Hot Rod Podcast Episode 6 Tom Nelson

Go-Karts and Spinal Injuries: Tom Nelson Talks About the Foundation of Nelson Racing Engines on the HOT ROD Pod

Hosts Brian Lohnes and John McGann talk with Tom Nelson on transitioning from construction work to becoming a self-taught machinist, then founding Nelson Racing Engines.Jan 19, 2024

Tom Nelson is no stranger to HOT ROD magazine, and no stranger to the internet, either. I can remember watching his NRE TV videos in the early days of YouTube, and on before that. Tom was an automotive influencer before influencers existed. His company, Nelson Racing Engines, is well-known for building high-horsepower street engines, usually with a pair of turbochargers, but Tom is by no means averse to a belt-driven supercharger, either.

Operating out of a modest space in Chatsworth, California, Nelson Racing Engines has morphed over the years into a full-service performance shop. He can machine, assemble, and dyno-test engines, plus the shop does complete car builds, too. Tom blends a unique combination of devastating performance with beautifully artistic packaging. His strong sense of aesthetics led him to design and patent mirror-image turbochargers so engine intake plumbing can be symmetrical. Because of this, his work has landed on several covers of HOT ROD over the years, most recently on the September 2022 issue with the headline, '40,000 Horsepower!'

Tom is a very candid person who's not afraid to speak his mind. In this episode of the HOT ROD Pod: Where It All Began, Tom discusses his early automotive influences, learning how to machine engines, and the process of establishing a performance engine shop, as well as some of the pitfalls and missteps along the way. You don't want to miss a second of this conversation.

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