Funkhouser Race Cars - Growing With Torchmate From a Torchmate 4800 to a Torchmate 5100 And Expanding to High Definition Plasma Cutting!
Turning A Passion Into A Business By San Diego
Funkhouser Race Cars was founded in 2007 by owners, Matt and Mike Funkhouser. The business is located in Ramona, California, a small town not far from San Diego. Matt has always had a passion and love for all-things cars. His passion fueled his commitment to open a business within the automotive industry. When Matt and Mike first opened the business, it was an auto repair shop.
However, the company evolved over the next few years as Matt improved his welding skills and began furthering his knowledge for metal fabrication. “I always knew the industry would move towards CNC machines. In 2011, I started learning SolidWorks and became a proficient welder. In 2012, I enrolled in a local community college for Autocad classes. I was able to grasp Autocad quickly because I would often use what I learned the very next day at my business. After 3 semesters, even Advanced Autocad was easy to use,” said Matt.
After obtaining his new CAD and welding skills, Matt transitioned the focus of the business to fabricating custom race car parts which is when Funkhouser Race Cars was truly formed. It did not take long for Matt to realize hand cutting all of the car parts was extremely time consuming and sometimes inconsistent. The business then started outsourcing their parts to be cut with a waterjet.
No More Outsourcing Parts Thanks To FineLine
Funkhouser Race Cars started to grow rapidly. Their racecar parts began gaining popularity and demand continued to increase. They were outsourcing more and more parts and knew the next step was to bring the cutting process back in-house. Matt said, “For three to four years we were having projects outsourced by waterjet. We had to drive almost 45 minutes to pick up every part we outsourced.
This made R&D very difficult and we had to pay them to nest everything. We suddenly were in the market to purchase a CNC plasma-cutting table. We have a friend who has a Torchmate so we were able to see the cut quality and how easy the software is to use. In 2018, we made the leap and bought a Torchmate 4800 table. The Torchmate elevated our business and our profits. We no longer have to outsource parts.” Now Funkhouser Race Cars could quickly and easily cut parts and perform R&D. They then were able to launch a line of suspension for racecars. As their product offerings expanded, they needed to cut more and more steel plate on their Torchmate table.
“We were cutting 5 or 6 quarter inch plates a month. The Torchmate machine was running for hours every day and we still needed to cut more. We were yet again in the market for another CNC machine. We knew laser would be too expensive and waterjet would be too slow. A high definition plasma cutter was the next step,” said Matt. In June 2022, Funkhouser Race Cars upgraded their Torchmate 4800 to a Torchmate 5100 equipped with a FineLine 300 high definition plasma cutter. The business can now easily cut parts fast enough to keep up with the high demand for their products.
Making $50,000 Per Month With Torchmate & FineLine
Matt told us, “Since upgrading to the Torchmate 5100 with FineLine 300, we have slashed our cut time in half and doubled our cut quality. We now frequently cut at 90 inches per minute which is double the speed of the Torchmate 4800. On 3/16 inch material, we can cut up to 180 inches per minute and 700 inches per minute on 22 gauge. The quality of the parts we are cutting with the FineLine look as if they were cut with laser. There is also virtually zero dross. I am impressed with how accurate and pristine the cut quality is and the consumable life.”
The Torchmate 5100 and FineLine have allowed Funkhouser Race Cars to expand their capabilities. They are attracting new types of customers and completing projects that are not racecar related. Matt recently did a job for a local electrical company. They made 500 light panels and were able to cut them all in one afternoon. The business is able to branch into new markets because they are able to complete jobs in 1-2 days that would have normally taken a week or more. “Lincoln Electric and the Torchmate technology has opened new doors for our business.
The Torchmate 4800 was a great starter table that never broke down. The Torchmate 5100 and FineLine have been a huge upgrade and have only had one or two small issues. Torchmate’s customer service has always been great and they were quick to fix those two minor table issues. These machines are a massive reason we are now doing $22,000 to $25,000 during slow months and up to $50,000 during busy months,” said Matt. Thank you to Funkhouser Race Cars and Matt Funkhouser and for telling their story. On behalf of everyone at Lincoln Electric, we are thankful for each of our customers’ businesses and are happy to be contributing to your successes.
Find Funkhouser Here!
Check out Funkhouser Race Car’s social channels. On their website, they display a wide variety of custom racecar parts. Customers can also place orders for personalized projects and parts. Additionally, Funkhouser Race Cars posts new content on all of their social media platforms. Visitors will find behind the scenes photos and videos about how the company manufactures such unique products.
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