March '19

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58 THE SHOP MARCH 2019 M oti Almagor says the story of Blackbird Fabworx has just been a story of... racing. "I always tinkered, always fabricated. When I started racing, I continued tin- kering and fabricating with my own cars. And from here to there it became friends' cars, because they saw things they liked, and then friends of friends. And eventually it turned into a business." He started Blackbird Fabworx in 2011 and "never looked back." LEGO RACERS That part of the story is not unlike how many speed shops get started. Almagor's story before that, however, is a little dif- ferent from many others because he grew up in Israel where, if motorsports existed at all, it was either very limited or illegal. Such an environment certainly doesn't feed the inner soul of a true gearhead. "I've always liked race cars, always enjoyed seeing them and dreaming them up, even when I was a little kid," he recalls. "My mom has pictures of me drawing as a 5-year- old and it was always race cars. When I started playing with Legos, I built race cars. I've always had an attraction to that." So, in 2000, at age 23 he did what he needed to do—he moved to California "to follow my dream and not just look at it from afar. I didn't really think of a career, but I wanted to do it, be a part of it. Not just have the dream and never follow it." There's a practical side to chasing a dream. "Coming to a new country and every- thing related to relocation halfway across the world was not an easy thing to do and you obviously leave a lot behind—friends and family and everything. But this was not a dream that I could just ignore." And in California, opportunities for motorsports were (and are) vast and—most importantly—year-round. CARPE DIEM Opportunity is one thing. Seizing it is another. Working for days and weeks and years is reality. "I always tinkered with my own things," he says. He started building his first race car in 2000. By 2001, it was ready to go, and he began by racing it at autocross and track days. "I started at the track and found that it was very addictive," Almagor says, "and never really stopped since." He financed all this car building and racing by doing sales for a residential remodeling company. And as he gained experience, his cars were more successful. The sales job provided the money to go racing. But it was only a matter of time before racing became his total focus. In the Israeli Air Force, he learned a little about aerodynamics, which he says he always thought was fascinating, so when he started tinkering with his own car, aero- dynamics was where he tinkered the most. 58 THE SHOP MARCH 2019 Moti Almagor (left) and Steven Liebig in the Blackbird Fabworx shop with some of their latest projects. Flying HigH Aerodynamics & safety solutions for the track drive Blackbird Fabworx. By Eddie Wieber The shop mascot...

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