There’s no grass growing under her feet, that’s for sure! Owner of TorqMasters Industries, Cora Jokinen, shares the divergent path that got her to the place she’s at today. But she’s not done yet! TorqMasters releases a new product every two months, Cora is involved with SEMA, competes in the Rebelle, and is building the space she aspires to own. With her architectural background and her husband, Erik, and bestie, Petunia at her side, this woman is unstoppable.
3:16 – hockey was my focus in high school
6:43 – I built a house in college instead of renting
8:10 – my first vehicle was The Gouda, a 1980 Mercedes Diesel Wagon
9:57 – spent Thanksgiving break on my first off-road build
13:09 – I would tig architectural models in the 2nd story laundry room
16:12 – Tech official for Monster Truck
23:50 – got my first sponsor for the Vermont Jeep Girl Challenge
25:43 – hey, Bill, I’d like to buy your company
33:24 – it’s a swiss army knife
37:55 – phone call to delivered product in 10 days
43:53 – releasing a new product every two months
58:32 – going back to the Rebelle with Ford
1:07:09 – we have our dream driveway
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
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THIS TRANSCRIPT IS PREPARED WITH AI SOFTWARE - YOU CAN EXPECT IT TO BE 80% ACCURATE, WE EDIT TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES, BUT MAY HAVE MISSED SOME CORRECTIONS - PUNCTUATION FOR SURE!
[00:00:00.500] - Speaker 1
Welcome to The Big Rich Show. This podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiast. So now is the time to sit back, grab a cold one.
[00:00:25.140] - Big Rich Klein
And enjoy our conversation.
[00:00:28.520] - Speaker 2
Whether you are crawling the red rocks of Moab or hauling your toys to the trail, Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and Durability four wheels or two. Maxxis tires are the choice of champion because they know that whether for work or play, for fun or competition, Maxxis tires deliver. Choose Maxxis Tread Victoriously.
[00:00:55.220] - Speaker 3
Why should you read 4Low magazine? Because 4Low magazine is about your lifestyle, the four wheel drive adventure lifestyle that we all enjoy, rock crawling, trail riding, event coverage, vehicle builds and do it yourself tech all in a beautifully presented package you won't find 4Low on the newstand rack.So subscribe today and have it delivered to you.
[00:01:20.030] - Big Rich Klein
On today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich. We have Cora Jokinen with TorqMaster Industries. We will talk to Cora about her beginning years, like we always do, and give as much information about how Cora has gotten into the off road sector as a business owner, an enthusiast, and now with the SEMA Women's Business Network. So, Cora, thank you very much for coming on board this morning and sharing your history with us.
[00:01:52.700] - Cora Jokinen
Thanks so much for having me Rich. It's an honor.
[00:01:55.900] - Big Rich Klein
So let's just jump right in. And what do you consider your hometown? Where were you born and raised?
[00:02:03.220] - Cora Jokinen
So I grew up in Littleton, Massachusetts, which is North West of Boston, about 45 minutes.
[00:02:10.100] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. And that's fairly rural.
[00:02:13.740] - Cora Jokinen
It was. But now it's like considered a commuter town.
[00:02:21.000] - Big Rich Klein
As is most of America nowadays. Yeah. We sent some Shelley and I spent some time up in that area. We went up to Boston for 4 July celebration, which was probably the coolest thing I've ever seen, and then toured, drove up the coast line as much as we could, and then went around Nova Scotia and then came back down, but absolutely gorgeous area, no doubt about it. Yeah.
[00:02:48.800] - Cora Jokinen
And there used to be some good off roading in Massachusetts, but most of it is all closed down. I know.
[00:02:53.820] - Big Rich Klein
Right. So you guys have to head over to Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or over to in New Hampshire. There's still quite a bit off roading. Yeah.
[00:03:04.070] - Cora Jokinen
Field of Forest in New Hampshire. Rausch Creek, Pennsylvania. Those are pretty much an AOAA also in Pennsylvania. Those are the big parks.
[00:03:12.780] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. Cool. So let's talk about those early years.
[00:03:16.920] - Cora Jokinen
Yes. So I went to public school and then as a kid, I grew up playing ice hockey, and that became a lot of my focus for high school. So I applied to a bunch of different prep school and ended up going to Lawrence Academy, Brotton. And so hockey was a big focus there. And my player was always just playing College. And as a little girl, I want to play in the Olympics. And what's cool is some girls from my team growing up actually did play in the Olympics.
[00:03:50.720] - Big Rich Klein
Very good. That's cool. What position did you play?
[00:03:54.520] - Cora Jokinen
I was goalie.
[00:03:56.440] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. I was just talking to Jesse Haines, and he played goalie, too.
[00:04:00.130] - Cora Jokinen
And I know that's so funny. I was just reading his podcast, and I was like, That's so funny. But I don't know, goalies are a little crazy, but they also have kind of that sheep dog mentality, which we also see in the off road world, too. Like, leave nobody behind.
[00:04:18.210] - Big Rich Klein
Right. That's true.
[00:04:19.540] - Cora Jokinen
I thought that was an interesting connection.
[00:04:21.470] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I did. As well. As soon as you said hockey, I know a lot of that, like a very primary sport in the Northern climates. It's becoming more so because everybody is moving out of that area. And I know they offer hockey leagues down in Phoenix be the last place you'd expect to find ice, but indoors, they can do anything nowadays, can't they?
[00:04:47.080] - Cora Jokinen
Absolutely. Hockey brought me to College. I went to RIT Rochester Institute of Technology for undergrad and then went to Grad School, Buffalo.
[00:05:02.090] - Big Rich Klein
And what was your major?
[00:05:05.960] - Cora Jokinen
So undergrad. I have a BFA with interior design and two minors in architectural history and archeology. Oh.
[00:05:16.620] - Big Rich Klein
[00:05:18.090] - Cora Jokinen
And my plan was always to be an architect, but RIT didn't have an architecture school. So I went there to play hockey. And then I only played one year, then went to Grad School for Architecture in Buffalo.
[00:05:30.860] - Big Rich Klein
And that's the University of Buffalo.
[00:05:32.660] - Cora Jokinen
[00:05:34.250] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. So growing up in those early years, what kind of student were you? Were you, you know, bookish where you not so bookish more technical or were you just kind of did your own thing?
[00:05:48.840] - Cora Jokinen
I was kind of in the middle. I did my own thing. I never really fit into a category. I was kind of like a floater socially. I hang out with the international kids because it had cool stories. I was inherently a Jock because I played hockey. And I also was really into the art classes and stuff like that. But school itself was pretty easy for me. And I think because of the quality of the teachers and everything, they made it engaging. And in prep school, the cool kids were like, cum laude, got A's in everything.
[00:06:26.720] - Cora Jokinen
So it was very different than public school. And my public school experience, right? Yeah.
[00:06:33.920] - Big Rich Klein
I only experienced public schools. So did you go back to your hometown after graduation?
[00:06:43.420] - Cora Jokinen
Only for internships, when I was in undergrad the first year, you had to stay in the dorm. And then I was looking at, like, the cost of rent versus buying a house. And I had all these hockey girlfriends. And I ended up building a house nearby, like, 2 miles from campus. So I built a four bedroom house, and we built out two in the basement. And so a six bedroom house, and it paid for more than my mortgage.
[00:07:12.160] - Big Rich Klein
[00:07:14.080] - Cora Jokinen
And that was my parents idea. They're like, well, why don't you make money instead of just spending it all on rent? And I did a flip that into my next house.
[00:07:25.260] - Big Rich Klein
That makes perfect sense. Let's talk about vehicles. When you were a young kid, I know you played hockey. Did you ride bikes or motorcycles or anything like that?
[00:07:41.240] - Cora Jokinen
So it's interesting because a lot of people ask me, like, if my dad was a mechanic or something like that, or if I had brothers. And and I was an only child, and my parents were pretty cool. They told me I could do whatever I wanted. Nothing was like stereotype girls or boys activities. I got in to mountain biking. And then when I got my license, I took my vehicle on the same trail. But this time I could bring my friends with me. And my first vehicle was in 1980 Mercedes diesel wagon in that yellowish color they were doing.
[00:08:18.710] - Cora Jokinen
So we called it the Gouda. It was like, gouda cheese colored. But that was the first vehicle I had to wrench on because only one out of the five glow plugs was working. And so at school, after hockey in the winter and have to plug it in. And then it's like, 10:00 at night, I got to get home and the door lock is frozen. So I got to spray ether in that. And then I got to spray ether in the motor to get it to fire.
[00:08:46.500] - Cora Jokinen
And then when it was hot out, there was, like a fuse block that I had to jump because the motor got too hot. It just wouldn't start. And so I'd be like, with my hood up at a gas station or something. And guys are coming over to help to me. And I'm like, no, I got this.
[00:09:02.850] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. So how long did you have Gouda?
[00:09:06.180] - Cora Jokinen
I had the Gouda for a year. And then after, like, many nights of having to, like, jump start it on my own and everything, my parents are like, okay, you're good enough, driver. Like, we'll get you something a little more reliable. And that was a Nissan Xterra. And that was my first off road build, and I was obsessed with it. I still love Xterras.
[00:09:32.100] - Big Rich Klein
So a Nissan Xterra. I know that there is a very small enthusiast group. I would say of Nissan. It's not like Jeep or Toyotas or Samurai or anything like that. There's the Zuki, I should say. But there's a pretty good it's a pretty good network of people. It's tight.
[00:09:57.700] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah, there wasn't, like, barely any aftermarket parts for it. And when I went to College, I didn't have any money. So once the first Thanksgiving break. I saved a bunch from, like, working an internship. Like, I'm going to lift the Xterra, get new tires and wheels. And my dad's secretary's husband built Jeeps on the weekend. And he was like, well, you know, Cora, if you want to pitch in and help, I'll charge you less, so I spent an entire Thanksgiving break building this Xterra. And it was really cool.
[00:10:34.780] - Cora Jokinen
His name was Dave, and he brought me to Scrap Yard because we were going to make parts from scratch. And it was cheaper at the scrap yard. So bought drops and stuff of square tube and plate and use, like, you know, how to draft, get under there with some cardboard and, you know, design your skid plate. So I did. And then it made the sliders. And I did all the dimensions. So he did the welding and kind of, like, showed me a bit of the welding. And he showed me how to use the plasma cutter.
[00:11:05.160] - Cora Jokinen
And that was just, like, super fun. I was obsessed with the plasma cutter. And, I mean, I can cut along a straight edge, you know, it's not that hard. And he built a really sick custom rear bumper. And we did skid plates and the lift and 33 inch tires. And it was like a monster Xterra.
[00:11:27.100] - Big Rich Klein
All during the Thanksgiving break.
[00:11:31.900] - Cora Jokinen
[00:11:32.860] - Big Rich Klein
[00:11:33.640] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. It was funny. He shot was, like an hour from my parents house. So I slept in the shop with a couple of nightss.
[00:11:39.220] - Big Rich Klein
Makes sense, especially if you got all that work done. And how long was your Thanksgiving? A week break? Yes.
[00:11:49.000] - Cora Jokinen
And I rhino lined the interior. Wow. And then we took it out wheeling. And I broke one of the torsion bars at, like, 10:00 at night.
[00:12:03.260] - Big Rich Klein
So it was kind of ridin' flat on one corner.
[00:12:06.800] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. We used a torch to loosen the torsion bar and it fatigued it okay. We had to replace that before I could drive back to New York.
[00:12:20.610] - Big Rich Klein
But you were able to find one.
[00:12:22.240] - Cora Jokinen
[00:12:23.380] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. So then how long did you have that Xterra?
[00:12:30.290] - Cora Jokinen
Well, I had the Xterra led me to other things soon. We wanted to talk about influences, right. When I was in Undergrad, it was Spike TV. And I was watching Jessi Combs on Extreme 4x4. And I'm like, Jessie. Jessie welds, she can do all this stuff. Nobody told her, like, she can't do this stuff. So I wanted to learn more about welding and make more parts because it hit that creative bug of mine. And so I found Haney Welding School in Rochester and took a six week tig class and a weekend mig class.
[00:13:09.220] - Cora Jokinen
And then as a student, when you graduate there, they give you a discount on Miller products. And so I bought my first Miller, I think, in 2002. So. Yeah. And I bought a plasma. So but I couldn't run it because I didn't have a big enough circuit and had to get creative. And then my second house in grad school, the only 50 amp plug I could find was in the second floor laundry room. And I would tig up architectural models in there. There's no sparks.
[00:13:46.000] - Big Rich Klein
But so your laundry room ended up being a welding space. That's awesome.
[00:13:56.180] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. In creative yeah.
[00:13:59.700] - Big Rich Klein
That's I wonder how many others have done that. I know we built we built a Volkswagen motor in a friend's front room, this second story apartment. That was fun trying to keep that place clean with two teenagers. So from the Xterra, you learned to Weld you saw Jesse talk about that next transition on the next vehicle, and then we'll go into your time as an architect.
[00:14:31.160] - Cora Jokinen
Yes. So in undergrad, I took that awesome Xterra and saved up and took an entire summer road trip. And I chose a five by eight mountain bike. Kayak met up with a friend and did the top half of the Rubicon by, like, Tahoe. And I was like, oh, my God, this is like the biggest stuff ever done. I need something bigger, but I still needed a daily driver. And that was like, Sarah and I ran that thing into the ground. I got sold that probably in 2007.
[00:15:07.720] - Cora Jokinen
But I saved up and I bought a CJ seven that had an MC 360 that was not quite running right with the projection and Dana 300 out of the Scout data. 44 front from Scout and a day and 60 rear. And so it was for, like, 2002 ish that was pretty big 36 tires. So I got that running. I joined the local four by four club. And I guess the next phase after that became the club President. And we would always volunteer for Monster GM shows.
[00:15:52.490] - Cora Jokinen
And from there, because I love the Monster A show. They were super fun. It worked really hard and got noticed by the show director. And he invited me to work for Monster yet right in that was under Clear Channel.
[00:16:06.720] - Big Rich Klein
And then fell.
[00:16:07.880] - Cora Jokinen
Yes. So my second season was under filled.
[00:16:11.760] - Big Rich Klein
[00:16:12.370] - Cora Jokinen
But the first season, I kind of, like, specialized in indoor shows. And it was they're super fun. And because I was in school, it was flexible with my schedule and everything. And I won Rookie of the year, my first year for Tech official. And I was the first woman to do so that wasn't already involved with the organization, like as a register or their husband work there, too, or something like that.
[00:16:41.390] - Big Rich Klein
Well, congratulations on that. That's awesome.
[00:16:44.360] - Cora Jokinen
[00:16:45.500] - Big Rich Klein
So what did you like most about the Monster truck shows?
[00:16:50.350] - Cora Jokinen
Actually the safety inspection, because I'm a dork safety dork. But I got to crawl in all the trucks and, you know, check them all out and look at their fire suppression systems and count how many nozzles. That experience is actually transitioned this year after an unfortunate rock bouncer accident. Fire accident. I got back involved with SCA technique their fire suppression company and was able to organize racer packages and with severe discounts so that we just get as many systems into these cars as we could.
[00:17:27.180] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, that's good to hear, especially on the rock bouncers or racers. And that was the West Keens accident.
[00:17:36.110] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. And he ran our product.
[00:17:40.240] - Big Rich Klein
Did he? Okay.
[00:17:41.800] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. Previously in the UTV class.
[00:17:44.700] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. So that time it Feld was it just two seasons then.
[00:17:52.470] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. It started getting in the way of school. And and I had to really focus. Architecture school is very demanding. So I wanted to put that first.
[00:18:05.180] - Big Rich Klein
[00:18:06.370] - Cora Jokinen
And then you did graduate with the degree in architecture and went to work in the field of architecture for about five years. And during the summers, I would do internships. And as far as architecture, I wanted to be an architect since I was, like, eight years old, and I saw falling water by Frank Lloyd Wright In person. And I was just like, this is insane. So it was actually a lot of people ask me when I was transitioning to another industry, like, am I going to regret it?
[00:18:39.780] - Cora Jokinen
And so far, absolutely. I haven't. But I don't think I would be where I am today without all of the schooling and project management. And it is professional work that I've done, right.
[00:18:56.350] - Big Rich Klein
No, that's a great background. It's like I don't do. My degree was in commercial photography and product advertising. I went to a place called Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara and cool with the magazine. I do some photography, and I use my iphone primarily. I don't use my Sony very often, but it's something I'd like to get back into, but it prepared me for everything else that I've done, getting up and encrypt in class and then having to get your work critiqued and everybody wanting a better grade.
[00:19:41.290] - Big Rich Klein
So they would really find things to bag on your stuff about. And it was that way with everybody. So it was fair, but it created, like, a thick skin in me. So I could I didn't realize that it was gonna be a great training exercise. And being an event promoter, no matter what you do and how well you do is going to complain. Somebody's going to and tell you that you're not doing it right or you need to do it some other way, and you can't take that stuff personal.
[00:20:13.380] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah, totally. So I can understand architecture critique. They're intense.
[00:20:20.370] - Big Rich Klein
Yep. I can imagine, because, I mean, you don't want something happening, like, you know, bridge collapsing or apartment buildings, that kind of thing that we seeing in the news with the architecture crit and what you have to go through the same thing. I want to make sure you get it.
[00:20:37.470] - Cora Jokinen
[00:20:37.650] - Big Rich Klein
[00:20:38.810] - Cora Jokinen
[00:20:39.680] - Big Rich Klein
So at that point, you are still in the four wheel drive off road club.
[00:20:45.880] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. And my husband joined the club, and we you guys have RC Rock theory.
[00:20:56.650] - Big Rich Klein
Did you meet in the club? Yeah.
[00:20:59.770] - Cora Jokinen
We met in the club.
[00:21:00.870] - Big Rich Klein
[00:21:01.860] - Cora Jokinen
And I think it's funny. I was the President at the time, and my Jeep was bigger than his, so the RC Rocks Amatuer Rock Crawling competitions were just starting up at Rausch Creek, and Rausch Creek is like our backyard, but it's 4 hours away, right. And so Eric and I was like, I want to compete. I want to see what I can do. And I built a horrible EXO page on my CJ. With the help of dirt car mechanic and team owner. And then I was like, let's do it.
[00:21:45.790] - Cora Jokinen
So great relationship building, you know, hanging off the side of a big mound of rocks with the water ski rope, and Eric yelling at me like, steer into it.
[00:21:59.920] - Big Rich Klein
And you guys are still together after that.
[00:22:03.120] - Cora Jokinen
Oh, yeah. And we can even back up a trailer without, like, yelling at each other.
[00:22:09.400] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. Eric is a good guy, that's for sure.
[00:22:12.740] - Cora Jokinen
[00:22:15.680] - Big Rich Klein
The competitions, how many competitions did you did you get into there at Rausch Creek or in the surrounding area?
[00:22:24.020] - Cora Jokinen
So we did. I did, like, a preview the year before. Eric and I did a season, and I think we just did one season, one or two, we never won, but we never lost. But being a CJ on revolvers and comparing that to, you know, TJ long arm Clayton kits and cutting breaks, like, we weren't going to be able to reach that level, but with our current vehicle set up. But it was a lot of fun. I had a few rollovers, you know, break down time. I had to change the shaft, one, hustle back to the pits and where teamwork throwing it all together.
[00:23:12.050] - Cora Jokinen
And then we just basically, after doing competition, we would go wheeling almost once a month with the club just recreationally to go down a big dog. We got really involved in the opening of the AOAA park. In the public meeting, we would rent a minivan and shuttle us all down there. So we could go to the public comments and say, you know, this is really if you build it, we will come type deal, right? Yeah. And then kind of segue into 2013, there is the Vermont Jeep Girl Challenge.
[00:23:50.080] - Cora Jokinen
And I was invited to that. And Eric and I showed up in our matching AussieLocker outfit, and everybody thought we were Aussie locker when We went there, but yeah, I guess I got a backup for our connection to the Aussie locker. It started basically when I joined the club. The owner of Torque Masters, who manufactured off the locker, was in our club. And still it okay. And when I was getting my CJ. Ready for competition, I asked him if he would sponsor me, and he said yes.
[00:24:24.450] - Cora Jokinen
And I thought this was, like, the biggest day of my life. I have sponsors. So cool. And so we took out the lock rights that were in the Jeep and put in Aussies. And I had matching shirts made for Eric and I. We wanted to represent the team. Well. So that was our first sponsorship and first, like, relationship building. Bill Cole, the founder of Torque Masters. And so fast forward to 2013, Eric and I had bought a motor home so we could only tow one Jeep now.
[00:25:02.220] - Cora Jokinen
So we had to decide who's Jeepp was going to be sacrificed. And that was my CJ. That was going to be sacrificed and parted out. But this for parted out one last hurrah. And it's this Jeep girl challenge. So there was like an obstacle course, mud, drags, rocks, whatever, multiple challenges we have, like a tire change challenge. And and it was fun. Like, I sent it at that event. Bill had mentioned to Eric that he was turn in 70, and he's kind of looking for somebody to handle the day to day.
[00:25:43.440] - Cora Jokinen
And so the whole right home, Eric and I are like, what about that? What about this? And I was at the point of my architecture career, like, you have to work for, like, almost five years worth of hours under licensed architects before you can get your license. So I had already reached out to me. So I called Bill on Monday morning and I said, hey, Bill, what if you wanted to sell the company? Said, I have X amount work with. And I'd really be honored if I could buy your company.
[00:26:18.530] - Cora Jokinen
And he said, okay, let's talk. And in my head, I go, oh, shit. Now what do I do?
[00:26:24.960] - Big Rich Klein
We have those moments a lot.
[00:26:29.980] - Cora Jokinen
I was like, well, I got my foot in the door, and I'm going to figure out how this works.
[00:26:38.040] - Big Rich Klein
And it seems like you've done a really good job at that. So let's talk about let's talk about the transition from architect to off road business owner and designing. I would imagine buildings and now designing lockers.
[00:27:02.860] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. So the overall concept is pretty similar. You're designing of products or something, and then you go from the sketch stages to the construction to the sales. So on that level, it's pretty similar. It took about a year of negotiations to acquire the company. During that year, I met a lot of people and was connected with other people and advisors. And so I learned a lot that year. I have to give a ton of credit to Eric To. He's a business owner for 20 years, so he knew how to run business.
[00:27:46.850] - Cora Jokinen
And so he was coaching me along the way as well. So I ended up buying a company. And there is already another interesting party when I came on to the sea, and that was just a machine shop looking for a product to fill their machine. But they had no passion and they had no interest. And they had no experience. And I had years of experience with my CJ. Eric ran off. He's in his DJ. They're still in there. And so Bill wanted me to win, and I just had the outfit other guy a little bit.
[00:28:30.660] - Big Rich Klein
I hate to.
[00:28:33.960] - Cora Jokinen
I know Bill stayed on for two months and kind of taught me the ropes. And I think the incubator at the University of Rochester invited me to mini MBA class, and it's for startups. And the way I approach it was the company is not a start up, but I am. And so we learned basic well, I actually kind of upper level business skills to round out my skill set. And at the end, we had to come up with a product in a proposal and a plan to launch it and stuff like that.
[00:29:14.080] - Cora Jokinen
So that was really cool. And from architecture, we do a lot of continuing education. So with the business now, I'm going to all types of lectures and seminars and getting involved with these incubators, like if you need a product 3D prototype, you can talk to your local incubator, which probably has a 3D prototyper, and they'd be happy to help you, usually for free. So there's a lot of a lot of cool stuff out there of people that just want to help and give back and just be mentors.
[00:29:57.550] - Cora Jokinen
And the Rochester Angel Investors Network was involved with the mini MBA, which is smart. Take them out early. And so I gained a couple of really awesome mentors just from that experience to.
[00:30:16.760] - Big Rich Klein
So the transition. Then I know when Shelley retired and we started doing this, she came on board with We Rock. She was really worried about her identity because she had always been Shelley at first American. And now she was going to be doing the books at We Rock. And not really being she's moved into that Shelley at We Rock very well. But she was she had lost her identity there for a while. And did you go through some of that yourself, or was it just busy enough?
[00:31:00.090] - Big Rich Klein
You just jump right in and and swim fast?
[00:31:04.760] - Cora Jokinen
Well, I always had two identities. I had the architect, and I've been off roading and fabricating in my garage. To me, it was just like flipping a light switch. But we did take 2015 to learn the shows and the races because we didn't want to commit to doing vendor shows if it wasn't our crap. So that was something we we planned to do. And so we went to a bunch of different shows and the vents. And we went out to Kana Hammers for the first time to help pitch support for two of our friends and got the lay of the land.
[00:31:46.640] - Cora Jokinen
And after I go in there and 15, I'm like, okay, we're going to race stock last, and we're going to release our new data 60. And so we did it wasn't easy. We bought a salvage LJ, took a while to get the title cleared up. And then basically we built a stock class sheet in 60 days and rolled it out, drove to California four days. And then we were still doing some wiring in the pit, but it was quite the experience.
[00:32:17.400] - Big Rich Klein
And were you able to complete the race? No, no, that's okay because a lot of people don't. A lot of people have tried for years and years and years and have never finished.
[00:32:29.520] - Cora Jokinen
It's so frustrating. We are stock classing. Back in 2016, when we first race it it was not on adjusted time. So we left the line an hour and a half before everybody else. And we're the slowest ones out there. And we got to the top of after shop and they're like, no, it's close down. I'm like, we have a lighting sponsor. We can make daylight, let us on the rocks. And they're like do. They wouldn't even let us compete on our own. You Koh insurance, basically.
[00:32:59.240] - Big Rich Klein
[00:32:59.720] - Cora Jokinen
So that was a bummer. But it was clean race. We had no issues at all with the vehicles. And then we turn around and went to Easter Jeep Safari, like three, four weeks later, all we did was change the windshield, change the windshield.
[00:33:16.160] - Big Rich Klein
You put it back in.
[00:33:19.180] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. Windshield frame, one racing with no glass and one with glass.
[00:33:24.160] - Big Rich Klein
[00:33:24.900] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. And then it became a streetable Jeep and it's still one of our best build. We race Koh again and also didn't finish. And then I competed in the first Rebelle Rally and the second one in the same Jeep. So it became like Overlander Rally. It was Koh stock class and trail ride. And it's a Swiss Army Knife.
[00:33:53.720] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome that you have a vehicle that is capable of all those things. So let's talk about Pork Masters and where, you know, your kind of your product line and what you have developed since you've taken it over. Well, before we get into that, you mentioned Eric was a business owner prior to you guys getting Torque Masters. What was he doing? What was he doing?
[00:34:27.620] - Cora Jokinen
He was even work for me in 2017. But previous to that, he had he started out really abruptly as well. But he has construction and carpentry schooling. And then he basically went out on his own and started his own company. And he when I met him, he was doing really high end trim work and stairs and some outdoor kitchens and stuff like that. But in Rochester he was the best guy. I mean, some of these rooms were like 100 grand, just in cherry paneling conference feelings and all sorts of stuff like has a real attention to detail.
[00:35:21.920] - Cora Jokinen
He's very skilled.
[00:35:23.680] - Big Rich Klein
So he was doing more of the craftsmen work, not general building. Okay, that makes sense. Alright. So then let's get back into Torque Masters. Then you've taken the company over what was their original product line and where have you taken it since?
[00:35:43.770] - Cora Jokinen
So the original product line was as locker. There's about ten to twelve skews. And when I purchased the company, we had a new locker in development trying to get a patent. And they had named it Raptor Locker. And I didn't think that was a good name. So I rebranded it Torq locker because our style of locking differential is actuated and engaged by Torque went with that. And it's also the same spelling as Torque asters T-O-R-Q. So I released that. Our first one was the Data six. And then we came out with a 14 Bolt and then going to the shows and everything allows us to hear people in their needs.
[00:36:38.620] - Cora Jokinen
And 2016, we were at a big vendor show in Louisville, and it was Power Sports and four by fours. And so we had a bunch of Power Sports people coming up to us. Hey, we need this for our Canon. Hey, we need this for our flare. And we're like, okay, I'll look into it. So I start going through parts, diagrams and everything. And that's how I do my research. I'm like, oh, it's an open dip. Like, we can make a locker for that. We'll just scale it down a little bit.
[00:37:12.420] - Cora Jokinen
And then I'm doing my research in the wow, this one little CanAm locker. It's going to fit every PNM TV and a TV from 2007 to today. And I'm like that's, like millions of vehicles. And so I develop that locker. And the first company like that's transitioning drive cream cards from full size four by four two Power Sports. And I grew the company in one year by getting into Power Score.
[00:37:53.640] - Big Rich Klein
[00:37:55.880] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. I mean, there's not a lot of companies that can get into niche markets, I would say, because they're big powerhouse and there's bureaucracy level, whereas I'm the owner. You tell me you need something. Like, Dave Koh called me up and said, hey, Cora, my son's racing for Honda. And you want a locker for the Honda talent? I was like, okay. And from start to finish, we developed made three prototypes, and I actually had to hand deliver it. Koh, this year, you did it in ten days.
[00:38:38.150] - Big Rich Klein
Ten days from the phone call to finish product. Bob, yes. That's amazing.
[00:38:47.750] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah, we can do that stuff. But if you're building your parts in China, you got to wait six months for production run and a boat to come over like that.
[00:38:58.540] - Big Rich Klein
And then you have the quantities as well.
[00:39:01.700] - Cora Jokinen
Right. And so making parts here in the US, we can be faster and flexible.
[00:39:11.590] - Big Rich Klein
How I know this is kind of a little off topic, but how are the the steel prices affecting you guys?
[00:39:20.560] - Cora Jokinen
We use a an alloy that's not in everything. Let's say the demand hasn't been as high and the pricing has stayed moderately mistake.
[00:39:33.580] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, good. Glad to hear that. I see you guys do axles as well.
[00:39:41.300] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. We release those a couple of years ago, and our spin on it as we're shipping them fully assembled. So our experts are installing the joint, which is insurance for us because we know it's done right. And it's good for the customer because they don't have to put the join in themselves. And so it's win win. Other parts we've developed that are unique. And my name is on the patent is hilarious. Full school. And that's gotten us into the rock balancer class. It's very popular. The winningest guys are running all our full schools and Flaris R one and the turbo disk, and that was just getting a Polar stiff in front of us, taking it apart and say, Koh, we could do this.
[00:40:39.730] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. I'd open up one of those dips and go, okay, what the hell is all this?
[00:40:46.970] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah, it's the same with the Honda. Talen dish is very unique as well, has these diamond shapes. They call them Chick list in there, and you open it up and it just dumps out all these checklists and you're like, how does this work? So our theory is take out all that stuff and put our stuff in.
[00:41:08.930] - Big Rich Klein
That'S interesting in how I would think, being that I'm not I was at a mechanic for a while, worked in large automotive repair facilities and then became manager of them at first sales and then manager. But I was not. That wasn't my kind of work opening up a diff or anything. What amazes me is it how the variety of manufacturers has created something that does the same as somebody else's, but in such a different design. So being so then going into the aftermarket and then trying to design products for a wide variety of vehicle types is crazy because the Dana axles are not going to be the same as a Sterling or like you said, the UTVs, you got different things in the Hondas and the Polaris and the Can am.
[00:42:17.320] - Big Rich Klein
And it gives you a lot of the opportunity for a lot is skews different part numbers, but it's got to be a nightmare to be able to take the time to design all that stuff and then get the product to market for each one of those manufacturers. Am I guessing wrong on that?
[00:42:43.540] - Cora Jokinen
It's really not that hard. And we have the formula and we scale it to the different differentials. So we were the first and only to market with a locker for Subaru. And we had Subaru guys banging on our door. And basically, if you feel that they will come tight, deal. And we got, like four different Subaru disks and took them apart. And half of them have this LSD that what we determined not suitable for locker and the lockers rest. It just takes getting your hands dirty. I mean, I could look at as many parts diagrams as they want, but once we have a dish in front of us, we measure it up and and draw up the parts that will fit inside it.
[00:43:36.270] - Cora Jokinen
So we have like Totes and Oats and Totes different differentials and an axle shaft and the Spider gears in there. And that's how we we build one.
[00:43:48.670] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. And how many skews approximately do you guys have now?
[00:43:53.160] - Cora Jokinen
I would have to double check because we're on the schedule. We're trying to release a new product every two months. And also some of our Torch Locker versions. We also have an Ouse locker version. So like the Dana 30 and the JK Dana 30 in the jail, we only have Tor, but Data 44. So there is some overlap there. But like, Torque is the big brother to A, and Torque has a four year warranty off at two off and all the other ones previous lunch box style lockers day.
[00:44:32.480] - Cora Jokinen
They all have pins in spring, and those pins can cheer in a severe shock load situation, like breaking an ass after jumping the vehicle. The Torque has machined in key way or bosses in pockets and takes more material and time on the machines to make it, but it's stronger and those ways can never share. And so we've taking out the week link, and now you're going to break something else before you ever heard the locker.
[00:45:06.800] - Big Rich Klein
Well, that's one of the things I found in an off road is that there's going to be a fuse somewhere. It's just going to be where that where that fuse ends up being the the technology. Over the years, I remember Warren had Hub fuses, so you could blow those, but you could change them really quick, you know, six screws and just pop it in. And I can remember having pockets of those things. Well, my friends were on course, because after each course, we'd have to change out Hub uses.
[00:45:46.280] - Big Rich Klein
And just to go on to the next rock crawling course that's back in then. But it was it was kind of crazy.
[00:45:55.540] - Cora Jokinen
I mean, I'd rather break a chef. And, you know, if I don't have a spare, there's plenty of other Jeeps out there that probably has to spare then taking a part of different one.
[00:46:09.700] - Big Rich Klein
Absolutely. Absolutely. So trying to design have a new product out every two months seems to me a pretty aggressive business plan. Do you have other designers or are you doing all the design work?
[00:46:27.760] - Cora Jokinen
I have a lead engineer, and we have a bunch of design that are already ready to go. We just don't have the machine in. And right now we have a lot of parts that are out of stock, as is a lot of people right now. And so we're trying to balance keeping up with stock, but also coming out with the new products that we already have, because if you keep pushing it back, pushing it back, pushing it back, we're never going to release it.
[00:46:57.610] - Big Rich Klein
[00:46:58.940] - Cora Jokinen
And so right now, next week, we did a big pre order. And parts, the Haunted Town parts are currently a heat treat. They should be coming back tomorrow will blast them all weekend, get them up. And then Monday, we should be shipping pre orders. So really excited about that. We want to keep riding that wave of innovation.
[00:47:20.480] - Big Rich Klein
So are all of your lockers a lunch box style?
[00:47:27.140] - Cora Jokinen
[00:47:28.370] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. So you don't have any electric or switchable?
[00:47:34.280] - Cora Jokinen
No, we don't have any selectable lockers. And that's because we believe there's already a great design on the market. And that's Ox Walker.
[00:47:44.530] - Big Rich Klein
[00:47:45.700] - Cora Jokinen
That's the only other locker that's made in the US. And it's basically a mechanical selectible locker, and it's got a fail safe. You can unplug the cable and plug in a Bolt. They called a driven way Bolt to manually lock it or unlock it. And so to us, it's in the keep it simple mentality, which were really strong believers of, but it does give you the option for an open disk for riding on the road.
[00:48:17.140] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. I didn't realize that I knew that Ox was here in the United States, but I didn't know they had the Bolt. That's kind of cool.
[00:48:28.890] - Cora Jokinen
[00:48:29.540] - Big Rich Klein
I'll have to look into that.
[00:48:30.780] - Cora Jokinen
It's totally cool. And we didn't want to develop Selectable and compete with another American made company when there's already such a good design out there.
[00:48:41.980] - Big Rich Klein
[00:48:42.950] - Cora Jokinen
And so we actually have a great, friendly relationship with Ox Walker, and we recommend each other's products to each other's customers. Koh, Whatever is the right fit for the person.
[00:48:55.280] - Big Rich Klein
Right. So let's talk now about being involved with Sima. When did that?
[00:49:04.990] - Cora Jokinen
[00:49:05.400] - Big Rich Klein
When did that get started?
[00:49:06.720] - Cora Jokinen
[00:49:08.870] - Big Rich Klein
Was the company involved with Sima before you took over?
[00:49:13.860] - Cora Jokinen
It was not involved in FEMA. We have been a SEMA member on and off. And I started going to the show actually back in 2014, when I just bought the company. And I just wanted to see what was out there in the Architecture World network. You want to learn about new products, new innovation. So same here. So I went to FEMA, and I was looking through all the different events. And I was like, oh, there's some women specific events. And those were hosted by the FEMA Business Women's Network.
[00:49:50.480] - Cora Jokinen
And so one of them is Gear up girl. And that's when students and young aspiring racers become a network with women in the industry. And I went to that. And I was like, oh, this is really cool. And then I'm like, oh, Jesse Combs is here. I was like, that's really cool. So there is probably like a ten year gap from when I was watching her on TV when I met her in person. And I was just like, wow, this is like inspiring. And so over the years and over time, I've been going to the SEMA Business Women Network events.
[00:50:25.700] - Cora Jokinen
And then last year, early last year, Charlene Bower, who's on the select committee, asked me if I would like to volunteer. And they voted me in to the Female Business Women's Network Select committee. And I'm on two of their subcommittee. One is event planning, and the other is communication. And so we actually just had our Sima summit for the select committees in the board. And it was two and a half days of intense PowerPoints and updates and priorities and strategic goals. And it really brought everybody together and got us all on the same page, because time is not just a show like they're advocating save lobbyists in DC.
[00:51:21.310] - Cora Jokinen
They're working with trying to protect our land and preserve them for vehicle use as well. Land management. And there's always some sort of legislature or something that can affect Aster market automotive manufacturers. So if somebody's trying to outlaw legit or you need mud lapses, stuff like that. So there's always a need for people to keep an eye on that and volunteers and see what they can do to preserve the industry.
[00:52:04.340] - Big Rich Klein
People are attacking our industry on two fronts, one through vehicle restrictions, like all the carb rules, the California Air Resources Board. And then, like you said, individual States that are mud flap and lift laws and all that. And then, of course, also in land use, where they're trying to limit where we can, where we can recreate. And it's if you ended up wanting to be involved in saving our industry, there really is at least two fronts that you can get involved with the fight. And it's nice to have an organization like Sima that's so large and powerful that they can they can pull in all those great resources to work against, not work against, but maybe work with and get good information out to the government.
[00:53:09.040] - Big Rich Klein
And these people that are trying to to shut things down one way or another because they're typically just hearing one side of something they're not hearing what the real grand effect is.
[00:53:22.990] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. And, UM, we just had our Washington rally, which usually is in person, but this year it wasn't. And they do it every two years. And so I volunteered to do it. And then they set up three meetings with three senators or House representative. And they set me up with three people in our district. And so I could say, hey, I'm a manufacturer here making parts and this Rpm at it could affect our manufacturing and essentially shut us down, even though we have nothing to do with clean air and explaining to them that emissions and clean air and concerns in that room has nothing to do with a locking differential.
[00:54:17.850] - Cora Jokinen
And I compared it to your house. It's like, okay, so you build a house and you got plumbing, electrical, HVAC roofing, you know, all these different systems go into building a house, but the plumbing has nothing to do with the electrical. And they're like, oh, it's unrelated. But the EPA right now is trying to reinterpret the Clean Air Act. And what it's trying to say is that any OEM vehicle cannot be modified into a race car so, like, you know, you drive your porch to work, but you go to track days and you want to pre cage in it and then exhaust and different wheels and tires.
[00:55:08.260] - Cora Jokinen
Like, they're trying to say that that is illegal when it has nothing to do with clean air. Right. Right. Like, what tires and wheels you put on your porch? Like, does that affect your missions? No. And the same goes for off road, too. Is like, my LG is street legal, but it's also a race car. Is the entire LJ, like, illegal because erased it. So anyway, the Rpm Ax is a bipartisan acted. Seo is pushing very hard to say. Hey, if you want to deal with the missions, deal with the mission, but leave the rest of the aftermarket automotive industry out of it.
[00:55:54.220] - Big Rich Klein
[00:55:56.300] - Cora Jokinen
I'm glad I didn't know anything about that until the Washington rally and getting prepped for that. Before I talk to my Senator, I was like, I didn't know anything about this, and it's something that's going to affect all of us.
[00:56:11.420] - Big Rich Klein
Right? It's another soapbox. I don't need to get on right now. Okay. I mean, it's just you can go on and on and on and on for hours about, you know, what the government, you know, they may have in the long run. There may be part of all this that makes sense, but when they make a change with one thing, they don't realize that they're doing sweeping reform across other platforms, then that don't necessarily need to be affected or impacted. And they don't they're not. There may be lawmakers, but they have no idea of what they have no idea what they're doing.
[00:57:05.300] - Cora Jokinen
And why is it hard to read, like, a 20,000 page thing, you know, and know the ins and outs of all of it? And they're like, so anyway, I don't want to get into politics either.
[00:57:19.980] - Big Rich Klein
We're both on the same page with that. Right.
[00:57:23.780] - Cora Jokinen
Anything I can do to help to protect our industry, like, it has your future and my future interest involved, you know?
[00:57:34.700] - Big Rich Klein
Right. Yup. So let's transition over to something that you mentioned about and that was being a Rebel. We have actually quite a few female listeners to the podcast. So I would like you to just touch on The Rebel a little bit and what your experience was and what you thought of it.
[00:57:59.260] - Cora Jokinen
So I actually have some exciting news about The Rebel, but I can't say what it is until the 18th of August. When is this going to be released?
[00:58:11.760] - Big Rich Klein
I can I can make sure it's after the ten.
[00:58:17.080] - Cora Jokinen
Okay. So Ford asked Melissa Fisher, my first Navigator and co driver, and I drive for them for The Rebellr this year.
[00:58:30.580] - Big Rich Klein
[00:58:32.170] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. So we're super site The Rebels getting back to the event. Melissa and I are good friends. Melissa from Mowed, and she's a hardcore rock crawler, and she's super awesome. And when her and I both heard about the event. We're like, oh, we should do this. We don't know what we're getting into, but let's do this. And it's not an inexpensive event to you. Ten. So we had to do work on some sponsorships and stuff like that. We did our training free training that they offer. It's a 2000 kilometer woman only navigation rally raid.
[00:59:12.000] - Cora Jokinen
And there's no GPS and no cell phones. Every morning, it's 430. You get your check points for the day and you have to plot them out. Then we leave in our two classes, there's the four by four classes, the crossover class and the first and second year of the Rebel. Melissa and I competed in the four by four class in my stock last deep.
[00:59:33.890] - Big Rich Klein
Or did it have AC the first year?
[00:59:37.930] - Cora Jokinen
No. And Melissa heat stroke the first year and the last day Glamis right. And then the second year, I was like, Eric, you need to put some AC in here. And so the Jeep had pros and cons. It didn't have the room or the AC, like the four doors do, but it did have good shops and suspension fee and that we didn't get beat up in the car, so we could be more mentally sharp.
[01:00:20.220] - Big Rich Klein
Especially after you got some AC.
[01:00:23.150] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. We were on a roll. We did so much better here, too. Like year one, the winter Charlene. They had eight six, I think, percent of the total points. And in year two, the winner had. And like, it was the top five, like, three of each other. So the competition definitely went up. And it from what I've heard, it's just getting more and more competitive every year. And Emily comes up with more more creative ways to trick us. We were out there on course.
[01:01:06.990] - Big Rich Klein
Absolutely. It is one of Shelley and I enjoy staffing that event more than we I almost hate to say this, but more than we enjoy doing our own, but there's always some satisfaction. And when it's somebody else's event and you get to work it, so you don't have all the you don't have all that background pressure, right? Exactly. And I understand the whole AC thing is our Cherokee. There is no AC. And with the way the Atlas was put in there, and the way Cherokees are are designed to where they just kind of open up in places, that's all I can say about the unibody is that, like, we call it the wood stove because it's like riding a wood stove in the middle of summer.
[01:01:59.970] - Big Rich Klein
So now we've been doing it the last couple of years in a Raptor pickup. And where the AC works, it's really comfortable, great suspension. It is so much nicer to be on that route and not have to worry about Koh, first of all, if I'm going to finish it, you know, I mean, I've had problems in the past, over without in the Jeep, all weird stuff, but you know, now with the Raptor, it's so much more comfortable and easy and care free, you might say so.
[01:02:36.460] - Big Rich Klein
Vehicle choice is big, whether your staff or whether you're a competitor. I see a lot of a lot of girls, the women they come out to do the event here or they're talking about and, like, well, my car is not ready yet. I need to put Sixties, and I need to do this, and I need to do that. I'm like, no, you don't. No, you don't, because you're not rock crawling. You're not doing the rock trails anywhere. Yeah. You may go through some washes and stuff like that, but they're designed where just about anything that is all wheel drive can drive through it.
[01:03:15.060] - Big Rich Klein
So you may have to pick your way through it, but it's doable. So any of the women out there that are thinking about doing it or guys, if your women have been talking about it, get them involved with it. And yes, it is. It's not inexpensive event, but I believe it's worth it.
[01:03:39.980] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. I mean, I tell people it was a life event. Like, in my life, if we're talking about the top five moments or top ten moments, it's that event is on there, like, you will never forget it. You're going to wake up in the middle of the night looking for a blue checkpoint, like that type of event. And it's really nice to be away from technology for ten days. And the first year, I was so worried about, like, all the stuff I had to catch up on, and I wasn't going to have my cell phone and met.
[01:04:17.610] - Cora Jokinen
And by the last day, my husband's like, oh, you weren't thrown back. I'm like, Nope, I'll deal with it tomorrow. Let me enjoy the Galla.
[01:04:26.780] - Big Rich Klein
Exactly. Let's talk about your property and the new shop and what you guys have done since since buying the property that you're now residing on. And where is that?
[01:04:47.150] - Cora Jokinen
We're located in Victor, New York. And I moved in with Eric a long time ago and started fixing up his house. And it was just his old house was on a very small lot, and we had a pretty small shop of 30 by 36, and it's a busy road, and you have to back down the driveway with a big trailer motor home. And it was just not ideal. So we were your house hunting for years. We found this place, and it was listed too high. And we did kind of like a second look at it.
[01:05:23.260] - Cora Jokinen
And it was only 3 miles from her house. We were looking at places, like half an hour away and bought the new property. And it wasn't everything that we wanted, but we knew it was a good location. And the property was incredible. And it was on a quiet road 3 miles away. And just you basically can't see the house from the road. It's eight mile long driveway and we were just like, we're going to buy the land and the house moving ready. And it had a shop, but the shop wasn't finished.
[01:05:59.520] - Cora Jokinen
So we're like, okay, good starting point. We can fix everything else, lots of potential, make more land.
[01:06:06.640] - Cora Jokinen
And so we started phase one, building out the current shop, which is 36 by 40. And we had to pour a slab and insulated, put in a furnace and all that stuff. But the height is not big enough to put a lifted. And so we've been here now two years, and it probably took us a year and a half to figure out what we wanted to do for an addition for the shop and how we wanted to lay everything out. We're taking drone shops and doing sketches.
[01:06:40.180] - Cora Jokinen
We cut out, like little shapes of the motor home and show trailers and stuff like that. We did a ton of site work and lots of gravel right now with the driveway is since we did, we could fit seven tractor trailers.
[01:06:56.000] - Big Rich Klein
[01:06:56.730] - Cora Jokinen
Front to back, all the way around in our driveway and around the big loop. So it's like Eric's dream driveway.
[01:07:05.350] - Big Rich Klein
It sounds like it's my dream driveway.
[01:07:09.290] - Cora Jokinen
We're overcompensating from living on a little posted stamp. Now we probably have more twice as much gravel as we did property at our last house, which is just like a dream. And so we're putting up 56 by 72 foot shop with a 16 foot sidewall, and we'll have 414 foot by 14 foot overhead doors across the front of it and then 114 foot door in the back so we can drive through.
[01:07:45.010] - Big Rich Klein
Nice. And how many lists will you have probably to lift to lift?
[01:07:50.720] - Cora Jokinen
A lot of it is going to be motor home storage and, like, show display storage. And then the first shop is going to be all fat, because that'll be the dirty side.
[01:08:02.020] - Big Rich Klein
We'll say, okay, I saw some videos that were put up drone drone stuff that you guys with doing the Earth work and moving the dirt and everything. And it's very intriguing to watch what you go through that process.
[01:08:20.000] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah, we don't have cable. So we watch YouTube and stuff. We got hooked on the Red Poppy Ranch guy, and he does these long time lapses of of working and building, and it's just captivating to watch at the end, you feel so accomplished. Like, it's like just built a house. And even though it's not your house, it just feels good. I don't know. It's funny. So that's what we wanted to do. Like, just document it. And even if it's just us, it watches. It like, it's still cool for us.
[01:08:55.740] - Cora Jokinen
It's fun to go back and watch. Oh, man. It looks so different back then. And I feel like I don't know if it's just me or other people that are or go, go, go. All the time, you don't really sit back and, like, reward yourself for the accomplishments, like you did, because it's always on to the next goal onto the next goal. And by documenting this, it's like, oh, I remember that. Oh, wow. Like, it's come so far and it helps you appreciate where you are, right?
[01:09:31.560] - Big Rich Klein
I mean, because in all honesty, until video became so easy with our smartphones recording, one's life was was very difficult. It was time consuming. And then I remember before handicaps doing everything on super eight and stuff like that. And it's just gotten to the point would now where it's so much easier, because before the only thing you ever really recorded was maybe still photos of, you know, having kids and as they grew up and even that, like from my generation, my parents didn't take very many pictures of when we were kids.
[01:10:17.240] - Big Rich Klein
And when I was a kid and out water skiing or snow skiing or anything like that, there's just not that history recorded. And nowadays, you know, everything is recorded, but it gives everybody a chance to go back and look at it and reminisce before it was like, if you had the only thing you had recorded was maybe your wedding.
[01:10:41.600] - Cora Jokinen
[01:10:42.750] - Big Rich Klein
And now that's completely changed. So that is one great thing about technology right?
[01:10:50.730] - Cora Jokinen
There's pros and cons to everything, but it is something I appreciate. We did a blog go into Easter Jeep Safari. I don't know. Like, four years ago, and this year we didn't go out. Last year we didn't go out. And so we re watch the Vlog every day. It's funny. Like, I think it has, like, 100 views on YouTube. And Eric and I have, like, quotes from the Vlog here in one of them. He's like, Hot Tub later. We never would have remembered that moment or that quote if we hadn't, like, shot a casual, fun blog.
[01:11:39.360] - Big Rich Klein
[01:11:40.370] - Cora Jokinen
But it was very tied to yeah.
[01:11:44.890] - Big Rich Klein
Because, I mean, you weren't just using point of view cameras were that were just stationary and had them running the whole time. You guys actually would say, okay, now is the time we're going to do this.
[01:11:58.550] - Cora Jokinen
[01:11:59.940] - Big Rich Klein
[01:12:00.330] - Cora Jokinen
So, like, we were doing an intro every day where he would, like, on a whiteboard, he'd say, like, day three, 3000 miles. We can do 3000 miles in a day, 900 miles from here to there and draw, like, mountains. So some of it was, like, planned and the rest just off the right.
[01:12:26.910] - Big Rich Klein
So what else do you have in the works? I know that we we talked about Ford and you and Melissa again teaming up and doing the Rebel this year. Are you guys going to be in in one of the full size new Broncos, or are you doing a sport?
[01:12:47.500] - Cora Jokinen
We are going to be competing in the sport.
[01:12:51.160] - Big Rich Klein
[01:12:51.850] - Cora Jokinen
Which is going to be very different than ultra source stock class Jeep. So I have to keep that in mind. But I used to have a daily driver, a Jeep Renegade. And so, like, weight and size wise, they're kind of similar. So I'm comfortable in a smaller vehicle. And we're just going to absolutely do the best job we can. And to do that, we're going out early in September to do some training in the sand. We're going to fly into La, drive the team of us out to Famous and just really get a feel for it.
[01:13:36.820] - Cora Jokinen
The other drivers or Shelby Haul, she's in a full size, and Catherine Reinhart from four wheel parts. She's going to be in a full size as well. The three of three teams are getting together, and we're really working together on planning and what to pack and tools we need and tools they have that they're going to be equipping the vehicle with. And when it comes down to terror trips, fares and stuff like that.
[01:14:06.020] - Big Rich Klein
[01:14:06.580] - Cora Jokinen
So I'm really interested. I want to go to Glenis and see how low I can tear down before I lose be. And I'm going to reset the bead and make sure we have an air compressor and some sort. And I just want to do, like, pretty analytical testing of this vehicle so that I have that benchmark.
[01:14:30.400] - Big Rich Klein
There's one thing I'm going to suggest and that's to talk to Shelby about what you need to have when you refuel. If you have to get somebody, one of the staff has to come along with the gas can because we had a hard time trying to fuel your her after a a sand area. And luckily, we got her to a gas station because the nozzle that I had on the gas can wouldn't work in that Bronco sport. And the the funnel that they're supposed to have, the adapter type funnel wasn't in the vehicle.
[01:15:10.520] - Big Rich Klein
So that's one of the things you need to make sure you have that I'm going to go buy one and carry it along in my toolbox.
[01:15:21.480] - Cora Jokinen
Well, I wonder how many other vehicles are using that now.
[01:15:24.720] - Big Rich Klein
[01:15:26.050] - Cora Jokinen
Probably not a bad thing. And that's something we talked about at time at the same summit is we need to look long, long term. And I actually bought a garage facility in Detroit where we can go and rent it and team up with Ford and say, hey, we want to check out this new vehicle you have and all the autonomous things. Like, if I want to take the bumper off a Ford Raptor, can I do that with adaptive cruise control? And vehicles vehicles are just getting smarter and smarter.
[01:16:05.720] - Cora Jokinen
And if you mess with the system, maybe the car won't run. So those are questions that we have for the future and electric vehicles. And if I change the wheel entire size, is that going to throw off through control or battery management, things like that?
[01:16:29.280] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. And is it even adaptable? I know that, like on my Raptor, I can go in and change the tire size in the computer with using a tuner. But, you know, I've got a 2012 Koh. What's coming out technology now? Are they even allow? Is there any way to even Koh break into bypass? Yeah, exactly.
[01:16:51.000] - Cora Jokinen
So that's long term planning. We got to have a conversation with the OEMs to say, hey, we want to be able to modify these vehicles. Don't make it. So shut down, please.
[01:17:07.480] - Big Rich Klein
Right. I mean, there's some systems that they should probably.
[01:17:10.900] - Cora Jokinen
[01:17:13.690] - Big Rich Klein
Don'T even want to say that, because every vehicle out there that is produced should be able to to do some kind of performance upgrades that but for racing applications without having to just cut everything and start over and just using the shell. So I don't know if that is ever going to if the government is ever going to allow that, or the manufacturers as well, because I know that they're trying to get rid of the street racers and all the other things that people are doing with these vehicles.
[01:17:50.950] - Big Rich Klein
So who knows?
[01:17:53.050] - Cora Jokinen
Yep. Just got to keep an eye on it.
[01:17:55.980] - Big Rich Klein
Exactly. So what is up in the future for Cora and Eric?
[01:18:04.120] - Cora Jokinen
We are hustling. We're we're so focused on what we're doing now. There's no kind of, like, exit strategy or anything right now.
[01:18:19.460] - Big Rich Klein
[01:18:20.290] - Cora Jokinen
We love what we do. I'm not even 40 yet. I know there's a lot more things that we can do.
[01:18:28.320] - Big Rich Klein
You guys are still kids.
[01:18:32.380] - Cora Jokinen
So we want to keep innovating. And I don't know how much more racing we're going to be doing.
[01:18:41.240] - Big Rich Klein
[01:18:42.700] - Cora Jokinen
I'd love to see my husband in a 4400 car. He wants to build a moon buggy.
[01:18:49.740] - Big Rich Klein
There you go.
[01:18:51.010] - Cora Jokinen
And he really, really loves Rock Rose and give him a concourse, and he'll be out there testing the limits. And just all day, I could see, like, when he gets, when he gets that look in his eye. I'm like watching the watch and, like, maybe 30 minutes. He'll be honest. Well, I always can learn to limit. No, unless you push them.
[01:19:24.380] - Big Rich Klein
And like I always say, and I'll probably make some people mad. Anybody can go fast, but it takes talent to go slow.
[01:19:32.800] - Cora Jokinen
I agree. I definitely agree.
[01:19:38.230] - Big Rich Klein
And I know why racing is so popular. Racing speed wise is because even if you're in last place, but you're driving as fast as you physically or mentally can, you're still having fun if you're on a rock crawling course and your last, I can guarantee you you are not having fun. You're being challenged at every point that day, whether it's because of breakage or you just can't hold a line that you want. Whatever it is, you can't figure out the strategy. There's so much strategy involved getting between the codes you're looking.
[01:20:22.900] - Big Rich Klein
It's like a chess match where you have or checkers or any of those board games where you have to look way in advance and plan what your attack is. So that's that's what I know. But that's what makes rock crawling so appealing to me.
[01:20:43.400] - Cora Jokinen
Oh, yeah. US, too. And now we're fortunate to have off road it in many different areas of the country. And I'm still in love with rock arts. Like, Rush Creek has this amazing glacial river of boulders, and you can just pick any line. It's my peace in heaven right in there. And we love, like, racing down it or like, nobody gets back up and you have we have fun like that.
[01:21:21.120] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. When Shelley and I are on a trail, I count backups. And it was that way when we were setting up the race courses. You know, if I had to get through an area and I had to take a backup, I was mad at myself. And I was setting up a race course, not a rock crawling course.
[01:21:44.120] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. We'll still mess with each other and, like, sneak up behind some dingo Cone.
[01:21:52.360] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I love that. I talked about that in the Jesse Haines interview with Shane Yost. I related that scenario with him with Jesse, and that on the Rubicon. Following Haines and a couple of his buddies. I kept yelling cone, because he was rock crawling with us. And his friends are like, yeah, who is that? Jackass backup anyway?
[01:22:24.370] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. That's funny.
[01:22:26.100] - Big Rich Klein
So things things are moving and grooving really well with with Torque Masters and and everything going there. And you're deep into SEMA going to do the Rebellion this year. I'm so happy to hear that.
[01:22:40.640] - Cora Jokinen
And I'm so excited.
[01:22:43.580] - Big Rich Klein
You're not even 40 yet. Got you. Those are kids.
[01:22:49.140] - Cora Jokinen
Oh, he is. He's over 45. He's 46. I don't even count anymore.
[01:22:59.280] - Big Rich Klein
It really doesn't matter. Age is subjective. Once you get above 58, 59 or 60, it's more of a reality. Just because that, to me, is when I've noticed people talking about, man, this is worn out. This is worn out. And they're talking about body parts. Unfortunately, our bodies are not like cars, although they're getting more that way where you can go in and get things replaced. But it's not quite as easy as replacing parts on a car, but you feel it. You really do stay young.
[01:23:46.680] - Cora Jokinen
Yes. Well, we got some new models coming out that were excited about. The hot telling, as I mentioned, is for leasing. And then after that, we're doing the Toyota Front eight inch Clam shell, which is basically five plus Tacoma Tundra and four runners. And then my new daily driver is a four door Tacoma that I'm going to build up a little bit and put a locker in. Obviously, it's it's challenging for us in one way that we have so many different applications. We have so many different display vehicles.
[01:24:31.400] - Cora Jokinen
So, like, if we were just a Jeep company, we'd have a jail and a graduate. But we have Subaru. We have a Tacoma Canyon Jeep jail. We're doing Overlander stuff and rock crawling side by side and Subaru meats and cheap jamboree. So we have a lot of basis to cover. But after Tacoma, we have the Sterling, which is really interesting. We're putting that in the LSD case, which is supremely stronger than any other OEM case out there. It is. It is awesome.
[01:25:08.920] - Big Rich Klein
[01:25:10.640] - Cora Jokinen
We're reusing the two drive spiders. So that one the Sterling is going to be, like in the 310 or $20 range, which is super affordable. And it's I think I'm pretty sure we're going to be the only one on that. And we're going to do a design patent on that one, too. There's nothing else out there like it.
[01:25:32.660] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. I understand the design patent processes is fairly long and tedious.
[01:25:42.660] - Cora Jokinen
Well, the utility patent process is long and tedious.
[01:25:47.780] - Big Rich Klein
[01:25:48.660] - Cora Jokinen
Inexpensive. And the design patent process is relatively inexpensive, and it gets your shoe in the door. And we do I think I have five design patents in the US and a few overseas, too. So design patents are in the basic differences, like a Coca Cola bottle shape you can get a design patent on because it's a unique shape. The Coca Cola recipe, which is secret and unique. That is a utilities pattern or kind of like the functioning of it is the utility, the design and the profile, the design patent.
[01:26:37.090] - Big Rich Klein
Okay. That makes sense. I didn't know the difference.
[01:26:42.660] - Cora Jokinen
I have a great patent attorney. He used to work for Xerox. The Rochester is a company account. We had Bouchon, Rox and Koh at one point, like most of the population works for one of those three companies now is those companies have shrunk disbanded. We still have all those engineers and workers in the workforce here, but not the big company. So a lot of people have gone out in started startups in a lot of different innovative areas. And so Rochester is really a hot spot for innovation.
[01:27:22.570] - Cora Jokinen
And the cost of living up here is very inexpensive. So you can attract talent from other areas and, you know, safe. You're from New York City. I mean, you could buy a mansion on the Lake for the same price of, like a studio in the dump to New York City. So it's a very appealing area.
[01:27:46.100] - Big Rich Klein
That's great for a lot of reasons for a company such as yourself. Like you said, then you've got this great patent attorney. You have people in that area that that those resources that otherwise you might have to go to the big city to get. Yes.
[01:28:06.270] - Cora Jokinen
So my patent attorney is am I retired? And he's younger, too. And at Xerox, they wouldn't just patent the copier. They would patent every single component that goes into it. Wow. So that thought process is always going through my brain for what is unique and what is different. And if I have the choice of an open differential case Sterling or the LSD case Sterling and the cases, like super bold proof, and this one's going to be unique and stronger, I'm going to go for that one, right?
[01:28:48.560] - Big Rich Klein
Makes total sense. Yes. So is there anything that we've not touched base on that you think listeners might be interested in hearing about your life?
[01:29:02.920] - Cora Jokinen
We have an awesome black lab for names. Petunia. She's the love of our life.
[01:29:08.290] - Big Rich Klein
There you go, Petunia.
[01:29:10.580] - Cora Jokinen
If you look at any of our social media, you're bound to get a a clip or a picture of her. She's adorable. Super chill.
[01:29:21.110] - Big Rich Klein
Petunia, how did you come up with the name Petunia?
[01:29:25.230] - Cora Jokinen
She's actually a breeder dog. They named her, and they were going to keep her to breed her. And at a year and a half, they go in for X rays and exams and stuff. And she did not pass the elbow exam.
[01:29:41.280] - Big Rich Klein
[01:29:42.150] - Cora Jokinen
And so I already met with the Reader and formed a relationship with her. Like, I started playing hockey with her two years ago, and she got me back on state. And so we developed a friendship. And she called me right before Christmas and was like, hey, I have a year and a half old. We're not going to breed. Would you like to buy her for what we have in for shops and exams? I was like, yeah, absolutely.
[01:30:12.620] - Big Rich Klein
So that's how she got to be. She was okay. That makes more sense.
[01:30:18.690] - Cora Jokinen
She was already a Reader dog. And the story of her coming into our life is just it's perfect. We weren't looking for a puppy because we travel so much and we're so busy, we couldn't we couldn't have a puppy. We're super thrilled. And at that age.
[01:30:39.950] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. I like, I love dogs. I love cats. I do not want to go through kitten or puppy stage ever again in my life. So if we get another pet, we are going to do more than likely do a rescue or the same kind of situation where you're in that you're in with Petunia is to get something, find a pet that is that has already gone through that training process so that they're not chewing. And, you know, they've already been trained potty wise and hopefully a little bit a little bit of of training social training there.
[01:31:25.260] - Big Rich Klein
So that's where I'm at.
[01:31:29.380] - Cora Jokinen
Yeah. I totally feel you.
[01:31:32.420] - Big Rich Klein
Well, Cora, I want to say thank you very much for spending time with us and sharing your life and talking about everything that has gone on in it and how you got to where you're at. I think I've learned a lot about you. And hopefully our listeners have done the same thing.
[01:31:53.120] - Cora Jokinen
Cool. Well, thank you so much for having me, as our friend Charlene likes to say, we're all on our own journey. And this is where I'm at now. And and we're just hustle in to keep moving and keep innovating and rebelling and adventures. That's what we're all about.
[01:32:17.200] - Big Rich Klein
Absolutely. And that's that's the life of an offroad enthusiast and business owner. Well, again, thank you. And we will see you, I guess. No later. Than October. October. Yeah. We'll see you on The Rebel.
[01:32:36.040] - Cora Jokinen
I'm really looking forward to seeing you two there. It gives us rock crawlers. Kind of like a home base. I appreciate it.
[01:32:48.170] - Big Rich Klein
We really appreciate that whole event and the relationships that we've built with the teams from that event. It's just it really is a special part of our life. And I'm so glad that's really how we met. I knew of you before that, but it's really how we met and got to know each other. Yeah. I'd like to spend some more time with Eric and get to know him better, but just haven't had that opportunity yet. But I have a feeling things we'll be able to do more of that here in a few years.
[01:33:24.710] - Big Rich Klein
And hopefully we can come by and visit and maybe park in one of those spots where you can get the big trucks into.
[01:33:34.400] - Cora Jokinen
Absolutely. We're pretty close to the three way. I 90 and we definitely welcome our friends. And I'd love to Cook for you. And you could have a nice easy.
[01:33:45.810] - Big Rich Klein
That sounds great. Alright, say Hello to Eric and good luck with all your endeavors that you face between now and The Rebel and at The Rebel. And we'll see you there.
[01:33:59.690] - Cora Jokinen
Okay. See you later, Rich.
[01:34:01.680] - Big Rich Klein
Thank you. Thank you. Bye bye.
[01:34:03.600] - Cora Jokinen
[01:34:04.450] - Speaker 3
If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating, share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram, and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end.
[01:34:17.700] - Big Rich Klein
Hope you enjoyed it.
[01:34:18.660] - Speaker 3
We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich.
[01:34:21.900] - Big Rich Klein
Thank you very much.