There aren’t many things within the automotive community that polarize people quite like a matte black car. Some love it, some hate it, and some just don’t understand it. Me personally? I love it. My new friend here, Mike Kobie? Yeah, he loves it too, as proven by his answer to my inquiry, “because matte black is awesome as f**k”. So now that we’ve managed to get the pleasantries out of the way, who is this gallant gentleman and what’s the deal with his matte black muscle-mobile? Well, my friends, I had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Mike Kobie, himself, so we could learn a little bit more..
“I’ve always been that guy that would rather be the one to do stuff,” explains Mike, “and it’s not that I’m cheap, but it’s like paying somebody to build your kid a tree fort—half the fun is in building it yourself!” We couldn’t agree more, too. In the time that I conversed with Mike, it was abundantly clear that he and I are cut from the same cloth and tearing things apart just to put them back together again is a mutually-appreciated pastime.
“I remember pulling apart my Xbox and wrapping it with Halo graphics when I was like 12,” he remembers, “I’ve always been into taking stuff apart and putting it back together, and that just kind of translated to cars.” But to my surprise and unlike many of us, Mike wasn’t raised around cars and his love for American muscle isn’t one that was forced upon him by genetics.
Hard work runs in the Kobie family, and Mike currently works for his parents’ HVAC company by day, learning his way around carbon fiber and composites by night. “When I was 12 I started working at a pizza place and I saved up my money,” Mike tells us of his first job, “and by the time I turned 16 I went and bought a Charger all by myself.”
With a first car like a Charger, it only makes sense that he’d end up in a Challenger, right? I mean, after all, the Challenger is Dodge’s incredibly-well-executed rebuttal to the question that the muscle car community yelled when the Charger was released (“WHY DOES IT HAVE FOUR DOORS!?!”). But when asked, it’s clear that it’s not just Mopar thing to Mike. “I’ve always been into muscle cars,” he says, “I like the original old-school look, but the Mustang and Camaro don’t really have that original muscle feel like the Challenger!”
But if Mike couldn’t have a Challenger, what would he fancy instead? “A McLaren. A McLaren or an Aston Martin, I’m a sucker for English cars.” Definitely not the answer I anticipated, but a fantastic one nonetheless! “They [British cars] are some of the most well-crafted-looking cars,” Mike continues. Which then made me wonder, a muscle car guy that ultimately wants an Aston…I wonder what American car he would drive instead? “I would really like an old Lincoln Continental,” another surprising-but-fantastic answer, “you know, with the suicide doors.” Classic choice, Mr. Kobie!
“I had a lot of wheels before and I always thought that if they’re expensive they must be good,” confesses Mike, remembering back to not-so-savory experience that proved his theory wrong. So we ask, why Vossen? “I had a friend that had Vossens for several years and the clear coat started chipping,” Mike tells us, “and when he contacted Vossen they replaced the wheel!” A fantastic demonstration of how strongly we believe in our product and its integrity!
“Vossen has never forgotten where they came from, you know?” explains Mike, “they started out going to car shows to meet people with their wheels and they just never stopped doing that. I just really like the vibe that they put out.”