Heavy Metal Affliction - Hoonigan Twerkstallion
Earlier in the month we saw the release of the Hoonigan Car Pack in Forza Horizon 3 – our first collaboration with Ken Block’s motorsport lifestyle brand. As we head into September, we’re taking the month out in proper Hoonigan style with an interview with Hertrech Eugene Jr., better known as “Hert,” from the Donut Garage.
Let’s jump right in and see what the Hoonigan Internet Scientist and Twerkstallion owner had to say about his role at the garage, his life, and his car.
Heavy Metal Affliction: Is ‘Hert’ a nickname or short for something?
Hert: ‘Hert’ is short for ‘Hertrech’. It makes everyone’s life easier and makes me have to cringe less when people butcher my name, (laughs).
HMA: What other jobs have you had leading up to your joining the Donut Garage?
Hert: I previously worked for Enjuku Racing, [and] BC Racing before that. [I was a] valet at the Hard Rock Café before that, and if you want to get deep I was ‘Chuck E. Cheese’ for about three days when I was 17.
HMA: Apart from your personality, what skills do you bring to the team, both in the garage and in the office?
Hert: One of the hardest things to do in this industry is to be creative, that’s a big part of what I bring to the team.
HMA: What is one of the coolest things you have done since joining the team there?
Hert: That’s a tough question. I’ve experienced so many amazing things with my team. Experiencing World Rally Championship in 2013, being a camera operator on [BJ Baldwin’s] Recoil 2 and Recoil 3 and so much more. But honestly, I think my car getting in Forza might be the coolest thing. I’m still nerding out about that.
Photos by nitro glitter
HMA: How much time do you spend behind the desk doing Internet Scientist stuff, versus working in the garage?
Hert: They’re about equal. I’ll spend a full day in the office and a full evening in the shop when it’s crunch time.
HMA: What makes up the Hoonigan/Donut Garage attitude? What is motorsport lifestyle by your definition?
Hert: We are all just people that love cars and love good times with friends. That makes up our attitude and I feel that that’s a pretty good definition of motorsports lifestyle.
HMA: How do you see your role evolving over the next five years?
Hert: Our YouTube has been growing tremendously, so I imagine I’ll continue doing a lot with that. But I’d love to eventually spend more time directing some of the larger production films Hoonigan Media Machine produces. Or being a driver in one of their larger production films... hint, hint.
HMA: Were there family influences that made you a car guy? What inspired you initially?
Hert: Honestly, no. I don’t recall anyone in my family being into cars growing up. One of my best friends growing up was heavily into cars. His first car was an RX-7 – it was a S5 Black GTU FC RX7 on blacked out FC Vert Mesh wheels and I basically fell in love with them from there.
HMA: Do you have motorsport icons you look up to? Who are they and what did they do to earn that place?
Hert: I don’t know if the drivers I look up to are considered “motorsports Icons” in the mainstream motorsports world. [There was] Mitsuru Haruguchi, Ryota Yuasa, just to name a few Japanese drifters. And on the American circuit, Justin Pawlak and Jeremy Lowe have some heavy RX7 driving style influence on me too. There are too many to name.
HMA: What is the dumbest thing you have ever done in a car? Were there consequences?
Hert: Drifting, definitely drifting (laughs).
HMA: As a car culture icon yourself, how do you feel about that role and what do you do to cultivate it?
Hert: I wouldn’t consider myself an icon by any means. But I appreciate the kind words! I prefer to keep things fun and show that through my videos. That’s my role.
HMA: What other drift cars have you had?
Hert: I’ve had two S14’s, an S13, two AE86’s that I never finished and three FC RX-7’s.
HMA: When it comes to drifting, why are you an FC guy and not a Mustang or S-Chassis guy?
Hert: I grew up around FC’s. I was technically a Honda guy before I got my first FC, I had an EG6. I got rear-ended in that car and with the insurance check I bought my first FC. That was 11 years ago. S-Chassis are dope, easy to make dope, and easy to drive in my opinion. I just prefer the way the FC looks and drives. They deserve way more love than they get.
HMA: When you say this car was “built to drift” what does that mean exactly?
Hert: Build it, thrash it, fix it, and repeat. Drifting is the only reason I do all of that.
HMA: Tell me about the inspiration for the name “Twerkstallion?”
Hert: Honestly, I was staring at the car one day, trying to figure out a name for it one day and that ‘Bubble Butts’ song by Major Lazor was hot at the time, which inspired me to call it the Twerkstallion, (laughs).
HMA: What makes up your personal drifting style? How do you execute it?
Hert: I love aggressive driving more than anything and I’d love to be the best at it. And it’s a must for the car to look good too. So I’ve got a long road and a lot of broken parts ahead, but it’s been a fun journey so far.
HMA: How much would you say you have put into the Twerkstallion in dollars and hours?
Hert: In five years I’d probably say somewhere around $30k? Who knows. I’ve gotten lucky with a lot of sweet deals from time to time so it’s hard to put a number on it. I don’t even want to try and count the hours (laughs).
HMA: Do you do all the work yourself? What do you credit others with?
Hert: I’ve done a lot of work on this car myself in the past and present. Recently John Vargas has slayed my fresh engine build and all the fabrication around it. It’s nice to sit back and relax and let the people who love building, build. I personally will always choose driving over building. But building is fun too.
HMA: What are the signature elements of the Twerkstallion?
Hert: BN sports aero, large wing, large wheels, Orange/Red pearl paint and the V8 have always been my signature elements. But my newest signature will be the rotary engine, since I plan to run with this for many years to come.
HMA: When did the car go from being a street car to a more dedicated drift build?
Hert: Well, it’s technically still a street car since it’s registered and insured. The car chassis-wise has always been the same. I always had Sparco buckets and a roll cage in it. Shout out to Florida for letting us nerds hot rod around in our drift cars.
HMA: Do you get invited to events, just show up, plan out your own season? How do you find time to get on track?
Hert: A mix of all. Drifting is a tight community and there are events happening all over the states so there are always places to drive. Drifting has always been my biggest passion so making time for it even when I don’t have it is usually pretty easy.
HMA: How important is stance in your build, would you sacrifice performance for looks?
Hert: Style is everything in my opinion; cars just look so much better slammed on their nuts at full lock. I don’t do competitions, so I don’t need to be the fastest. But I’ve found a pretty good mix with my BC Racing coil overs and fat rear tires to maintain style and performance.
HMA: Have you dynoed the new rotary build? What are your horsepower estimates, how much more do you think you can get and what will it take to get there?
Hert: We spent some time on the dyno at Haltech before Grid Life just to break-in the freshly built motor. We had some issues getting the car to its destination on time so we ran out of time before we could tune. Then I suffered an injector failure while unloading at Grid Life, fixed that up thanks to the locals Evolved Injection, and got on their dyno on the last day of Grid Life. We got a nice base tune going but the car was slipping on the dyno so we haven’t put any good numbers down. One more solid day of tuning and we should be making anywhere around 450+ at 14-15 PSI. It can take a good bit more than that, but I don’t need any more than that to drift.
HMA: Of course the car is never done, but what are your next planned mods or upgrades?
Hert: I’m very content with this set up, I don’t really have any desire to go 3-rotor or anything like that. If anything I’ll mix up the wheels and aero. Or just buy an FD.
HMA: What do you think your car’s style says about you?
Hert: It probably says that I’m someone who needs attention (laughs). I don’t really know though, I am who am I am and hopefully my car (and driving style) shows that.
HMA: Tell me about your dog.
Hert: Don-Pierre is the most handsome, most drooly, dumbest but smartest, and most loving dog on planet Earth.