Team Smiles Captain, Jeremy Hammer – owner of Fly-N-Hi Total Performance Center joins us for Episode 26 – our ½ year anniversary. Jeremy talks football, growing up in Arizona, Garage Rehab and more. Join us to catch up on all the latest. No matter where you are, Jeremy and his team can help you out, reach out to. https://fly-n-hi.com/ for all your off-road needs, especially in Phoenix!
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3:29 – Race night is on Thursdays!
5:18 – I could have been in the paint industry instead
9:23 – a 12-speed is not the same as a BMX bike
11:51 – Football wasn’t always easy
14:15 – The transition from being a kid who watches TV to a kid who plays football: how coaches mold you
18:35 – football is life
20:47 – The first four-wheel drive
27:04 – where I still want to go with the racecar
32:45 – 9 minutes and then the crane of shame
40:57 – The start of Fly-N-Hi
50:45 – the Garage Rehab experience
Big Rich Klein: All right. We’re here today with Conversations with Big Rich, with none other than Jeremy Hammer. Jeremy is the owner of Fly-N-Hi off-road. We are in Phoenix, Arizona in his shop and office. And we’re going to talk about Jeremy’s beginnings of life and how he got into motorsports and especially into the rock sports. So Jeremy let’s start at the very beginning. Where did you grow up?
Jeremy Hammer: Well, hello. Yeah, I grew up in the area and Arizona here, went to school in Mesa.
Jeremy Hammer: we moved out here when I was two years old. So I’m originally from Michigan Dearborn. Actually, my grandfather worked for Chrysler for 41 years and when he retired, the family kind of came out to help him move. And my parents stopped in Phoenix and fell in love with the Valley. So we moved out here when I was two years old and I haven’t been back to see any of those lovely, snow storms or anything like that. I’m a definitely an Arizona guy loved the rocks, loved the desert, and if it gets too cold, I grow feathers and start heading down South. So went to high school here in Mesa, and then ended up, at Scottsdale community college, playing football there, and then off to Arizona state where I played football in the early nineties. And once I was done with football and, and school and everything, I was working for a dealership selling cars and I met my wife. So the automotive industry has been good with me with, not only making a business and a life, but also building a family. So it’s, brought me together with lot of great people
Jeremy Hammer: From the dealerships. I, ended up working for tire distributor here and then a body shop and, kind of ping-ponged around a little bit, even sold computers, for a little bit. And, always kind of got toward back to the automotive and, and off-road industry. I, came to Fly-N-Hi as a customer and met my best friend. Who’s, was working the counter and we hit it off right away. And we’ve been friends ever since. So Fly-N-Hi I was doing some work on a vehicle that I had ended up walking into their fab shop and seeing a trophy truck. They were building it for them. And I said, I want to get involved in this. They said, you know, we work on it Tuesday and Thursday nights is our race night. Do you want to come by and help us we’d love to have you from there.
Jeremy Hammer: I’ve met all the guys here at Fly-N-Hi and, met the original owner of Fly-N-Hi did a lot of desert racing with them, chasing their trophy truck and having fun and success with that kind of knew. That’s what I wanted to do. I’ve always been into rock crawling. back when, my parents first moved out here, we, we, bought a 74 Ram charger and my dad take us four-wheeling and camping and all that stuff. So I was in love with anything, four-wheel drive round. That same time my uncle took me down the drag strip and his 74 challenger. And just pretty much anything with a, with a motor I was in love with. We went to boat races and motorcycle racing and that sort of stuff didn’t participate a lot, mostly just, enthusiasts. But yeah, I always enjoyed working on cars while I was in high school.
Jeremy Hammer: another uncle owned an automotive shop. So I spent a lot of time wrenching down there, doing stuff for him, helping them out. And it’s just, it’s always been in the blood so fast forward, back to the Fly-N-Hi and getting to know the guys over here, the racing kind of ended for them. They weren’t doing a lot of racing, but we were still doing a lot of rock crawling and building our rigs up the guys around here. I found out that he wanted to sell with that. I was kind of in kind of in the market to buy a business. I had some family members that wanted to go into business with me, believe it or not, the day that I found out that Fly-N-Hi was for sale. We were looking at a paint supply store. So, this whole story could have been different of me selling paints, but we ended up putting together a deal with the original owner and, we’re a franchisee of Fly-N-Hi.
Jeremy Hammer: So we’re, we’re able to use the name and do what we want with it. You know, it’s, it’s been a, it’s been a struggle just cause the industries, up and down the mostly down, right. We bought it right around 2006 and the economy was taking a dive with all the mortgage things. And we just kept on paying the rent and making, making all the ends meet about, 10 years ago. They just, the, my partners decided they wanted out. So, now it’s just been me running the things and, and having fun with it. And my family loves it. We love the customers. We love the industry. We love going out to events. we love talking Jeep. We love talking truck tires, all that other fun stuff. My, both my daughters want Jeeps and, and all that stuff. So they can go out and, and four wheel. READ MORE