Frank the Tank on Episode 79


Frank the Tank on Episode 79!  Listen in on Frank Alioto’s journey from mechanical engineer to Edelbrock to where he is now. His no-nonsense attitude after a life-altering accident has him back in an LJ and on the trails. This is a good one!

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5:01 – we went 2 miles an hour all day and I had the best time!

9:07 – I did burnouts on Woodward in Detroit

12:58 – my first job out of college was designing shock absorbers in Sutter Creek

16:05 – the 405 is at least as tough on vehicles as the Rubicon

19:04 – Edelbrock had a lot of car enthusiasts, but not many of them were off-road enthusiasts

27:48 – I used to hot lap Golden Spike

34:02 – “you never go on a night run with a Toyota without a sleeping bag!”

39:34 – the accident

47:27 – Disabled Sports run on the Rubicon

50:38 – I want this Jeep, and he’s like, you don’t need that Jeep (I got the Jeep)

53:27 – I fI had to thank every person who helped me with the vehicle, this would be 3 hours long – you know who you are and I cannot thank you enough

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.


[00:01:19.460] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations With Big Rich. We have Frank Alioto, Frank The Tank. I met Frank years ago at the very beginning of the CalRoc days when Frank was working for Edelbrock, but we are going to talk to Frank like we always do with everybody about basic history. And so, Frank, I want to say, first off, thank you very much for coming on and consenting for an interview.

[00:01:47.100] – Frank Alioto

Well, thank you very much for inviting me. I hope I have enough to say that interest everybody out there.

[00:01:56.060] – Big Rich Klein

I’m sure you do. You have some life experiences that are definitely different than some of us, and I think that it’s a good it’s a good basis for everybody to understand what everybody else is like in this industry. So thank you again. Let’s get started right away. And where were you born and raised?

[00:02:19.120] – Frank Alioto

I was born in San Francisco, California. I lived there for two or three weeks until my parents went away to grad school at University of California, Davis. So I spent my first few years there, and then we moved to Fresno, and I stayed there through high school.

[00:02:42.140] – Big Rich Klein




[00:02:44.660] – Big Rich Klein

Fresno is probably a lot better place back in those days than I would imagine it is now.

[00:02:50.900] – Frank Alioto

I have not been back in probably eight or ten years, so I don’t know. I don’t get up that way very often. And when I do, I’m trucking through to go to the mountain somewhere.

[00:03:03.550] – Big Rich Klein

I understand that. So let’s talk about those probably know or remember more about the Fresno years than the years before that. So let’s talk about those Fresno years. What were your family’s interest and what kind of life did you live growing up?

[00:03:23.780] – Frank Alioto

I think it was fairly normal. I grew up mostly with my mom. My parents were divorced. By the time I was in Fresno, she took me camping. She would take me up to Yosemite because it was close to the house, and she would. My favorite hobby was playing with bicycles and BMX bike. And my mother was not mechanical at all. So she get me tools, got me an bicycle, I would break it, and we would have to figure out how to fix it somehow. My grandparents were very mechanical.

[00:04:06.500] – Frank Alioto

It skipped a generation, and I’m very mechanical, which has been helpful.



[00:04:14.740] – Frank Alioto

But I love that getting out in the outdoors. And I love riding my bike, feeling the wind for years. And when I was young, I fell in love with offroad magazines and any magazine that involves cars. I was just so addicted to vehicles. When I got my first couple of cars, I had a Camaro, I had a Nissan, I had a Firebird, and my friends and I would auto cross, and we would drive probably too fast to be considered safe on the streets. And at one point I went up to Shaver Lake with a friend.

[00:05:01.400] – Frank Alioto

And I think it was 87 or 88. Toyota pickup IFS bone stock. We went 2 miles an hour all day, and I have the best time of my life. And I was like, I have to start four wheeling, because if I wad up my Camaro, I’m going to get hurt. But if I fall over in the truck, the truck is going to get hurt, and there’s a good chance I’m just going to get up and get away.



[00:05:29.460] – Frank Alioto

So I kind of transitioned from fast cars into trucks at that point. Of course, by then I was in College and I didn’t have any money whatsoever. So for graduation, I got my first four wheel drive 98 Jeep Wrangler, first car I ever bought new, love the thing. I ended up getting a job in Sutter Creek, up near Jackson, California. So I I joined a four wheel drive club, and I just went all over the at all over the foot Hills, four wheeling, Rubicon, Barrett Lake, Duzy. I can’t remember the name of the one in Sonora, but anywhere I could go, I would go, and I love it to death.  READ MORE

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