Fame doesn't matter much to Troy Spackman - he already feels like a success.
"The future is bright for us," Spackman said, referring to his West York custom car building business, Legacy Innovations.
Spackman was contacted last year by producers of a reality TV competition. The idea? To pit a group of experienced designers, each with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, against one another in a head-to-head design competition.
Think "Project Runway." With cars.
The idea piqued his interest, but he didn't give it much thought until his mother asked him, "What do you have to lose?"
"I'm glad I did it," Spackman said. "It turned out to be a really neat experience."
Spackman started his own shop in 2006. He had worked at three shops prior to that, and had always had an interest in old cars.
"My life revolved around building cars and making things," he said.
His start: After graduating from Red Lion Area Senior High School, Spackman began doing custom car projects on the side to make money with friend Travis Coeyman.
"It got to be where the side work was too much to get any of our own projects done," Spackman said. "So we just decided to quit our jobs and do it full time."
He said his family was supportive of his decision, and helped to give him the push to go out on his own. He credits his parents with instilling his strong work that drives him to compete and keep trying new things.
"They really taught me that what you put in will determine what you get out," he said.
Spackman said he has always been creative, but doesn't consider himself an artist. He said looking at cars, he looks for shapes and forms, and how he can optimize those when designing a car.
"I'm for form on top of function," he said.
The 10 contestants Spackman competed against each had some form of artistic and technical background, he said. The challenges weren't weighted in anyone's favor, he pointed out.
"Each goal was designed to really break us down, get us out of our comfort zone, and see whether you were still good outside of your element," Spackman said.
Fun, but challenging: The competition pushed him and the other competitors, he said, but was a lot of fun.
"It was a really neat experience," he said. "I got to do some really neat things - things I never dreamed of."
Still, he said, he does wish he had done some things differently - like the way he conducted himself at certain points throughout the competition.
"The frustration got to everybody," he said.
But Spackman isn't disappointed. He said he was happy to return home to his team at Legacy Innovations, who had been busy traveling to a car show while he was gone.
As for the show? He wouldn't reveal how far he made it in the competition, and said the other competitors have been just as tight-lipped with him. The grand prize - $100,000 and a brand-new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, he said - was up for grabs for one of the contestants.
"It's any man's game," Spackman said.
He said he doesn't have any plans to watch the premiere, however.
"I think I'll be at a car show that week."
- Reach Amy Peiffer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch the competition
"Motor City Masters" will premiere at 10 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, on truTV.
Hosted by Brooke Burns, "Motor City Masters" brings together 10 experienced designers with various specialties and backgrounds to compete.
For more information, visit www.trutv.com/shows/motor-city-masters.