

Sean P. Holman (30m 58s):

I mean that would be a million dollars probably to do.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (31m 1s):

You’d get a lot of

Sean P. Holman (31m 2s):

Press. Think of the, would you get a million dollars worth maybe? Yeah, the the fabrication alone would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to create that. It

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (31m 9s):

Probably would be cheaper to make a lookalike body outta stainless steel And just put it over a duramax truck, you know?

Sean P. Holman (31m 17s):

Yeah. I just think that is a, that’s a lot of work.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (31m 19s):

Waste of time and effort.

Sean P. Holman (31m 20s):

No I mean it would be cool to have the only one, but there’s no place for an axle. There’s no place for drive shaft. There’s, you have to create all that So I don Don’t I mean? Yeah, I love it in, in, in the conversation but I, in reality the amount of money I, I think that is a black hole of Benjamin’s that you just don’t climb out of I mean it’s really gonna allow people to further diversify and personalize the Cybertruck. ’cause the reality is being stainless steel, they’re not being painted so they’re all gonna look the same. There’s not even five colors like there is on a typical Tesla, it’s one color. So how do you further personalize it? Well you guys are offering a bevy of accessories. So for me I kind of feel like, you know, on most trucks you might look at and go, wow, maybe it’s accessory overkill. I don’t think that’s the case in the Cybertruck.

Sean P. Holman (32m 1s):

I think people are gonna be dying to have something different than the guy next to them. And there’s all sorts of stuff that is functional. Like people don’t realize the Cybertruck roof isn’t exactly flat. So you don’t have a flat surface to lay something for a roof rack. So you’ve used the rails around the spine to put in a, a roof rack system that ah,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 20s):

Stop the presses. It’s not flat. Nope. There’s an arch to it.

Sean P. Holman (32m 23s):

There’s a little slight arch to it. So when you use the rails, you have to have uprights for your crossbars to make a flat. So if you look at the un unplug product here that’s flat, those rails, are they for strength? I don’t, I would, I guess so. Yeah.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 35s):

So can, when you’re standing next to it, Can you see that

Sean P. Holman (32m 38s):

I, I haven’t seen a production one in person person yet. Oh,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 40s):

But the one you saw in person was flat.

Sean P. Holman (32m 42s):

No, no, no. The one I saw in person was the concept car. There wasn’t one live at Unplugged.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 48s):

No, no, no. When you saw this truck years ago

Sean P. Holman (32m 50s):

Right. It was the concept. It was, it was

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 52s):

Different. Oh So. it was flat car.

Sean P. Holman (32m 53s):

It was the very first version of this and it’s, this one’s 20% smaller and a bunch of other stuff.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 58s):

I got that. Yeah. But, but again it was flat

Sean P. Holman (32m 60s):

Glass I mean I didn’t, I wasn’t carrying around, you know, rulers and you know, measuring sticks to see how flat panels were. Gotcha. Put in a, a roof rack system that will be lay flat so you can carry flat sheets of plywood on the back of it. You can use it like a truck. I know a lot of people are approaching it as a lifestyle vehicle, but Tesla released the specs today and it’s gonna have real, you know, real truck payload numbers and It is apparently super fast ’cause it was towing a Porsche that beat a Porsche, which was pretty cool.

4 (33m 27s):

Yeah, that was one of the fun things for today was watching that Porsche drag race video

Sean P. Holman (33m 30s):

And the tractor pull

4 (33m 32s):

That as well. Yeah. I mean the, the specs are great but as any car enthusiast knows what the factory makes is a starting point. It’s not the end point. Yeah. So, it really comes down to what you do with the platform. Once the factory says, here you go. And today was the day where the factory said, here you go first. Deliveries, do what you want with it. And this is kind of where we’re headed. We’re excited to see what customers do. We’re excited to keep developing products for it. We think sky’s the limit as far as what you can do with the vehicle. And it’s just fun to, to introduce more EVs to segments that maybe we’re skeptical and that’s fair. But the bottom line is, you know, to earn confidence that EVs are worthwhile that has to perform. And that’s what we’re used to doing.

4 (34m 12s):

You know, on the same end with us on racing, we’ve been used to going to racetracks and people think, oh this ev shouldn’t be here. It isn’t that fast. And if you go and look us up for lap records, we’re beating almost every gasoline powered car now with Teslas. The goal is just to make the most fun, most awesome car we can. We don’t really, we’re not here to say what’s good or what’s bad. I’m not a vegetarian. I eat meat like at the end of the day, like we’re car enthusiasts. Yeah. That just wanna have options. Yeah. And whether you like it or not, there’s more and more EVs coming to the planet so you might as well be funny EVs versus crappy

Sean P. Holman (34m 42s):

EVs. Yeah, totally. I mean, I think it’s that thing where choice is always good and EVs are gonna work for some people and they’re not.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (34m 48s):

I I gotta say it’s refreshing to hear him say that,

Sean P. Holman (34m 52s):

That he eats meat.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (34m 53s):

No I mean it’s like the guy who the head of Rivian not long ago was kind of putting down people saying how Can you not love ev How Can you not think that This is the future.

Sean P. Holman (35m 3s):

Well again, that’s the reason I brought up

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (35m 4s):

That. But he’s but he’s being a realist here.

Sean P. Holman (35m 6s):

Yeah. That’s why I wanted to bring up their history with Nissan to kind of give you a, a sense of where they came from. They came from road racing and they came from JDM tuning and all that kinda stuff. It’s not like they just were like, oh we love EV so much we’re gonna jump into this. They have a great business. They have learned probably more than most people about EVs and EV customers and EV products and that’s great. But they’re not just like the full on EV apologists, which is, which is refreshing. EVs are gonna work for some people and they’re not gonna work for others. But the fact that there’s a company like yours that is embracing it, you’re gonna give the people who an EV works for or is an early adopter is interested in some of the tech, whether it’s silent, crawling or you know, a hundred percent torque at zero RPM or you know, some of the things I’ve talked about on the podcast when I’ve wheeled other EVs off road where you get closer up to nature ’cause the animals aren’t as scared of you I mean There’s definitely cool things in the space and some people don’t want that experience and some people will.

Sean P. Holman (35m 56s):

It, it’s fine. It’s all about choice and options. The best part is, is you guys are gonna cater to the person that decides this product is for them. And from your renderings, from the way it looks, it’s, it’s even more moon buggy ish looking than than the the original truck or the base truck I guess you can say. And I think it’s gonna be polarizing and lots of people have lots of opinions on it and that’s all good. But we’ve talked about this on the show before without aftermarket support. No truck survives. And so the one thing that I can tell everybody on the show that is for sure is you guys are upleveling it in a really cool way. And I think you’re gonna turn more heads and I think the Tesla Cybertruck platform is gonna be better for it because of the products that you guys are making.

Sean P. Holman (36m 37s):

So I think it’s pretty awesome. So I, appreciate your time.

4 (36m 39s):

Thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah. One, one thing that’s always been part of our business and our story is that we put our money where our mouth is. We do the hard work even before there was a customer. You know, when we started unplug 10 years ago, no one wanted to modify. We were the first to make performance parts. We’re here again, there’s maybe five customers right now for Cybertruck or whatever the deliveries were today. But we’re investing in a future that we find exciting and people wanna come along for the ride. We’re excited to meet them out there and have fun together

Sean P. Holman (37m 6s):

And they can find you at Unplugged Performance dot com.

4 (37m 8s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (37m 10s):

Nice. Thanks for bringing this that man. It could not be more in the news, not even possible

Sean P. Holman (37m 16s):

All. right. So we’ve hinted at this on the show a few times. I am really hesitant to talk about it just because I don’t wanna run afoul of anything. But I had a chance to see the Cybertruck weeks before it was officially unveiled. This

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (37m 30s):

Is now years ago, what? Three,

Sean P. Holman (37m 31s):

Three or four years ago. Whatever it happens to be. It would be And, it was November of back then. So it’s a little over with, you know, prior

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (37m 38s):

To the baseball incident. Prior.

Sean P. Holman (37m 39s):

And, and in fact I was able to go there. Elon met Elon, have pictures of me and Elon was able to go there with the MotorTrend team and had a chance to test the window with the steel ball and tested it from like six feet and like 12 feet And. it didn’t shatter the window. A whole story behind that. But I, I won’t get into it. There’s also something that I did in front of Elon that might have changed the direction of Cybertruck and there was also some feedback that we gave Elon directly about what we thought it should be. Shouldn’t be where it was the shortcomings were. And if you notice the, the actual specs are a little bit different than original.

Sean P. Holman (38m 21s):

The vehicles about 20% smaller than it was when it was in concept form, things like that. The only reason I bring it up is because one of my friends in the journalist side, Mark Williams, was on Tim OL’s pickup truck plus SUV talk on his podcast. And he talks about the experience a little bit without getting into too much detail, but I wanted you to hear it from Mark’s point of view. And so wait

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38m 47s):

A minute, this is so we can tell more of the story that you can’t talk about.

Sean P. Holman (38m 50s):

I think so. All right? I like

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38m 52s):


5 (38m 53s):

I’m not surprised at all that, that they had decisions that were made beforehand and they’re basically just giving us an early look and being receptive to any input we wanna make I mean. You know, Sean Holman, I love Sean Holman. He does amazing work. It is over at at RB Magazine. Yep. Doing amazing stuff too. He was there as well too. And he hammered them on aftermarket ideas and aftermarket friendly design that they need to incorporate into this vehicle if they wanted to succeed long term. And he was very clear with them as well too. It’s fine if you don’t want this to succeed long term.

5 (39m 36s):

You want this to just be a ta-da moment to get a lot of attention for five years and then come out with some different version in the, in the redesign or remake. That’s fine. That’s a strategy that a lot of big and little companies have used before. But, but he hammered hard on them saying you need to get smarter. ’cause from what we were looking at in the pictures that they were using for motivation as to what kind of buyers were gonna be interested in, this vehicle didn’t make a lot of sense to anybody who was interested in really using the vehicle, really appreciating it for the value it was giving them and, and the work that it should be allowed to let people do.

5 (40m 18s):

Whether, whether that is a technically work aspect or a play or fun aspect to that vehicle.

Sean P. Holman (40m 25s):

Anyway, again, that’s a Mark Williams who was the editor of Truck Trend back in the day. He is a freelancer. He is a freelancer now. And he was talking to Tim Sterol again, if you want to see that entire episode, it’s on YouTube. You can find them on pickup truck plus SUV talk. The episodes entitled not for truck buyers. MotorTrend visited Not for truck buyers. Tesla Cybertruck and Development. I I just wanna bring that up. ’cause when they approached us, mark and I had some serious feedback. How long were

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (40m 54s):

You there? A

Sean P. Holman (40m 54s):

Couple hours. A couple hours? Okay. Yeah. I mean we were, we got to put on the VR goggles and look around. They had all the competitor trucks around and they had this thing in there. It was a very interesting experience. Elon’s crazy charismatic. He walks in the room, he’s a bigger guy. He commands attention. Like he just has that kind of aura about him. It’s very interesting. And when he talks to you that day that we met, he was off to Texas to do Starship stuff. You could tell that his mind was occupied with Lee. We had a short window with him, maybe 45 minutes with him. And then Franz was there, the lead designer for the, the rest of the time or for the whole time. And you could tell he’s, he’s thinking in 3D while you’re thinking in 2D, like he’s somewhere else.

Sean P. Holman (41m 35s):

He’s asking you very specific questions, And it, you can see it going through his head, but he’s off somewhere like thinking about different, it’s, it’s just very like,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (41m 43s):

So he’s multitasking. You can see in his brain. Yes. Can, you can see him multitasking. Yeah.

Sean P. Holman (41m 47s):

Yeah. And, and there was one point where he handed me a tool and told me to do something and that might have impacted the, the Cybertruck, but I don don’t know if I can

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (41m 57s):

Tell that story. Why Can you? Why Can? you still not talk about it like, well, It is your NDA forever.

Sean P. Holman (42m 0s):

Yeah. I don’t know. I I don’t have a copy of it and it’s Tesla and they’re super weird. So about those things, but

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (42m 6s):

Now we know that they’ve shot it with

Sean P. Holman (42m 8s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (42m 9s):

Yeah, we with a hella Tommy gun. Right. Whatever they use, he, he

Sean P. Holman (42m 12s):

Wanted to shoot it at the press conference like with a nine mil on stage and they’re like, you can’t do that. Right. The reason I bring this up is ’cause of Unplugged Performance and the accessories and even with Tesla, I was hounding into them. You have to have truck accessories. You have to Can, you have a

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (42m 27s):

Market Can you. No, in all seriousness, we’re in, we’re in this space, this warehouse. Yep. Where you went to go see this thing,

Sean P. Holman (42m 33s):

The design studio.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (42m 34s):

What was the tone of your voice? I know it’s friendly obviously because you’re there. You’re, you’re an invited guest. Yep. But what was the tone of your voice when you, you were like, you brought us in to give our opinion as experts. Listen to me if you like, did you implore them? Like you’ve gotta be, you’ve got to embrace the aftermarket because those are the people that will use your product as a tool and they’re the enthusiasts. They’re not just people that are in it for the ev Like what I wanna feel what you felt when you were there.

Sean P. Holman (43m 9s):

Well, they pulled the cover off and we didn’t actually believe it was the truck. We thought it was a joke. There’s a picture of us with all the looks on our faces and we were like sort of half smiling, like, what the hell? Trying to be polite. And they said, well, you know, this is it. And we’re like, no, no, no, that’s, that can’t be it. That’s not what a real car looks like. And they said, no, this is, this is it. And we thought we were being punked. We literally thought like, there’s no way. And we saw they were serious And. it was like, oh shit. And we were looking at each other going like, like, are we okay with this? Like, is this,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (43m 44s):

This is a problem.

Sean P. Holman (43m 45s):

Is somebody gonna say something about it? You could hear their passion, you could hear that they thought they had solved a lot of truck problems. I think they solved problems that nobody was asking to be solved. I think they created more problems that a normal truck person isn’t going to be, you know, interested in it. It’s a lifestyle vehicle. I’m curious to see what it does. don don’t hate it. I don’t not hate it. I, I’m indifferent, but I’m curious about it. No,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (44m 8s):

But you’re, you’re not getting at the, take me to that moment at which you’re telling them there

Sean P. Holman (44m 11s):

Wasn’t a moment, it was several hours.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (44m 13s):

No, no, I get it. But like I, what were you telling them that they needed to do? Did you say guys are gonna wanna put bumpers on this? Yes. And they said why would you want put bumpers

Sean P. Holman (44m 20s):

On it? You need to have bumper cut lines on the body. You need to make sure it’s durable. You need to make sure you have the right suspension. You have to have a minimum of a 35 inch tire. You have to be able to have full skid plating. You have to have after

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (44m 31s):

Market that you were saying were new to them. don don’t

Sean P. Holman (44m 33s):

Know. They’re not gonna go, oh, we never thought of that. They’re just nodding and taking notes and all that

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (44m 37s):

Kinda stuff. Okay. That’s why I, you take me

Sean P. Holman (44m 39s):

There. That’s why you have to have a 12 volt battery system so you can put your Baja design lights on it and your Midland radio and all of your accessories and all that. And they showed us some of the forward thinking that they were doing And it was interesting. And Elon meeting him was, was incredible. It was one of those things where it’ll be, you know, especially with Elon’s, you know, higher profile now I’ll, you know, I’ll go back and look at back at my life at some point and go, yeah, I met that guy. That’s pretty cool. Is he’s a fascinating dude. He, he responded, I sent him a three page email. I wasn’t unkind, but I also was very frank with what I thought it needed to, to be. Well, I’ll tell you one thing I I I won’t tell you about the materials change from titanium to stainless, although that happened.

Sean P. Holman (45m 25s):

I could say maybe there’s a piece of that that involved me, but I’ll, I’ll let that go and just know like there’s, that was an interesting part. Maybe someday I can tell that story. I don’t think today is that day. But one of the things they said was, and I don’t mean to make them sound like they weren’t aware or smart or fully thinking or whatever, but one of the things that was in my email was they said it’s the same width as a Ford Raptor. and I went, okay, that’s great. How do you get in it? And they were like, what do you mean? I said, the Ford Raptor’s only that wide at the, at the track width, not at the body. So you still go in a normal parking spot and you can open the door and get out. I go with you guys having the track width and the body the same width.

Sean P. Holman (46m 8s):

There’s no way for you to get outta the, the truck in a parking spot. I don’t think it’s any secret that it became 20% smaller after the concept came out because it has to be usable. Right? Like there’s practical things. It’s nice to be in your fishbowl and, and say I want this, this and that, but there’s practical things that you have to do with it. So that’s just one example, there’s probably 20 more like that. So anyway, the, the, I I just bring it up because with Mark kind of talking about it, I’m sure more stories will come out about it. It was a really interesting experience. But I have had some sort of Cybertruck sort of involvement to think about for years now. Even though I only went that That one time and interacted in email after that.

Sean P. Holman (46m 48s):

It’s not like I was consulting on it or anything like that. Did you ever

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (46m 50s):

Hear a response from that email? Like, thank you or no?

Sean P. Holman (46m 53s):

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And that, that was about it. Did Elon

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (46m 55s):

Respond and say, thank you?

Sean P. Holman (46m 55s):

I think so. And then that was it. I, you know, after that it was, it, you know, radio silent and they went on their way. It’s just neat that I’ve had access to something like that. So again, when I, when I see people just outright bashing the Cybertruck or, or bashing like the product line, oh, that’s stupid. And why would you do that? To me, it’s different because I saw it early. I, I, I hopefully helped to influence it a little bit to make it a little bit more realistic and better. And I’m excited that there’s an aftermarket company that’s really taking on Cybertruck to make it cooler for the rest of us, or people on the fence, or people who buy it, who want to go do something more better, different, whatever. That’s, there’s a whole reason why, you know,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (47m 36s):

There are no shortage of those people.

Sean P. Holman (47m 38s):

No, there’s not. There’s not. And So I saw the passion within the Tesla team. I saw them truly doing something different that nobody in automotive industry was, would even consider doing. And you have to give them props for that. So anyway, that’s, I wanted to bring that up because it’s, I feel like This is the right time where I can kind of talk about it a little bit. It was a cool experience. I hope the Cybertruck is a little bit better for it. I hope people buy the Cybertruck are excited because I think it’s gonna bring in a new customer who isn’t your traditional Tesla customer and people who just wanna be different people. And look,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (48m 10s):

Dude, look, a lot of the people we’ve talked about a many, many times, people were into Ford Raptors and they traded out and got TXs because it was the fastest truck. The quickest truck. Sure. You could buy, they’re going to bail on the tx, they’re going to get the Cybertruck because it’s zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds.

Sean P. Holman (48m 28s):

Yeah. But are they gonna be like, I drove it home and then I’m like, okay, that was cool. It’s

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (48m 33s):

Entirely possible.

Sean P. Holman (48m 33s):

Right? I mean, look at how many Hummers are flooding the market.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (48m 35s):

It’s entirely possible. That’s what I’m saying. Yeah. It’s all

Sean P. Holman (48m 38s):

They, it’s a novelty. It’s a novelty. It’s early adopter upfront. It’ll be interesting to see what happens downstream from buying that truck. Right? I mean is It, is it a car you keep for 10 years? Is a car you keep for one year is a car? You go, nah, I want my a hundred bucks back. don. Don’t know.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (48m 55s):

It’s possible. I mean, but

Sean P. Holman (48m 56s):

Our, our job here isn’t to, isn’t to roll the hate further. Our job here is to talk about all the things, like, we talk about EVs, we talk about gas, we talk about Diesel, we talk about hybrids. It’s all relevant to our audience. And all we’re doing is bringing you the, the news with a little bit of editorialization around it. So, I. I’ve

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 14s):

Received a couple of emails from our listeners that also put a hundred dollars deposits on. I’m sure And. It’s funny, until we really started talking about it, I think they probably just kept it to themselves because they’re like, yeah,

Sean P. Holman (49m 22s):

Maybe, maybe

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 23s):

Not. Yeah, my friends are truck guys and they’ll just, they’ll, they’ll, you know, harsh my mellow,

Sean P. Holman (49m 27s):

Hey, listen, go, go buy what makes you happy at the end of the day. That’s, yeah, that’s what really matters. N nothing else matters. I just wanted to bring that up because I, I think it’s now the time is right, you’ve got the intersection of an aftermarket company coming together with some comments that I made early in the development of what it needed to be. And I’m kind of feeling like, you know, the aftermarket upgraded version is so much better, but you couldn’t have done it if Tesla didn’t put the right pieces in place to allow an aftermarket to go in. So, wow.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 53s):

Like it’s interesting if they didn’t have bumper mounts, for example, like where would you even put those Unplugged bumpers? Like, were there And don don’t know this. Yeah. I would imagine that they probably didn’t have provisions for,

Sean P. Holman (50m 5s):

Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. We,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50m 7s):

I don’t know. don

Sean P. Holman (50m 7s):

Don’t know. It’s all conjecture, so. Yeah. Yeah. Alright, well let’s get away from the future for a little bit and get into the now with a little bit of truck news.

6 (50m 16s):

What’s new in trucks?

7 (50m 18s):

We need to know

6 (50m 19s):

What’s new in trucks.

7 (50m 21s):

We need to know

6 (50m 22s):

What’s new in trucks.

7 (50m 24s):

We need to know

3 (50m 25s):

Lifted, lowered and everything in between. What’s happening in the

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50m 30s):

World of trucks? Ah, why? Just me. Dammit.

Sean P. Holman (50m 34s):

I I just wanted to see what you were gonna

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50m 35s):

Do. I was gonna do it, but I, I I looked over, I start making the noise and then you’re not doing anything. Yeah. The,

Sean P. Holman (50m 39s):

The, the, the, you

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50m 40s):

Didn’t take a breath. I, I could tell right away you were gonna do it ’cause you didn’t inhale. Well, the funny

Sean P. Holman (50m 44s):

Thing is, is there was sort of like a moment and then you faded out

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50m 48s):

Hard because I looked to my right. There was nothing coming out of your face and I just bailed on it. That

Sean P. Holman (50m 56s):

Sucked. And that was it. Yeah. Hey lighting. Did you hear? Nope.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (51m 2s):


Sean P. Holman (51m 3s):

So our friends over at Toyota gotten a little bit of hot water over in the UK for quote unquote lacking a sense of responsibility to society.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (51m 12s):

Oh. no. Why? What

Sean P. Holman (51m 14s):

Happened? Oh man. Well, apparently they had the Hilux, which is sort of like their Tacoma over there. And they ran afoul of the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority. And two Toyota Hilux advertisements were banned from the UK And. it said the banned the truck ad for quote unquote not being socially responsible enough environmentally, according to the Guardian. What? So the video that got banned shows several dozen Hilux trucks driving off road, crossing a river before getting back on the paved road and then driving through the city. And then another ad focuses on a couple of trucks that are off-roading, throwing up dirt while cresting a hill, while their large number of trucks follow in the background.

Sean P. Holman (51m 58s):

And according to the UK’s a SA, those, those ads, again, quote unquote condone the use of vehicles in a manner that disregarded their impact on nature and the environment. They had not been prepared with a sense of responsibility to society. And of course, some damn group called the Ad Free Cities was behind the complaint And. it was joined by another group called Bad Advertising and Bad Advertising. They basically have a quote from ad free city’s co-director Veronica Al says, and I don’t know if I should do it in a really bad British voice. But, yes. No, IM

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (52m 33s):

Not going do, do it in female British voice.

Sean P. Holman (52m 35s):

You can do it. These adverts epitomized Toyota’s total disregard from nature and the climate by featuring enormous, highly polluting vehicles driving at speed through rivers and wild grasslands. She later added, it’s a cynical use of nature to promote something incredibly nature damaging. Toyota says, Toyota does not condone behavior that is harmful to the environment. In fact, the course of the past three decades, not only has Toyota been one of the leaders in automotive field in terms of carbon emissions and reduction, it shared hundreds of royalty free licenses, allowing others to use its electrification technology. Anyway, they claimed the video was shot outside the UK on private land in a non ecologically sensitive environment. And that the poster was actually computer generated So, it doesn’t matter.

Sean P. Holman (53m 17s):

You made some, some people mad and they, they complained

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 21s):

Good for Toyota, good for Toyota making some of the world’s cleanest vehicles. And they make a couple of truck ads and now they’re the devil.

Sean P. Holman (53m 29s):

And now they are the devil.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 31s):

You can suck at a SA whoever you are in the uk I’m glad I’m not in London anymore.

Sean P. Holman (53m 36s):

Wow. Bet you wouldn’t have said that before you went there. No, I would’ve

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 39s):

Been happy to be there. Hey

Sean P. Holman (53m 40s):

Lighting, did you hear? No,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 42s):


Sean P. Holman (53m 43s):

Speaking of Toyota, you can still buy a shorty three door Toyota Land Cruiser 70.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 49s):

What? so we

Sean P. Holman (53m 50s):

You can, so we talked about how the 70 series was redesigned and It is available overseas and apparently even though it’s been around almost 40 years, it’s still available. And only in the United Arab Emirates Can, you get the three door.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (54m 8s):

I love the UAE. Show me a photo. There

Sean P. Holman (54m 10s):

You go.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (54m 11s):

Oh, I I it’s so rad. That’s so cute. I know I don’t use cute very often, but that is cute. I

Sean P. Holman (54m 16s):

I love everything about it. Yeah, it’s just, it’s proportioned properly.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (54m 20s):

I I feel like I’ve said this in the last three episodes. That’s a Lego car

Sean P. Holman (54m 24s):

That, that’s also Lego car. Yeah. Everything to use is a Lego

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (54m 27s):

Car. They just, they’re, when there’s that small and boxy, they’re just Legos You know what I mean? That’s a, that’s a good look. I like that. I like the little itty. I’m, I’m in the mood for a, a little itty bitty chocolate.

Sean P. Holman (54m 39s):

Hey lighting, did you hear?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (54m 41s):


Sean P. Holman (54m 43s):

Apparently there is a new suburban in town, the return of the Chevy Suburban

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (54m 49s):

Hd. When did it go away?

Sean P. Holman (54m 51s):

Well that’s been gone for a while. That was the eight lug Suburban. And you haven not been able to get one for at least a generation or two. Is that

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (54m 58s):

True? So my wife, no,

Sean P. Holman (54m 59s):

I’m making it up on the podcast because

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 0s):

I feel like it. No, so my wife had a, what was that? The GMT what? So she had an eight lug, four Wheel drive, suburban brand new, probably

Sean P. Holman (55m 9s):

800 in

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 10s):

2005 ish, somewhere in there.

Sean P. Holman (55m 14s):

Okay, that’s a long time ago. Yeah, It

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 16s):

Is, you’re right. Hmm. Wow.

Sean P. Holman (55m 18s):

You will not be able to get one. This is a completely new vehicle underneath, it’s called the hd, SUV for heavy Duty Sport utility. And It is an armored suburban from GM defense that has taken the General Motors truck body and manufacturing to create these things. Apparently the government loves it so much, they’re buying up to $300 million worth of these armored suburbans.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 45s):

Well, knowing the government, that’s what, 10 of them

Sean P. Holman (55m 47s):

Probably specifically it’s gonna be used for the US State Department for security services. And anyway,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 55s):

Wonder what’s under the hood.

Sean P. Holman (55m 56s):

So if you remember back in the September of 21, we had talked about it. They had basically had a initial $36.4 million government contract for the new heavy duties. And well these ones, according to friends over TFL truck appear to ride on heavy duty eight lug hubs and axles. The image shows thick, bulletproof, front and side glass. And according to GM defense, it’ll be a 6.2 liter gas V eight with a 10 speed or the three liter durmax I six with the 10 speed as well. Gotcha.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (56m 29s):

Makes sense. So

Sean P. Holman (56m 31s):

Also, according to GM defense, the vehicle includes a new and unique body on frame chassis suspension, specifically designed to support the increased vehicle weight and performance requirements. So I, think it’ll be cool, get yourself a armored suburban. Oh wait, you can’t, you are not the US government. Sorry. No. Hey lighting, did you hear?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (56m 50s):

No way. No.

Sean P. Holman (56m 51s):

Going back to Tesla, apparently the range extender, there’s some more information that is the in bed battery pack that bolts into the Cybertruck. According to sources on the internet, the battery pack might cost $16,000 and weigh over 500 pounds.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (57m 14s):

Whoa, that’s not right. No, that’s, that’s, that’s heavy. That’s silly.

Sean P. Holman (57m 20s):

But it would get closer to that 500 mile range that they originally promised. So they said it adds around 130 miles of additional range and the Cybertruck stayed at three 40, which means it would need around 47 kilowatt hours of usable storage or about 450 pounds in just batteries alone. So that seems to be a lot. They’re talking it, it might have as many as 5,754,680 cells.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (57m 45s):


Sean P. Holman (57m 45s):

Because the

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (57m 46s):

Million cells,

Sean P. Holman (57m 47s):

The, the Tesla three long range battery battery pack, which weighs, are

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (57m 51s):

They using those little CR 25 watch batteries?

Sean P. Holman (57m 54s):

I have no idea. So the Tesla model three long range weighs approximately 1,060 pounds and consists of 4.4 million cells weighing in at 68 grams each. So according to insight EVs, this works out to 662 pounds of cells or 63% of the pack weight. So they did a little math there to figure out what the, the pricing and all that would be. That’s a, that’s a lot of, that’s a lot of cheddar my friend. So when you get your Cybertruck, will you be getting that option? Yes.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (58m 22s):

Yes I will.

Sean P. Holman (58m 23s):

Okay. The second option is, will you outfit your Cybertruck with the optional color? I know I lied earlier. Wait,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (58m 33s):

Wait, wait. Hold on. this is The. first time I’m hearing about color,

Sean P. Holman (58m 37s):

The optional color, which I lied about and said there were no other optional colors, will be

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (58m 43s):

Stainless steel.

Sean P. Holman (58m 44s):

So the optional colors will be a black wrap or a white wrap

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (58m 49s):

Way. That’s, that’s lame. No way. They’re, they’re offering wraps from the factory.

Sean P. Holman (58m 54s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (58m 56s):

That’s a stupid and b lame.

Sean P. Holman (58m 59s):

I actually wish they would offer that F-150 wrap. They trolled with the spy photos. ’cause that was way

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (59m 4s):

Rather that’s that’s funny. I would

Sean P. Holman (59m 5s):

Be all about that, but at least you’re stainless steel won’t get fingerprints or scratches on it.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (59m 12s):

Well, you, I I would understand maybe a, like an expel wrap or something that’s clear and protective. Well, you can do, someone’s gonna still do that yourself. I mean someone’s gonna do a matte wrap, they’ll do some freaky glossy color. I wanna see someone take all the panels off electro polish ’em so they’re like basically chrome,

Sean P. Holman (59m 32s):

You know, mere finish. People will do that. Meir finish.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (59m 33s):

They’ll do it. They’ll do, yeah, they’re gonna do that.

Sean P. Holman (59m 35s):

Hey lighting, did you hear Oh? no,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (59m 38s):


Sean P. Holman (59m 38s):

3,882 dealerships spanning all 50 states have sent a letter to the president calling on the president of the United States to tap the brakes on the proposed electric vehicle mandate. You go to ev, voice of the and read the letter. You can also download the list of supporting dealers. So the dealers end the letter with this paragraph, which I thought was really well written, Mr. President, it’s time to tap the brakes on the unrealistic government electric vehicle mandate. Allow time for the battery technology to advance, allow time to make Bevs more affordable, allow time to develop domestic sources for the minerals to make the batteries, allow time for the charging infrastructure to be built and be proven reliable.

The Truck. Show Podcast is a production of truck famous LLC. This podcast was created by Sean Holman and Jay Tillis with production elements by DJ Omar Kahn. If you like what you’ve heard, please open your Apple Podcast or Spotify app and give us a five star rating. And if you’re a fan, there’s no better way to show your support than by patronizing our sponsors. Some vehicles may have been harmed during the making of this podcast.