There's also the 1967 Chevy C10 pickup -- all in pieces, waiting to be put together, a la Humpty Dumpty. "It has straight sides, no step sides, big block, all custom, but in pieces," Fieri says quickly. "Engine's built, tranny is sitting on the shelf. There's no one single piece attached to any other piece. The tires aren't on the rims, the rims aren't on the axles, the axles aren't under the truck, the frame is completely powder-coated. Everything's done, but it just has to be put together. This is going to be a sick custom hot rod."
"My dad says if I hadn't done all this, spent money screwing off with cars, I could've taken the money and invested it and be retired by now," Fieri says, laughing. "But if you have a passion about cars and you're into them -- I'm not a super gearhead like a bunch of my buddies -- but I love it."
While the cars are color coordinated, the transmissions are also similarly set up, although not consciously planned. "All the yellow cars are stickshift, all the black ones aren't," Fieri realizes at that moment and laughs. "That is hilarious. I never thought of it that way."
Fieri admits he just added another vehicle to the collection -- a Winnebago Sightseer with bunk beds and two pop outs. "Two days ago, we bought a 36-foot RV for my wife," he laughs. "She doesn't ask for much and that's what she wanted."
Fieri's two sons Hunter, 11, and Ryder, 2, are already into cars. When he comes home in the Vette, his two-year-old will drag him back to the car and grab the steering wheel and pretend to drive.
"My older son is 11 and we're in the process right now of picking out what his car is going to be," he says emphatically. "We're going to get the car and put it away and start the restoration project. We'll let him feel the pain -- the responsibility of getting this car ready for paint and the whole thing. Because there's a cultural experience that I think takes place with it." Fieri thinks his son will end up having a Chevelle, like him, since his own car reads "SSHunter" on the license plate, for the Chevelle SS.
Photo courtesy of Food Network
American Auto Makers
To say Fieri loves what American auto manufacturers are doing now is almost an understatement. To him, they're coming back strong. "I'm thrilled with what I'm seeing out there," he says. "I'm thrilled they're bringing back the Camaro, the Mustang looks so cool, and Charger and Dodge are taking their piece back. It's alive and well and I'm thrilled." His favorite car to drive is the Vette, and he talks about it with passion in his voice, underscoring each word.
"I think, very honestly, unquestionably, this 2007 Corvette is one of the greatest things I've driven in my life," Fieri states. "I've driven Porsches, Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and there is no way anybody could make an argument that for $60,000 bucks you can get a six-speed, removable-top, race car. It's a phenomenal car. I am thrilled with what I'm seeing going on."