Fat N' Furious

Discovery Channel Show Debuts June 23

Larry Jewett - June 17, 2014 02:57 PM


The guys at Christmas Automotive prepare to make a customer's car go even faster.

Courtesy of Discovery Channel

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      In the “Rust Belt” state of Ohio, speed reigns supreme – the faster the car, the fatter the profit. FAT N’ FURIOUS: ROLLING THUNDER, premiering on the Discovery Channel Monday, June 23 at 10PM ET/PT, follows the antics of the hilarious, large-and-in-charge car junkies of Christmas Automotive as they boost business by hunting down left-for-dead cars and bringing them back to life.
      “We build up muscle cars for speed,” Tommy Christmas told us. “We find cars and make them faster. We have customers come in with 12 and 13 second cars and they want them to be quicker. Speed has a price and they have to be willing to pay the price.”
      As the name infers, the work isn’t being done by Olympic gymnasts. With a waist size that rivals the Rust Belt itself, Tommy and his crew do know all the tricks to make any car go furiously faster on the race track. From rust buckets to rare tribute cars, Tommy can restore any car and get it ready for the race track.
“I do most of the driving. I’m 310 pounds, but I seem to have a developed a way of getting in and out around roll cages. We make sure the car goes down the track like it should. They say every hundred pounds adds a tenth of a second, so if the owner is a smaller guy, he’s going to pick up a little more.”
Christmas Automotive handles street cars and dedicated race cars. Tommy is a GM guy (He built his Nova at the age of 16) as are most of the workers, but they have the skills and abilities to handle domestic muscle cars from the Big 3. Asian tuners need not apply.
      Helping Tommy along the way are his three best friends: Steve, Chuck and Andy – the only thing bigger than their love for race cars is their appetite. As such, they take a lot of kidding, but they can give it back. “We have a lot of fun in what we do. We all click together.”
      Christmas Automotive is a five-bay shop that has been helping racers for 12 years. With Quaker City Motorsports Park in Salem, Ohio, as their stomping grounds, the guys don’t get to spend as much time at the track as they would like, but they have been there to support their customers as needed. Soon, though, as TV stars, they may need bodyguards.
      “It hasn’t really hit us yet, it’s still kinda surreal. We’re hoping that other people of size can look at us and laugh and help get rid of the drama in their lives. We laugh at ourselves all the time. We’re not role models, but we want to show the world that you don’t have to be perfect to enjoy what you do and have fun.”