Take a Behind the Scenes Look at Hoonigan's HQ: The Donut Garage
The Drive recently took a detailed tour of Hoonigan's headquarters, the Donut Garage, located in Long Beach, California.
Hoonigan has been on the auto world's radar for some time and, in the last 18 months, the brand's video presence has escalated its popularity on a global scale. Last week, The Drive was able to visit the team's Donut Garage which is where the magic happens for most of Hoonigan's YouTube content for a one-of-a-kind behind the scenes tour.
If you are a fan of Hoonigan, you can actually visit the HQ yourself. Located in Long Beach, California, onsite at the Donut Garage is a Hoonigan merchandise shop known as The Bakery. Fans can stop by there to pick up the newest Hoonigan gear and check out some of the star cars from the Daily Transmission series that are parked outside.
Our tour was given by Hoonigan Production Assistant/Coordinator Kanan Hooker. Being a jack of all trades, Kanan usually does a lot of the behind the scenes work for the company but has been featured in several on-camera stunts; in fact, in a past life, he was a stuntman. His personal car, a Chevrolet Nova from the Quentin Tarantino movie Death Proof, was featured on the crew's YouTube channel with plenty of burnouts and smoke to fit in around the Hoonigan campus.
We started with details of Hoonigan you might not normally see where people work to produce the quality content that many have come to expect.
Directly next to The Bakery is an open multifunction area that features seating, a ping pong table, and a two-room production trailer with televisions to view video content. While we were there, Hoonigan was hard at work in the rear trailer room pictured below for Ken Block's future new Amazon video series: The Gymkhana Files.
Before exiting through the back to the area where the employees work is a monument to all of the best Hoonigan moments at the Donut Garage lot. If you don't know, when a guest at the Donut Garage lays down a mean burnout, the shredded tire is collected in an evidence jar and is then immortalized on this wall.
The main space in the back of the facility features a few rows of desks that allow the team to work on product development and video production. Kanan explained to us that the brand has grown exponentially in the past year, leading to more computers, cameras, and people being stuffed into the office area. The back left section behind the wood wall was constructed to work on The Gymkhana Files and, off to the right, Hoonigan's Steven Kikawa and Jon Chase create all the Hoonigan t-shirt designs you can buy online and on location at Donut Garage.
Exiting back through the production area drops you off in a multifunction video set. This area has played host to Hoonigan's A Brew With series and now serves as the stage for the Hoonigan video game steering wheel rig.
The multifunction set is actually just in the corner of a larger, open garage area where many Hoonigan cars are stored. There, you can find the $200 Mazda Miata that was turned into a no-frills machine known as the "ShartKart," Hoonigan Hertrech Eugene Jr.'s Mazda RX-7 "Twerkstallion," the custom Rolls Royce with a Hemi V8 which was the star of the one-off Discovery Channel series Car Saviors, and the Hoonigan SEMA UTE build. Outside for fans to see is the Baja 1000 chase vehicle "ScumBug" and the car that may have Hoonigan-stardom comparable to Ken Block's Hoonicorn: "Sh!tcar."
The lot outside the Donut Garage is where the fun happens. On a normal non-filming day, it serves as a typical parking lot which the Hoonigan crew uses for their personal cars, but if you've seen many of the YouTube clips uploaded to their page, you'll know that this is actually a playground that sometimes includes homemade ramps and plenty of tire shredding.
The only area we could not take pictures of at the time was the main garage where Hoonigan project cars are worked on. At the time, we were sworn to secrecy on a future Garage Garage episode of team member Jon Chase's Tri 5 By Fire 1955 Chevy Bel Air build. You can check out that episode below.
Doing so many burnouts and donuts with incredibly loud engines, you would think they irritate the neighbors. "We have a good relationship with most of our neighbors," Hooker told The Drive.
Hooker went on to tell us that Hoonigan is involved in the local community and likes to help out with events for the nearby school. He also said they have a good relationship with the business next door and they often let them store some overflow cars and trailers there for track events. There is some housing and apartments diagonal from the Donut Garage, but Hooker told The Drive that Hoonigan does everything by the book and has the correct permits to film there.
With more Hoonigan content being pumped out weekly on their main channel and uncut clips added to Hoonigan Bonus, the California-based brand has grown itself into a lifestyle for many that goes beyond simply watching videos. If you'd like to observe the professional fun-havers in their natural habitat, you can stop in during operating hours to check out the merchandise and maybe even see some of the magic happening before it's made public.