I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Eric and Marc Kozeluh, the two brothers who make up Twins Turbo (and are better known as GRIM and KOZ), for the better part of 13 years, at least as long as I’ve been writing for Super Street. From their humble beginnings at Vinny Ten’s Performance Factory, then moving westward to join RPS and Chris Rado’s drag team, the boys have always been into something good. Always hardworking and seeking the next big project, which led them to their own venture: Twins Turbo. Put simply: these are guys who love to build cars and have a fantastic story to tell, being that it’s hard to find fabricators in the US who do work this good and are still in business. You need to know their story, too.
We came out to California not knowing what was going to happen; we just rolled the dice and took our chances. The industry was booming at that time, so we were able to make a pretty nice living for ourselves; a couple TV spots and whatnot. The economy is pretty poor for people in our industry now, but we still make a living doing what we love doing. We have a good reputation for doing good work, and our customers come from around the globe. I feel we’ve paid our dues and have set ourselves in the upper echelon of fabrication.
We don’t have time to sit around selling parts. We like to work in the shop, create something cool and go to the racetrack.
I spent the last 10 years of my life trying to improve myself, my techniques, afford better materials, basically strive to do everything better. I always try to learn something new. You can love what you do, but if you don’t offer a realistic set of skills to your customer, there’s no use in doing this. There are a lot of fabricators who I look up to that do an awesome job. There’s always a way you can learn that’s better than what you know. I’m always looking at other people’s work at the track so I can pick up ideas on how to solve problems. - GRIM
What inspires us? Hot rod stuff, man. We’ve been reading Hot Rod for years and recently they’ve been getting into turbochargers. Hot rod builders put an extreme amount of detail into their builds. Those dudes take their shit seriously; their customers take their shit seriously. Not to take away from what you guys are doing, but the import mags in general, I’ve gotten sick of. I’m tired of seeing cockpits from a F16 and these products from Japan that will supposedly make your car better or faster. I’d rather see a pile of metal turned into art, and there’s not a lot of that in our industry.
It doesn’t matter where you come from as long as your car is something that’s unique and interesting. There are people who were only around to hang out, have something to do and now they’ve moved onto something else. The love is what weeds people out.
We had the opportunity to move on, but you have to dig deep and find your own path if you’re going to make it in this world. There are months where we could’ve used more money, sure, but having complete control over your destiny and being your own boss is pretty important, and takes a lot of work.
The import scene got to a point where it was so popular that it started to suck. We’re glad to have the core people left now. When it was crazy, all people cared about were the foam parties. We couldn’t even get racing done. The bikini contest is off, so there’s no more qualifying this round. Like what? (laughs) Are we having a race with a bikini show or is the racing a sideshow to the bikini contest? It takes a lot of work and effort to get a car and team prepared to battle in that type of arena, and to just brush them off as a sideshow is ridiculous. Some people used to pimp our scene in a skirt and just sell it any way they could.
We’re really excited about the Supra you guys are looking at. Our customer, Dan, was looking to have his Supra built and was shopping around for a place to build it. He’d never heard of us because we don’t do a lot of street cars and don’t do show cars. We were barely on the forums, so it was hard for him to find information on us. He came over and wanted something so unique, to the point where it would look stock from the outside but everything else, the motor and drivetrain, would be completely custom. Something that Supra owners who’ve owned Supras for years would have to study it and say look at that. The dude loves metal working and he would drop off money for us to go buy raw materials and create something for him. He was stoked to get something that nobody else could get.
You should’ve seen the original plan; it’s nothing like what you see in the finished product. We kept adding and evolving on top of what we initially started out with. It’s really cool to have someone who’s so into their car and have the means to pay for it. He deals with super exotic cars and is a discriminating customer. He’s used to seeing the best and wanted his Supra to be representative of the same class of car. Halfway through the build, I had to stop and take my car apart because it was no longer the baddest car out there (laughs). With Dan’s car, we spared no expense of knowledge of putting everything we’ve learned about building cars into this one. The car is so unique from a Supra standpoint that it was an absolute honor to work on it. Dan really trusted our vision.
Some of these high-dollar builds, you’ll take your Supra to the shop, drop a lot of money and wind up with nothing different, just a different combination of what everybody else has already. The fancy parts are cool, but instead of spending the money on being fancy, Dan wanted everything under the hood as close to a GT car as possible, and just make it fast. Every little thing on this is custom made. And if you think about it, you could probably spend about the same amount of money going totally custom than if you spent all your money on high-end parts. Just know that you have options out there
I always ask myself what’s coming up in the future. We’re always focused on moving forward. We’re blessed to be in business right now. We have people from all over the world calling us to work on their cars. So many shops have come and go, even those who you’d never think would go out of business. Surviving means doing a better job and working with the customer, to give them what they want and make impossible possible to do. I want to be around when the economy stabilizes and picks back up; I don’t want to start from scratch. Maybe a drift car or two? More things with Rado and Toyota; anything with the manufacturers.