Eric Bensel’s car enthusiasm started young with special moments, such as when his grandfather let Eric sit next to him on the armrest of his ’75 Buick Electra while he was driving; (relax, it was the 70’s, driving was slower, and Papa’s ‘seat belt arm’ would never let harm come to any of his grandkids). Another would be when Eric’s mom would drive the kids to an empty parking lot in the industrial park on a weekend when no one was around, to teach him how to drive a stick shift when he could reach the pedals. Or his uncles taking him out for rides in their Corvettes. The ultimate for Eric; spending quality time with his grandfather while holding the flashlight as he worked on just about everyone’s car (including Eric’s). Eric eventually learned how to point the light in the right spot and hold it there, but all those hours taught him to do his own repairs, and to “hold the dang light where I told you,” correctly.
Eric’s dream car? That’s easy. A Ferrari 308 GTSi (although he’d be lying if he said he didn’t also own a Detroit Tigers cap). Pop culture aside, this is one car that still gets Eric as excited as when he was a little boy seeing one driving by.
A former improv comedian, Eric definitely brings humor to the table when sitting in with Classic Car Corner crew. But what he enjoys most about the podcast is getting to have a conversation with VERY good long time friends about the automotive experience – whether it’s their own experiences, their guests’ experiences or a lively and friendly chat about what makes a car a classic. Each show is as unique, as the many aspects of collecting, building, and driving.
One of Eric’s great pleasures in life is sharing his love of cars with his daughter. She likes for the window to be rolled down to get that surprise whoosh of wind in the cabin. Hearing her unrestrained laughter and calls for “AGAIN!” from the backseat makes every flip of the switch worth it, creating her own special moments.
John Lockhart began his love for cars like most boys collecting Hot Wheels and building 1:25 scale model kits. He wishes he still had that collection of Hot Wheels as the numbers were in the hundreds. No worries though, he has restarted that collection living through his 8 year olds son’s eyes as his collection of Hot Wheels is expanding every week. In the mid 2000’s John completed the Skip Barber Racing School at Road Atlanta where he truly fell in love with racing and horsepower. He continues to enjoy attending cars shows and going to car races every opportunity he gets.
John and his wife Nikki have 2 sons, Gavin and John Jr and have made multiple road trips throughout the country, one being a 2000 mile experience he wouldn’t wish on his worst enemy.
Jason Paynter, is an avowed classic car enthusiast, published author and certified Classic Car appraiser. For decades, Jason has enjoyed owning and curating a unique collection of cars, leading him to recently write, Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting and Investing in Classic Cars, as well as writing a regular column for the G.D Herring Journal. With nearly 25 years in the auto business, Jason has learned a couple of things about cars, and hopes he can share them in “The Corner.”
Jason’s first thought when approached to do a podcast about classic cars? “I was hesitant,” he admits. “But then it sunk in, why not talk about cars, specifically classic cars as it is typically a subject brought up by friends every time we get together? As much as my friends know that I love cars, I’m usually not the one who starts the conversation. People know how much I enjoy the trivia, facts and the topic of cars and they’ll mention to me ‘hey, guess what I saw on the road yesterday?’ What is even more fun is when people I have never met either strike up a conversation at the gas station or say ‘do you drive the burgundy Grand Wagoneer?’ I realized that cars spark fun conversation and a way for people to get to know each other.”
Asked about his favorite part of hosting a podcast, Jason answers emphatically “it’s the guests. The people who come on and share their stories. This is truly what it is all about. It’s not only fun, but when you feel the excitement and enthusiasm coming from our guests sharing their experiences, you can’t help but stay engaged in the conversation. It’s such a great time for all of us.”
Jason and his wonderful wife Mary have three sons, Douglas, Davis and Luke. You’re likely to catch a glimpse of them rolling down the highways in a 1980’s wood paneled station wagon, after having picked straws to see who gets to sit in the rear-facing seat!
You know how they say “the brains behind the beauty?” Well in this case, we’ve got beauty and brains wrapped into one with CCC’s media maven, Nikki Lockhart. Our behind the scenes social media guru and sometimes on-the-scene host (check out Nikki’s livecast from a recent car show here), the podcast wouldn’t be where it is today (or nearly as much fun) without her.
Behind the scenes at CCC, Nikki is honing her social marketing skills and is loving how the time she’s spending on promoting the show is turning out to be a great introduction to “the world of all things” as it pertains to cars.
She especially loves the personal stories of the ‘people behind the cars’ and how each person has a unique story about their collection. Nikki is married to Podcast host John Lockhart. Together they have two children and love taking weekend road trips and creating memories together. Nikki also attended grade school with all three Classic Car Podcast hosts!