“It got down to this: we’re doing everything ourselves anyway. Why don’t we just do this last part ourselves too? Start a website and sell it.”
So says Adam Carolla, entrepreneur/comedian/racer/bestselling author/podcast king. He’s talking about his new company, Chassy Media, which produces and markets historical documentaries, particularly about automobiles and racing.
The Chassy website is a premium platform which delivers content for the automotive connoisseur to rent, stream, or purchase.
Adam says, “We realized that if we were going to start making movies -- and especially with the automotive theme -- instead of taking it to some place in New York to a bunch of hipsters who really have no idea what they were dealing with, why not just keep it in-house?”
For this venture, Adam partners with Nate Adams, a Hollywood screenwriter who has produced and directed feature films, documentaries, television projects, an EA video game, and over 40 commercials.
Adam and Nate have collaborated on two films for Chassy, as well as the comedy Road Hard, which starred Adam Carolla himself.
“We’ve already sold about 10,000 units on Chassy.com, and it’s brand new,” Adam says. “We basically just got started.”
Good news, for sure, but Adam didn’t drive down this road with a map.
“I didn’t know what to expect.,” he says. “I didn’t know if people were going to go Chassy.com or buy it on iTunes or Amazon. I didn’t have any real thoughts. I’m usually running around so much that I don’t have time to fully consider what’s going to work or what’s not going to work. It just seemed like, all right, let’s do it. I don’t want to say that it exceeded my wildest dreams, because I really didn’t have dreams about it. But it’s a very good base, a really good jumping off point. We sold a lot of units. It’s worked out nicely.”
The latest offering, The 24-Hour War, tells the astonishing story of the racing rivalry between automakers Ford and Ferrari during the 1960s.
Ferrari was the most successful racing team in the world, winning consistently at LeMans. Ford, humiliated by GM’s Corvette on the race track and in the showroom, asked Ferrari to team up to beat GM. The negotiations eventually crashed, so Ford set out to build its own supercar: the legendary GT40. This story leads up to the 24-hour LeMans race between Ford and Ferrari, and the breathtaking history that takes us to the finish line.
The underdog tale has a universal appeal, and you don’t have to be a gear head to appreciate it.
“You don’t have to be into cars,” Adam says. “It’s a story. It doesn’t require preexisting knowledge. You don’t have to be a car guy. You just have to be into a good story.”
Another Chassy offering, Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman, profiles the side of the actor most of us never knew: car racer. His racing life spanned 35 years and almost sidelined his acting career. During that time, he won four national championships as a driver and eight championships as an owner – and he began racing when he was 47-years old.
Another compelling story based on, as the website itself calls it, “gasoline-fueled passion.”
“It’s just guys out competing, pure and simple,” Adam says. “That part is never going to change. Technology will change, but the part where guys compete is never going to change.”
Taking a detour from auto racing, Chassy also offers The Bug: The Life and Times of the People’s Car. It explores the super-ironic story of Volkswagen’s dark start in Nazi Germany, its groundbreaking advertising campaign out of New York, and its iconic hippie days during the Summer of Love. The VW Bug formed a very special bond with its millions of owners (actor Ewan McGregor is on hand to explain further). The odd-looking car became one of the most successful (and successfully marketed) products of all time.
Does screening some joints about wheels sound like a plan? Without a doubt, there is an audience for this.
“It’s working for us,” Adam says. “You don’t get rich, but as long as we can pay for the next one -- as long as the math pencils out, and so far it has been, then we can keep just building the library.”