Dennis McCarthy

Dennis McCarthy

Picture Car Coordinator

Vehicle Effects

Sun Valley, CA USA

You have to be on a constant quest for knowledge.


By Roadtrip Nation

Dennis McCarthy


My road in life took a while to figure out.
Growing up, his grandfather owned a service station and he was the first person to show him how to fix a carburetor.
His parents used to “threaten” to send him to a technical school as a punishment for working on cars all the time, not realizing that was all he wanted to do in the first place.
At an early age, he opened up his first auto shop; it was a “hole-in-the-wall” garage that could fit only one car at a time and all he had was his dad’s old Craftsman tool box.
About 10 years later, he got into the entertainment industry by chance after he was asked to build an elaborate car for a movie.
He quickly realized that this was what he was supposed to be doing—he sold his auto shop and opened up a new business dedicated to making custom vehicles for movies like The Fast and The Furious.
He has always had an appetite for fast vehicles and one of his main motivations for succeeding in this business was to be able to afford his “automotive habit”.
Says he loves the design process of building vehicles and road testing them, but his favorite part is actually getting to see the final vehicle up on the big screen.
Encourages people interested in the auto industry to learn as much as they can—“you want to be one of the top guys that people come to as an expert.”
Keep following my journey


Picture Car Coordinator

I own and operate a vehicle special effects company that supplies cars for movies like "Fast & Furious".

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Building Things

Day to Day

On daily basis, my team and I are building hundreds of cars for a variety of custom projects including movies and television. People will call us with a project pitch, we will negotiate a budget and then start working on designs and fabrications. Some of my favorite parts of my job include the design process and coming up with fun ideas, road testing the car once it's almost finished, and then seeing the finished product on the big screen.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

If cars are your passion, read and learn all that you can and stick with it. Always strive to be the best in your field.


The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"If all you want to do is work on cars all day, we are going to send you away to an automotive school."