Caffeine and Octane: Interviewing the Mastermind’s Behind America’s Largest Car Show

When you’re out here filming the show, is there a particular type of car that you look for?

I’m always looking for something that I’ve not seen before, or I haven’t seen in years. I love really good craftsmanship. I love it when I see a father and a son that worked on it together. That’s what’s going to continue this hobby. When a guy and his son, or a guy and his daughter, have worked on a car and they bring it out here for the first time. To watch the son or the daughter next to the car, it’s really a lot of fun.

The Drive: What’s do things look like for you when you’re hustling around the show trying to get things done?

Ed Coughlin: We run four full crews and three talents, each talent has a full crew when they’re going to find a favorite car, or finish up a story.

Do you have people that scout around to see what’s interesting?

Yeah, we do. We also have Bruce and we have TJ. TJ’s kind of the gatekeeper, so he’ll tell us, ‘Three DeLoreans just came in and they all have flux capacitors.’ He’ll point us in directions. We can never see it all, but I do a continuing TV show, so it’s kind of good to never see it all.

At the same time, I’m also looking for interesting people, someone who’s comfortable on camera, someone with a story behind their car. Even right now, I’m looking over your shoulder going, ‘That’s cool, that’s cool, that’s cool.’ Producing TV shows and motorsports [in the past], I used to have to look for diversity. I don’t have to look for diversity at this show. I think it’s the coolest thing, it’s a variety of color, male, female, young and old. The network loves that.

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