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Jesse James addresses the 2008 AutoWeek Design Forum

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Jesse James speaks at the AutoWeek Design Forum.

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

DETROIT -- West Coast Choppers Owner Jesse James spoke at the 2008 AutoWeek Design Forum with no prepared speech in hand. He arrived with his wife, Sandra Bullock, to the gala held during the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center's Riverview Ballroom. James spoke about the changes in the automotive industry, his new Spike TV show and how the Chinese are coming.

"Do you want to talk about the Presidential race or something?" he joked. "Let's talk about cars" and the crowd cheered.

Everything about Jesse James involves fuel. He enjoys motor sports, TNN tractor pulls, low riders, drag racing and Supercross. After a 70 hour work week, most people would be tired. It only takes a sniff of racing fuel to get Jesse James excited about driving.

"It's weird times for the industry right now," said James. "I don't want to go to an electric Formula One race."

As far as gasoline goes, he said: "10 years ago we didn't care. Hammer down. Yeah, fill it up. You know what, put premium in it. I'm in a hurry. If you spill a little bit, oh well. It will clean off the ashphalt."

New EPA regulations have affected James' business. "I got fined $275,000 by the air resource board for not having Carb-approved motors in my bikes."

The West Coast Choppers owner had a chance to look at some of the Chinese vehicles at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. His response: "What dealership do you take those to? It may be $2,500 bucks today. How much is it going to be later?"

Jesse James got his start on television in 1999 with "Motorcycle Mania." Then, he was offered a weekly show on building bikes with four episodes to start. It became so popular that 96 episodes later and after 6 years, it is still on the air. James started his own production company, Pay Back Sucker Production. He is currently working on a 2-hour special for Spike TV that will develop a hybrid car with a top speed of 186 mph.

The Editor's Choice Awards were also presented at the Design Forum. The Most Significant Vehicle was the Ford F-150. The Cadillac CTS Coupe won the Best Concept award. The Most Fun Vehicle was the Audi R8 TDI Concept. The Chevy Corvette ZR1 won the Best in Show award.

AmericaJR.com's coverage of the 2008 NAIAS is sponsored by The Omni Detroit Hotel at River Place, The Dow Event Center in Saginaw and by RazorGator.com.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

"Is the planet gonna blow up if I drive my pickup today?" Jesse James asked.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

When referring to the 2008 NAIAS, he said: "There's a lot of neat stuff."

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

AutoWeek Publisher K.C. Crain read questions for Jesse James.

 

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"THE SHRINE CIRCUS"

January 17 - 20, 2008

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Once again, AmericaJR.com will Broadcast LIVE from the 2008 North American International Auto Show Press Preview Days and Industry Preview Days. Read our Press Release.
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This page was last updated on Mon, January 28, 2008 11:26 AM

 

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