There are a lot of different personalities that I haven’t really heard of prior to writing about them. Most of the time, they don’t appear much in my radar. Or, in this case, my YouTube recommendations. I don’t really watch a lot of different videos on the platform. I have auto-play turned off because I don’t really like to let my watch history be filled with videos that I didn’t click on. I rarely get into rabbit holes on YouTube for that very reason. Although, researching about different personalities on YouTube lead to me finding about people I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
NEXTL: Be Rich Like Ed Bolian
If you have ever been on the car side of YouTube, you may be aware of the YouTube channel VINwiki. The channel features these videos where a person would talk about their car. It would seem like there isn’t much to those videos, but there is often a personal story that’s tied to the cars that gets featured. Some shows about cars would often feature the latest and greatest of the automotive industry. Because, for the most part, those types of shows are pretty much just advertisements for those cars.
Sometimes, a car can have personal history for the people who own those cars. That’s why Ed Bolian, along with Peter Saddington, Dan Huang and Dave Black, founded VINwiki in 2016. The app pretty much served as a way for the user’s to contribute to the story of a specific car. Not just a specific model of a car. The VIN in VINwiki stands for vehicle identification number. Each car that was manufactured in the past few decades by any car manufacturer has a VIN. That’s just a way for these manufacturers to keep track of how many units of a specific model they made.
Ed Bolian is what you would call a quintessential car guy. Looking at the Wikipedia page made about him—a sign that you have managed to make a name for yourself—most of his adult life revolved around cars. During his freshman year as a mechanical engineering student at Georgia Tech, Ed and his friend Lee Burrell took part in the AKA Rally in 2004, a five-day event where you test out cars by driving them from New York to Los Angeles. The car that used was an Audi S4.
During his college years, he managed to start his own car rental service where you could rent a Lamborghini or Ferrari. He continued to run the rental service until he was hired to become the sales director of a local dealer of Lamborghini cars in Atlanta, Georgia. Midway into his time working there, Ed along with Dave Black and Dan Huang participated in the Cannonball Run Challenge. The challenge involved driving from New York to Los Angeles. If you thought that this seemed familiar, it’s because it is. The AKA Rally and Cannonball Run Challenge were both based on the 1981 movie The Cannonball Run. Ed, Dave and Dan managed to set a new record of 28 hours and 50 minutes. They managed to keep the record until a new one was set in 2019.
Eventually, Ed quit his job at Motorcars of Atlanta in 2015. Which brings us right back to VINwiki. It’s hard to start a very niche app like VINwiki. I’m not really sure how they’d earn money from just the app. Shortly after the launch of the app, they started the YouTube channel for it. It wasn’t until they started the web series Car Stories that the channel took off. At the point that I am writing it, the first ever video in the series, “How Crazy Expensive Is It To Maintain a McLaren F1,” has close to two million views. While that may not be a lot, considering other types of videos on YouTube, it’s still a big deal.
Ed also posts videos on his own channel. He has managed to get more than a 100,000 subscribers. It’s no wonder that he managed to reach a net worth of about $3,000,000. You can see the fruit of his work just by watching the tour of his garage. While it may not be at the scale of somebody like Jay Leno, it’s still a pretty respectable set of cars.