Chris Hill and Airrex Performance
To start this out I want to apologize to my friends and family that have had to defend or listen to random people distort or make up things about me whenever I'm brought up. I also want to apologize to Airrex Performance for the way I handled it with them years ago and if they read this I want to make it right(Please contact me since you've blocked me on everything). In addition I want to thank all my supporters and friends that have always stood by me even after hearing crazy rumors or twisted stories of what really happened. I don't feel a issue with a single sponsor and me that happened 9+ years ago is anyone business but the sponsors and mine but I feel my side of the story needs to come out when it comes to this Airrex ordeal. This is all by memory so I apologize if I get some info or timelines twisted.
The Airrex debacle took place back in 2011/2012 I believe. I can't put my finger on it being so long ago but right around then. I'd been building car for about 11 years at that point and working pretty heavily with sponsors much like I do now. I was in the process of building a 370Z to have a drift demo vehicle for SEMA. If you've ever built a car for SEMA you'll know its something that typically needs to be built first then accepted by a company or organization after it's mostly complete. This is of course unless your a well established and well known builder then you get requested earlier. It's something that I still have to do today when building. When approaching the sponsors you have to pretty much sell the idea or the vision if you want a sponsorship early on. This is done typically by conversation but most formally done by building a vehicle deck or marketing plan and submitting it to said sponsor.
In the case with Airrex I had the car and the Amuse kit but was still in the process of getting final approval for the spot at SEMA. I approached Airrex looking for a suspension solution. As I did with everyone I wanted to get sponsored by. I would go to the SEMA website and click on every booth and get the media or marketing contact for the person assigned to that booth from that respected company. Marshal Lum was the contact for Airrex so I looked him up, emailed him, PM'ed him on Facebook and just about anywhere else I could reach him. I finally got through to him and we started talking. I told him I had a list of sponsors already on the car and what the plan was. He jumped at the idea and saw I had a successful background of building cars so he got on board.
Cover Page of the Marketing Deck
Getting the Airrex Kit on the car and the problems that followed.
From there we started to work on getting the suspension kit lined up. They said they were going to develop a special kit for me due to it being a drift demo car and that they needed the corner balancing weights and so on. After a month or two I received the kit. Around this time we were getting very close to SEMA and my car was not complete yet. I rushed to get the Airrex kit on the car but unfortunately there were parts missing. This is where things started to fall apart and turn for the worse. Not only was it my first time ever installing an air ride kit, the kit was delivered incomplete. I started to contact Airrex for help. They were extremely slow to reply and this among lots of other factors were delaying the build to the point I had to give up on getting the car into SEMA. Now here is when I should have told Airrex and tried to return the kit but I didn't. I was really hoping to keep the kit, get the missing parts I needed from them and still tour with the car during the coming season. At this point Airrex went really quiet and I only assumed it was due to SEMA and them being busy. No one would message me back from support and no one asked for the kit back so it sat in my garage waiting for the replacement parts. I continued to try and get the replacement parts but I believe I was getting shunned by them or something, I wasn't quiet sure. I moved on with the build while the kit sat in it's box in the garage gathering dust. I worked with companies like Falken Tires, Work Wheels, Fly1 Motorsports, STS Turbo and a ton of others on this build and it came out great. Well I mean for the aftermarket support that was around in 2010/11 it came out great in my opinion. It wasn't until I messaged Airrex a few years later to work with me on the GT-R that they decided to blow me up on Instagram with their side of the story.
18 months to Two years later...trouble started
If you know me or have seen me around you know I build a lot of cars and typically get rid of them after a few years. This is mostly because I want to build something else or have an agreement with a sponsor. Agreements with sponsors are typically verbal or contractual and mostly last for one year or one major event. In the case with Airrex we had no written contractual agreement just a verbal understanding that I would rock their stickers and have the kit on the car for SEMA. Well when the car didn't make it to SEMA and I never got a response from Airrex I just left the kit sitting new in the box for just about two years. I moved on with life, sold the 370Z and move on to the next car. I ended up building a M3 the next year and my first GT-R the year after that. One day I was out in the garage cleaning up and looking for items to sell to pay the bills and keep up my crazy car habits going I saw the Airrex box. I figured to myself, it's been two years, they don't answer me and never completed the kit so why sit on it. I decided to list the kit on Ebay and a few forums for like $3500 I believe. Well one of my past sponsors Fly1 Motorsports called me or emailed me(I can't remember) and offered to buy it for one of their customers cars. At this point I wasn't thinking things through at all and decided to sell it to him. I did disclose the kit wasn't complete and that Airrex wasn't responding but to please not bring me up because they might be mad I sold it. This was obviously a huge mistake and one I wish I could take back to this day. Again, I was putting it through my head that this was not a big deal, it had been 2 years since they sent it and that it was OK in my mind at the time. Clearly that was wrong. Either way the owner of Fly1 agreed he wouldn't bring my name up and or where they got the kit. They went to work on their build. Either the customer or Fly 1 apparently decided to call Airrex to get the rest of the parts the kit needed and when they did that Airrex said sure whats the serial number on the kit? Well obviously this serial number came up as my kit and Marshal found out and went ape shit. Now it wasn't until I contacted Marshal three years later in 2015 to work with me on the GT-R that they decided to ask for the kit back. At that point I assume they already knew I sold it. I tried to talk myself out of it but obviously I was caught in my lie and knew I screwed up. I was extremely ignorant and dumb in the way I handled the situation.
Marshal from Airrex Contacts me...
When Marshall found out I sold the kit I was pretty shocked and embarrassed. Shocked because Fly1 Motorsports told them the serial number and screwed me, embarrassed because I lied and got caught. It was a stupid ass thing to do and to top it when I was questioned about the car and why the kit wasn't on it I told them I had got into an accident and the car didn't make it to SEMA. The truth was I didn't finish it in time and thus wasn't accepted into the demo I was going for. From here things got crazy. I tried to plead with Marshall but he knew most of what I did and I didn't know what to do. I wasn't in a good financial situation so paying him back the money was going to be super tough because I had already spent it on bills and honestly car parts for my next build.
I was young and dumb and really made some bad decisions at this point in my life. Either way Marshal was demanding $6500 for the kit back right away. Obviously I didn't have $6500 nor did I get half of that for the kit when I sold it plus the kit wasn't complete so I said I would pay back half which is what I sold it to Fly1 for. At this point Marshall banned me from IG, Facebook, his groups and his personal pages. He said he didn't but the proof is below. I've wanted to settle this years ago with Marshal but he refuses to talk to me even though I have countless emails, Facebook PM's and IG DM's of me trying. I'm still willing to pay him today but honestly I want to come to an agreement because the kit was not $6500 and it wasn't complete. Now this point is important to remember. I have been trying to make this right with them. He says he didn't ban me and why would he if he wanted to get paid but here is clear proof he did and still does have me banned.
Prime example of Marshal lying that he didn't ban me. These were taken from a friends account.
Why ban me when I'm trying to get this settled?
So why wait this long to come out and say your side?
I was told from a very early age that you don't air your dirty laundry out on the internet. So I figured this matter was between Marshall and myself and that we should handle this one on one. However his post 5 years ago on my GT-R build rehashed everything and was made very public by him on his IG and Facebook. Since then it's been taken down but the rumors have gotten out of control. Now I feel I'm being forced to respond to a bunch of people that have had zero to do with the issue between Airrex and I but so goes the internet of things.... I have tried numerous times to contact Marshall and even went as far as to try and find him at SEMA this year. He's banned or blocked me from everything. I have emails, logged chats and everything of me trying to reach him. He doesn't want to talk to me or would rather hang me out then see this matter come to a close. I was wrong to sell the kit, I was wrong to lie about it and I want to make it right. I'm willing to come to an agreement with Marshall and want to end the rumors and the issue all together. This isn't any of your business but if you really want to know it all, here have your fill of daily drama. Most of the people that bring this up were in their early teens or younger when this happened. However I continue to build cars that get a lot of attention to so people will find a reason to break down someone that is having some success. This isn't going away until it gets settled with Airrex. Again I want to do that and will post the outcome if any when I get through to them.
I have 15+ years of successful builds and long lasting relationships with sponsors. They get great exposure and typically more then I promised them on coverage and exposure every time we work together. I'm not this bad guy scammer that some of you make me out to be. If you knew me you'd know that's the case. I don't get all my parts for free and I work hard to afford the builds I have. I typically get a discount from the parts and in rare cases I do get things for free but in turn I represent the sponsor for a year. However if I wasn't living up to standards companies like 3M, Toyo, ECUtek, Air Lift Performance, Prior Design, Vivid racing and countless of other sponsors wouldn't be working with me for the past 10+ years.
I'm far from a saint here and I openly admit I did lie to a sponsor and sell their part 9 years ago. I'm a different person now and know I screwed up. Please allow me to make it right and put this to bed. However in the meantime I wanted to at least get my side of the story out there and have a chance to set the story straight. I've gone as far as messaging him from burner accounts and shit even my wife's Facebook account trying to get this settled. It's all stupid embarrassing for me and is greatly hindering me from progressing in my hobby and being a more favorable figure in this community.
I'm going to leave this portion of the blog open for when and if Airrex is willing to talk to me. The only person there that knows anything about this is Marshall Lum and he won't respond so we'll keep waiting.
Q&A For Questions People have asked or I've heard Over time:
Q: Do you really charge people for rides in your car?
A: Absolutely not, I have never once charged any money for a ride in my car. I have been offered money but have never taken it. I do let supports or fans of the car sit in them from time to time but I'm not out to make money off people.
Q: What about your t-shirts and the money you make there?
A: All funds I make from the Supra t-shirt Styln produced is being directly donated to charity. I will not be taking a dime.
Q: Did you sell Bride knockoff seats as real Bride seats?
A: No, in fact the seats I was selling back in 2008/2009 were knock off seats from a company in Canada who makes them. I sold them as Bride of Canada seats in the listing and they were $250/$300 for the set and that was almost 11 years ago. These seats typically go for $1500-$2000 a piece and I was selling for $250/$300. It was obvious I was not selling these at authentic. Again these are the type of things that people twist and make reality because they post it on the internet. I was planning on putting them in my old 2005 350Z build but they were too small for me.
Q: Why have a plate that says TAG ME and get upset when you're tagged on Petrol Heads?
A: This is a crazy one. When I first built the GT-R I was tagged 4-5 times a day. At some points people were just pissed when it got posted because they had to see another GT-R and everyone rides GT-R's bad. I messaged an admin one day and said hey, if you guys want to delete all the posts of my GT-R so people don't get so sick of seeing it, that's fine. Some how that got misinterpreted and twisted over the past 3-4 years to I don't want my car posted there. That isn't the truth I just feel for people having to see it shoved in their feed everyday. I think the admins delete it because the shit storm the comments become.