Jason Aker began his career in the car business in 1992. In 2002 he was given an opportunity at “World Wide Muscle Cars” by Steve Hudiburg and Mike McCullough in his home state of Oklahoma and began to solely focus on classic car restoration; an opportunity that Jason is grateful for very publicly to this day. In fact, the first car he took apart and began to learn his trade with was a 1967 Shelby.
Jason’s career as a Shelby and Mustang restoration expert hit another level when he was asked to Judge one of the divisions of Shelby Mustangs at Car shows all around the nation by his mentor and fellow Shelby Judge, John Brown. He credits his high level of expertise in classic Shelby Mustang restoration with his days of judging Shelby’s and being around the other Shelby judges who had a wealth of knowledge and were very willing to share the things they had learned over years of judging.
Fellow judge John Brown who initially asked Jason to become a judge was the head judge for the 1966 division and took Jason’s knowledge to the next level with his lifetime of knowledge in the industry. Without John Brown Jason would not be the Shelby Restoration expert he is today. Jason also received a wealth of knowledge from fellow Judge Jason Billups who headed up the 1969 and 1970 division.
Two of Jason’s most prized restorations were serial code 001 1966 Shelby GT350 and the “one of four” 1966 Shelby GT350 convertibles. These are the two restorations that really put Jason on the map.
The detail that Jason paid attention two on serial code 001 is incredible and is the reason that it was invited to be shown at the top car show in the world back in 2012, The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. That was the only year that Mustangs were invited to this high-end car show to this day. Attention to the unique blue vinyl top and even how the quarter glass was installed are some of the many reasons why serious Shelby Mustang enthusiasts seek out Jason when they need their favorite Shelby Mustang restored or refreshed. Jason does not miss one detail.
This car was a Division 1 Gold winner and went for over $600,000 at a Barrett-Jackson Auction not long ago. The estimated worth of this car today is over 1 million.
The “one of four” red convertible 1966 GT350’s that Jason also restored was the most highly optioned car of the four convertibles made that year. In fact, the only reason why Carroll Shelby made four convertibles that year was because a dear friend of his kept buying Ferrari’s and naturally it drove Carroll crazy. When Carroll asked his friend why he wouldn’t buy a Shelby Mustang he simply said it was because it was not offered in a convertible; and with that the Shelby Mustang Convertible came to life.
This car was also a Division 1 Gold winner and was purchased by the current owner for $660,000. It easily worth 1 million today due to its restoration quality and rarity.
Gas Monkey Garage
In November of 2013 Jason had a unique opportunity arise when he got a call from Richard Rawlings to help restore serial code 001 and 002 Pontiac Firebirds on the hit reality car show “Fast and Loud” on the Discovery Channel. Jason credits Dennis Collins of “Collin’s Brothers Jeep” for turning Richard on to him after seeing the work that Jason had previously done on a couple of very high end and rare 1966 Shelby GT350’s. Jason was supposed to be hired just temporarily but ended up being offered full time employment at Gas Monkey after showing how skillful he was at the restoration process. In 2015 when lead mechanic Aaron Kaufmann left the show Jason was asked to become the lead mechanic. In Jason’s time at Gas Monkey Garage he and his team built two cars for “Hot Wheels”, two race cars to race against “Street Outlaws”, a race car for Kurt Busch, and ultimately over 80 cars in a 6 and a half year time frame. This is an un-heard of amount of cars in such a short time in the industry.
Ultimately Gas Monkey Garage gave Jason a much better feel for the “Restoration Modification” world that he was not familiar with prior to. Getting to work with 7 other guys that were exceptional at skill sets he wasn’t an expert at (fabrication, welding, painting, etc.) really helped him to become a more “well rounded” builder. Jason is grateful to this day for the time he was able to spend with his crew at Gas Monkey Garage.
With his work being on public display on the hit Reality Discovery Channel Show “Fast and Loud” Jason’s work caught the eye of Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson Auctions. Jason accepted a position with the leading auction house heading the restoration division of Barrett-Jackson and coordinating the four auctions that the auction house hosted every year.
The beauty of working at Barrett-Jackson is that it further helped to “round out” Jason’s education in the car world by making him keenly aware of the business side of the classic car market “after” a car is restored. He learned very quickly
what people expect for the money they are spending.
Four on the Floor Garage
Jason is super excited at getting back to his passion of restoring classic cars on a regular basis with emphasis on Shelby’s and Mustang’s at his own shop. This is why he and partner Tommy O’Brien Jr have set out on this new venture. The passion that Jason had way back in 2002 when he began his journey in the classics is even stronger now than before. He looks very forward to this next chapter of
his career and intends to not only do traditional restorations but to also do restoration modifications. Jason furthermore wants to give more insight into his builds by offering podcasts and interviews talking about some of the high end cars he has had the pleasure of working on in the past as well as projects he is currently working on.
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