Industrial designer, automotive fabricator, innovator, trend setter, timepiece, luxury products expert, creator, actor, writer, producer and entrepreneur describes just part of Brad Fanshaw.
An award winning designer of cars and fine timepieces, he holds multiple world wide patents and is an innovator who is credited with developing today’s world of hot rodding and action sports.
At an early age, Brad was interested in how things worked and how commerce was generated. It was his inquisitive nature and his ability to spot trends that have allowed him to realize incredible success. Pursuing his passions have kept him on the forefront of many innovative industries.
BMX was the sport of choice for Brad and he quickly became an accomplished racer and stylish jumper. He began racing in San Diego, California at legendary tracks like The Bike Shop of El Cajon and Rancho San Diego. When his family moved to Omaha, Nebraska he was not discouraged, he and his father helped to create the first BMX track and he introduced his new Midwestern friends to racing.
Due to his participation in the formative years of BMX in California, he calls many of the BMX legends personal friends. His experience and ability saw him race at the PRO level and be ranked in the top 15 nationally. He leveraged his BMX career to get a job at the sanctioning body for BMX. His creative writing and photography skills helped him become an employee of the American Bicycle Association (ABA) directly out of school. He was hired as the editor of its publication and quickly rose to become the Vice President.
ACTION SPORTS INNOVATOR
When a business associate and friend, Brad Dorfman approached him with an offer to join his growing company in California, Fanshaw never thought twice. Vision Street Wear was a growing action sports company that was quickly becoming the action sports leader. Dorfman needed someone with Brad’s varied and qualified marketing and business skills while knowledgeable about the progressive sports market.
The move was a major decision for Brad and his wife, but he recognized the company was poised for greatness and wanted to help lead that meteoric rise. As the definitive leader in skateboards, snowboards, apparel, shoes, action sports events and programming, Vison Street Wear (VSW) allowed Brad to flex his marketing expertise. As part of VSW’s executive team, Brad grew the company from $10 million in sales to in excess o $120 million in just five years.
When you watch today’s progressive programming such as the X-Games, remember that Brad was the pioneer who helped create those events.
HOT ROD KING
As the VSW company grew so did the interests of the owners and the grind of running such an empire was not the first choice of Dorfman. Brad decided it was time to take his rewards of helping build the empire and invest in another Southern California company. He saw a small shop in Stanton, California that was building the most creative hot rods in the world and also manufacturing the worlds first billet aluminum wheels
The owner of the company was Boyd Coddington and the shop Hot Rods by Boyd. Having just finished the ZZ Top CadZZilla, a custom Cadillac, Coddington was riding a new wave of success. Despite his notoriety in the hot rod world, he was still unknown to main street America. That changed quickly when Brad invested in the company and took a major management role.
Brad utilized many of the ideas that helped build VSW to prominence and tweaked them to work in the aftermarket industry. The company was expanded, product diversified and he marketed the hot rods and products in a way that was new to the industry. It was his innovation that made Coddington the King of Hot Rods and attracted and honed the talent of employees such as Chip Foose and Jesse James, both whom the team hired.
Brad and Coddington developed a hot-rod look that was coined as the “Boyd Look”. Together they would decide what hot rods to create, name the cars and it was Brad who would market the hot rods as if they were products. This innovation helped to build what is today's rock-n-roll automotive lifestyle as seen on television.
In less than five years, Brad grew the Boyd Coddington Companies from just $500,000 in sales to over $39 million. He also directed and led an I.P.O. with an offering on NASDAQ that was a success and saw a secondary offering.
Before the Bonneville Salt Flats were a trendy marketing tool, Brad was an avid enthusiast. After selling his interest in the Boyd Coddington Companies (Hot Rods by Boyd and Boyds Wheels), he named his new venture after the salt flats where men and machine chase world speed records. Bonneville became a sponsor of Dennis Varni’s bellytanker that regularly raced at Bonneville. The company was also a major sponsor of the Petersen Automotive Museum in it’s initial and formative years. Having been the President/COO, board member and major shareholder of Boyds, he was under a non-compete agreement.
Since building wheels and/or hot rods was part of his agreement, Brad pursued his passion for watches. He designed the timepiece collection and sourced his manufacturing in Switzerland. With the premier manufacturer of fine watches in the world handling the manufacturing for the brand, he quickly realized success. The Bonneville model 12.4.8 was voted one of the ten best watches in the world and the Saudi Royal Family chose Bonneville watches for gifts.
Bonneville Swiss Watches are luxury hand-assembled, mechanical timepieces and each is individually numbered. Every watch is designed with automotive inspiration and are truly for the automotive enthusiast. The watches that are CNC machined from stainless steel and precious metals are prized collectors watches that range from $1200 to $50,000 each.
Knowing that not all of his friends and fellow car guys could afford to invest in a limited edition timepiece, he launched bonspeed Watches. The line was directed at the hands-on car guy and the line is made to be worn around cars and the shop. Many top racing teams (IRL, NASCAR, NHRA) have worn bonspeed at the track.
Bonneville and bonspeed watches are sought by collectors around the world for the cutting-edge designs and limited availability. The limited edition watches are sold around the world.
BONSPEED "A CALIFORNIA SPEED & DESIGN STUDIO"
Once cars are your passion you can never walk away, when Brad was free of his non-compete agreement, he aggressively re-entered the hot rod and wheel industries. By this time his good friend Michael Anthony (Van Halen/Chickenfoot) had become a partner in the company.
The two first published a mail-order catalog named Bonneville Speed & Supply (now bonspeed.com) that offered enthusiasts garage gear, apparel and collectibles. Then the company licensed US Wheel the rights to manufacture and distribute a line of billet wheels designed by Brad.
Shortly after the wheel line was launched, Brad began designing and building custom show cars to promote bonspeed. He had been building cars for himself since exiting Hot Rods by Boyd, but now he was building for the enthusiasts. His cars have won numerous awards including the prestigious GM and Ford Design Awards. He prides himself on innovation and a cutting-edge use of color.
In 2006, Brad ended the licensing agreement and brought the production of bonspeed Forged Wheels in-house. The bonspeed wheel brand is known as a design leader and one of the industries premier brands for quality. Top builders and enthusiasts regularly choose bonspeed wheels.
bonspeed has diversified by offering industrial design and brand management for corporate clients under the the bonspeedMedia.com flag. Clients have included Tommy Bahama (Watch Line Design), Saleen (Saleen S7 Component Design), BF Goodrich (Awards Design and Manufacture), Bombardier Aircraft (Sculpture and Premium Design) and BMW (Watch Design). The company has also consulted Barrett-Jackson and many aftermarket companies on brand extension and management.
Brad Fanshaw is the first to tell you that bonspeed is only limited by the ideas of him and his team. If a corporation wants to use racing, hot rods or custom cars as a marketing tool or a celebrity wants to become involved in our industry, bonspeed is the company to contact.
BRAD FANSHAW QUICK FACTS
While business partners with the legendary Boyd Coddington, their shop (Hot Rods by Boyd) won the AMBR (America’s Most Beautiful Roadster) award four (4) times!
Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones) is a relative, yep it’s true! Mick’s dad is, Basil Fanshawe ("Joe") Jagger.
Brad is a multi-award winning car builder/designer who has won both the GM Design Award and the Ford Design Award.
Both Chip Foose and Jesse James have worked for Brad.
Brad has been granted multiple world design and utility patents for his watch designs.
Brad’s interest in cars and watches might have been pre-determined, one of his great grandmothers was a Brietling (Breitling Watches) and the other a Bentley (Bentley Motors).
Brad was inducted into the Nebraska BMX Hall of Fame in 2010.
Brad’s business partner is Michael Anthony (Van Halen/Chickenfoot) a world renowned rock star.
Brad still owns his first car, a 1967 Chevelle SS 396