3 episodes

If you’ve spent some time in the tire industry, you’ve probably heard the name John Gamauf, aka Johnny g. In his 50-plus years of service to the industry, he’s busted tires, survived the largest tire recall in history and made a lot of friends along the way. Meet them in Johnny g & Friends, a monthly podcast in which Johnny g and his friends share the secrets to their success and the memories they’ve made along the way in our beloved tire industry.

Johnny G & Friends Babcox Media

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 4 Ratings

If you’ve spent some time in the tire industry, you’ve probably heard the name John Gamauf, aka Johnny g. In his 50-plus years of service to the industry, he’s busted tires, survived the largest tire recall in history and made a lot of friends along the way. Meet them in Johnny g & Friends, a monthly podcast in which Johnny g and his friends share the secrets to their success and the memories they’ve made along the way in our beloved tire industry.

    S&S Tire's Paul Swentzel Talks How He's Shaped a Three-Generation Business

    S&S Tire's Paul Swentzel Talks How He's Shaped a Three-Generation Business

    A lot of luck, forming long-lasting relationships and a push to always remain relevant has led to S&S Tire’s enduring success over the years. Yet, you can’t have a successful three-generation business without having a solid foundation. For this Kentucky-based tire distributor, that foundation started with Paul Swentzel, co-founder of S&S Tire who has also helped other dealers and distributors in the industry get started with their own businesses.

    A household name in the tire industry, Paul founded S&S Tire with his business partner, Don Schnieder, in 1974. They started out wholesaling tires out of a 9,000-square-foot warehouse in Lexington, Kentucky, and since then, the business has grown to 12 distribution centers across 10 states, 20 commercial truck centers, three retread plants and three retail locations.

    Paul first met Johnny g in the 70s, and since then, the two have taken their relationship from business to an enduring friendship. Get to know Paul, his wit, how he got started in the industry and how he’s managed to create a growing distribution business in the heart of the Bluegrass in the latest episode of Johnny g & Friends.

    In this episode, Paul and Johnny g delve into:

    - How they met and how Paul bought 25,000 tires from Johnny g at the 11th hour to help 0 Bridgestone meet their sales goals [1:50]

    - Paul’s journey to becoming a Firestone dealer and the mentors he had in the industry along the way [4:00]

    - With $50,000, a prayer and hard work, how Paul and Don Schneider started S&S Tire and how Paul’s relationship with Paul Zurcher played a huge role in his success [5:58]

    - Paul’s eagerness to help others get started in the business and how he did it [7:25]

    - How Paul overcame his biggest challenges in the tire business through forming relationships [8:10]

    - Brooks Swentzel, Paul’s son and current president of S&S Tire, describes S&S Tire’s business today, his philosophy on serving the business’ dealer customers and what he’s learned from his dad over the years [10:13]

    - Brock Swentzel, Paul’s grandson and the company’s manager of supply chain, explains how the pandemic has impacted S&S Tire and how he and his team work with manufacturers on tire supply and why he joined the family business [14:31]

    - Fun and funny memories Paul and Johnny g have made over the years -- from winning golf tournaments to forming relationships with celebrities like Arnold Palmer and Walter Payton as well as dealers both big and small [17:42]

    - Changes Paul has seen in the tire business from when he founded it to now and the importance of his son and grandsons (Brock and Austin Swentzel) adding capabilities to the business over the years [21:31]

    - How Paul created a community within the S&S tire dealer base [23:46]

    - How Paul helped Johnny g create Tire Stars, Bridgestone’s rewards program for distributors [24:50]

    Listen to the full episode here or subscribe to Johnny g & Friends on:

    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/johnny-g-friends/id1575371575

    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/51HCGxJxYmRvUC48iiKXJW

    Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuc3ByZWFrZXIuY29tL3Nob3cvNDk5NTE0Ny9lcGlzb2Rlcy9mZWVk

    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/johnny-g-friends

    • 26 min
    How Tire Industry Superstar Larry Morgan Created Multi-Billion Dollar Businesses in Tires & New Car Sales

    How Tire Industry Superstar Larry Morgan Created Multi-Billion Dollar Businesses in Tires & New Car Sales

    In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, get to know the “Michael Jordan of the Tire Industry.” No he’s not 6-foot-6 with six playoff rings, but he is the largest car dealer in the state of Florida.
    That man is Larry Morgan, chairman of Morgan Family Ventures, a high-growth group of companies spanning multiple industries. Why is he the “Michael Jordan of the Tire Industry?” Well, because he’s the GOAT - one of the greatest tire dealers of all time, according to his friend, Johnny g (aka John Gamauf). But let’s let his record speak for itself.

    Larry got his start as store manager at Firestone after being a part of the company’s elite management training class of 1965. Years later, he would invest “every single dime” he had to purchase 30 locations of Don Olson Tire in Clearwater, Florida, with the help of Firestone Tire. In less than 10 years, he’d grow it to 600 locations of Tires Plus across the country.

    Since then, he’s gotten out of the tire business and now owns 47 car dealerships as part of Morgan Auto Group in addition to a construction management company, a real estate holding agency and others. Along the way, he’s molded himself into a philanthropist that gives back in the Tampa Bay community.

    When Johnny g met Larry, he was on the path to becoming a business mogul as the CEO of Merchant’s Tire. Since then, the two have been through the ups and downs of the industry—and life—together.

    In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, hear how Larry grew Tires Plus to a 630-location tire dealership, the challenges along the way, and like MJ, how he switched careers to become the largest car dealer in the Sunshine State. You’ll also hear about:

    - Larry’s start in the industry and the story of his first tire sale, which totaled $20 [1:00]
    - Larry’s time as CEO at Merchant’s Tire, which he grew to more than 100 locations [4:09]
    - How Larry set out on his own and “put every single dime” on the line to acquire Don Olson Tire, which he expanded to 600+ locations of Tires Plus across the country [5:13]
    - What Larry believes was the key factor in the success of Tires Plus and how he became known as “Recall Larry” among his team as they navigated the Ford-Firestone recall [7:42]
    - Why Larry sold Tires Plus stores to Bridgestone-Firestone [10:47]
    - How Larry entered the new car dealer market and the similarities and differences between owning tire stores and auto centers [12:29]
    - The success of Morgan Auto Group, which is on track to generate $4.5 billion this year, and what Larry enjoys most about his role as the group’s chairman [14:22]
    - Larry’s memories with Johnny g including the time they both spent with Walter Payton, considered one of the greatest American football players in history [16:25]
    - Johnny g’s cancer scare at the age of 36 and how Larry dropped everything to be there for his friend [20:35]
    - Achieving work-life balance and how Larry and Johnny g handled their friendship while maintaining their competitive edge in their respective positions [22:23]

    Listen to the full episode here or subscribe to Johnny g & Friends on the following channels:

    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/johnny-g-friends/id1575371575

    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/51HCGxJxYmRvUC48iiKXJW

    Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuc3ByZWFrZXIuY29tL3Nob3cvNDk5NTE0Ny9lcGlzb2Rlcy9mZWVk

    Stitcher: a href="https://www.stitcher.com/show/johnny-g-friends"...

    • 24 min
    Racing Legend Mario Andretti Shares Stories from the Finish Line

    Racing Legend Mario Andretti Shares Stories from the Finish Line

    Mario Andretti is a racing icon. He’s won the Daytona 500, the Indy 500 and a Formula One World Championship—a feat no other racecar driver has achieved. He’s taken the checkered flag 111 times during his career, and today, he shares his stories and reflections from his more than 50-year career in the inaugural episode of Johnny g & Friends.

    John Gamauf (aka Johnny g) first met Mario in the mid-90s at an IndyCar race. Their friendship solidified when they traveled across the country visiting dealers during the Ford-Firestone recall. Mario had just signed on as a Firestone spokesman, and Johnny g served as president of consumer tires in North American for the company. From this, they formed a bond that has lasted for 21 years.

    In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, hear about Mario’s humble beginnings in racing, how he’s impacted the evolution of tire technology and why he stood up for the Firestone brand during a tumultuous time. Johnny g & Mario also discuss:

    - Returning to his hometown in Italy to shoot “Drive Like Andretti” and the memories he has as a young Italian refugee and young immigrant in Nazareth, Pennsylvania

    - The evolution of technology in racing from when Mario started to now and what it takes for drivers to extract what they need from the vehicle

    - The Ford-Firestone recall and why Mario became a spokesperson and “put his name on the line” for the Firestone brand during that time

    - Mario’s reflections on being a test driver for Firestone and the improvements in race tire technology he’s experienced along the way

    - Mario’s greatest stories from racing with his son, Michael, and how he and his twin brother, Aldo, have created a family of professional racecar drivers

    - Mario’s “Father’s Day gift” from his son at one of the closest races in IndyCar history

    - Mario’s reflections on the impact of his career and being named to the “Living Legends” list in the Library of Congress

    - Where Mario’s intense drive to succeed comes from and his formula for creating a great team on and off the racetrack

    - Why, to this day, Mario still loves the sound of opera over the sound of an engine

    - Mario’s dream guests to a dinner party and why it includes Lady Gaga and Mikhail Gorbachev

    - Mario’s memories and funny stories of working with Paul Newman as a driver for Newman/Haas Racing

    Watch the full episode at tirereview.com or on Tire Review magazine's YouTube channel.

    Tire Review: https://www.tirereview.com/tag/johnny-g-friends/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUswYJsDNu5h8U6wSk29U4A


    Look for more episodes of Johnny g & Friends the first Tuesday of every month on tirereview.com.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

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