SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It started out as a radio show with one guy talking about cars and answering listener questions in Sioux Falls.
Now it has a nationwide audience and can be heard on almost 250 radio stations.
Located near Garretson on what was once the family farm, Nordstrom’s automotive sells used car parts all over the world.
The multi-million dollar business is unique in its own right.
On the second floor of the building, you will find a studio where once a week three guys get together to talk about cars with callers like this one.
“Once you put a fuel pressure gauge on there, once it gets primed, I was going to say once it gets primed it runs fine it’s got plenty of fuel there,” Russ Evans with Under Hood Show said.
Catalytic converters, fuel injectors and u-joints. If you’ve got a problem, the guys from Under the Hood will have some advice.
Shannon Nordstrom started it by himself more than 30 years ago at age 19.
“It was an idea that my mom had at the time when she was out custom windrowing the neighbor’s alfalfa listening to the radio listening to Wayne Pritchard on the radio and she said you know what we should have a car show that would help promote our then growing little salvage yard,” Nordstrom said.
Shannon says never in his wildest dreams did he think the show would get this big. You get a real sense of how far the show reaches when you look at this, map.
Each red dot represents a radio station that plays the syndicated show.
“It has 265,000 miles on it. Well, there’s the problem. He’s lucky that it starts, no kidding,” Chris Carter said.
Shannon recruited Russ Evens a few years into the show. Russ worked at Nordstrom’s Automotive and was known for his encyclopedia-like knowledge of cars.
Already a big name in Sioux Falls radio, Chris Carter joined the team.
“One day, just all of a sudden I was the new host of the Under the Hood show,” Carter said.
One morning after the Chris and Doc radio show on KTWB Chris was asked to join Russ and Shannon down the hall on KELO Radio.
“We even talked about it that day after it was done. I went, that went pretty well, and they went “yeah that worked great, see you next week,'” Carter said.
Chris says after the first hour he knew the chemistry was there.
“Russ manages the service center for the company of Nordstrom’s, I run the auto recycling facility, Chris comes from the radio world and he’s the voice of the people, together we can give you a good centric opinion of what you should consider doing,” Shannon said.
I got to join the guys in the studio and ask a few questions for their Youtube audience. Spend some time around these guys and it’s clear the chemistry is a big part of what makes the show successful.
“When you put all three of us on here together, it’s great you’ve got three of us, we’re friends we are the same off the air as we are on the air and we just have a really great time and listeners pick that up,” Evans said.
No computer, no books or notes, they don’t look things up during the show, all the information is coming from inside their heads.
Under the Hood has been evolving, no longer limited to just radio stations, the show is available in podcast form and on Youtube.
At a time when the price of everything is on the rise, the show aims to help people save money on car repairs
“Understanding options that are available to people that’s what this show is all about and that’s what kept it going for so many years is just keeping people educated about their car,” Shannon said.
And as long as people are driving and fixing, these guys will keep talking and entertaining.