Wayne Carini trusts his Enclosed 2-car Hauler to transport hidden treasures
For some people, a classic car is just a collector’s item. For others, it’s a hobby or even a quick paycheck. For Chasing Classic Cars host Wayne Carini, each classic car he comes across is a treasure. With 150 episodes and four 1-hour specials behind them, Wayne and the team at Chasing Classic Cars know a thing or two about tracking down, restoring and auctioning cars that have sometimes been forgotten by time. Wayne also believes that in the grand scheme of things, cars are art. “Art means something to so many people. They’re parts of families, society, our history … and unearthing these cars is like archeology and the dig for treasure.”
Speaking recently with Wayne as he toured around a 1949 Buick Roadmaster — the same one used in the film Rain Man — we asked him what Chasing Classic Cars is all about. We also asked him about the Pace American 2-car trailer he relies on and what it was that brought all of this success to life. You see, Wayne’s knowledge and love for classic cars wasn’t just something he happened to pick up later in life. No, this was a calling passed down to him when he was just 8 years old.
Robert Carini, Wayne’s father, spent his whole life restoring cars and is the reason Wayne knows and loves what he does today. Wayne spoke of working for his father in the late 50’s, earning a cool 25- 50 cents an hour for his efforts. “I was the guard at age ten. My father was very methodical about his lunch and dinner, so no matter where we were, he made sure he was fed. But, he was also very protective of the cars and didn’t want anyone to touch them. So, I was tasked with standing next to the car while they ate and they’d bring food out for me.” In the 1950-1960’s, there simply weren’t many enclosed trailers like the ones found at Pace American dealerships across the country today. So, his father had to improvise the means in which they’d transport their cars from place to place.
Robert ended up converting U-Haul’s by adding ramps and drilling holes into the floor for straps that would hold the vehicles in place. Describing the custom trailer that Wayne uses on the show, “We designed it to be multi-purpose, with tie-downs and an E-track in the floor to handle motorcycles, as well.” Realizing the inconvenience of open trailers growing up, once Wayne began to find enclosed trailers, like the Pace American gooseneck, it was an easy transition to make. Thirty years later, an enclosed car hauler is always included in the show’s inventory. Wayne says, “It’s part of doing business. You have to have the right tools to do these things.”
While classic cars are certainly his passion, Wayne took a break to earn his Art Education degree, but remained working for his father during the summertime… and well, he just never stopped. He stuck with it, explaining that he’d always loved exotic sports cars. And, in 1973, after getting the chance to fix a damaged Ferrari – the car of his dreams — Wayne says he was, “In seventh heaven from there and the rest took off like a rocket ship.”
As far as Chasing Classic Cars goes, Jim Astrausky, the soon to be creator, learned about Wayne and his pursuit of a Hudson Italia when he was just 16. Having finally purchased it 38 years later, Jim called Wayne up and offered to document what he’d been doing. As Wayne put it, “I thought he was crazy, but I figured I’ll listen.” Jim and Wayne decided it wasn’t about being an actor (and it wouldn’t be about any pay), but rather about the passion for the act. They figured they didn’t know what would happen, but it was worth a shot. “It could be a hit show… or it could flop,” Wayne recalled. However, the network liked it so much that they opted for a second season, feeling that they could trust what the show was doing. A small crew was established and they were off to the races hunting down rare finds and genuine stories.
As for the day of filming, Wayne insists on not seeing the car beforehand. We as viewers are seeing Wayne react to the car for the very first time, adding to the authenticity the show prides itself on. Wayne will then inspect the car, ask to ride it around the property and that’s pretty much it. “The whole process is typically over in a couple of hours. The car will then be shipped home and get further checks. Then we’ll take it to the shop and decide whether to take it for my own personal collection or sell it and figure out those steps next.” Wayne describes it as an easy formula, yet anything can happen. “You get this feeling… and you don’t want someone else to get to it first and then have it be sold.” Meaning sometimes it can all happen in a single day.
Wayne’s been hauling cars since he was 20 years old and he’s used many different trailers as a result. Describing his Pace American 2-car hauler as top-of-the-line, Wayne attested to the way these trailers handle out on the road, explaining that, “As I’m driving the truck, it’s important to know that [the trailer] is a really great vehicle that handles well as I drive.” Wayne even went so far as to say, “With this being my eighth fifth-wheel over the years, I like this one the most.”
Sharing his thoughts about Pace American’s dedication to customer service, Wayne jumped to one word, “Unbelievable.” Wayne praised the team for their quick resolutions, recalling that he’d had nothing but a positive experience with the company and its products. “They are very, very, good about returning calls and doing what makes their clients happy, and that counts almost as much as the product itself.” Going on to speak about the build quality, Wayne answered the only way a true-owner could, “You can tell by using it … what it looks like, how it acts, how it hauls and how the doors open after regular use.” He went on to say that; “Anything can look good, but as you use it down the road, 20-30,000 miles after delivery, that’s how you can really tell.”
After all this time spent chasing the classics, we asked Wayne whether or not he still found things to be surprised by. “Every day,” he was quick to respond. The way Wayne sees it, “That’s what it’s all about.” His favorite car is always the next one, hence the shows tagline, “It’s all about the chase.” Wrapping it up neatly, Wayne said that, “It’s all about finding these cars that have been hidden away in barns and garages… cars that haven’t seen daylight in 40-50 years… they really are treasures.”
Watch Chasing Classic Cars on the Velocity Network, and if you’re looking to share in Wayne’s passion a bit more directly, you can see his current inventory on his website F40 Motorsports.
Chasing Classic Cars