When I messaged Ted Gushue on Instagram on the night of March 10th, I wasn’t even sure he knew the state of Rhode Island existed. He happened to be in Venice at the same time I was (me on a ‘study’ trip from Rome, he was busy ‘working’) so I was curious as to if he had some free time to get caffeinated and talk cars. I didn’t know much about the guy-didn’t even know his age or what he looked like-but I knew he was a knowledgeable gearhead and he has his hand in some truly eye appealing videos. If you haven’t heard of Ted, he is the Editorial Director of Petrolicious.com, a brand which has solidified it’s name on timeless anecdotes that automobile owners share about their cars. The brands slogan is “Drive Tastefully”, and although there aren’t any cars in Venice, Ted represented the brand well while there, posting classy pictures of Chris Crafts and other gorgeous wooden hulled boats to Instagram all weekend. He emphasized the fact that he was actually losing followers due to the fact that he wasn’t posting car pictures. Oh well. Of course there had to be a Rhode Island connection here: he was once a member of the Roger Williams sailing team. We discussed the state for a bit, European sites, and of course the automobile world including Audrain:
T: I guess it was probably the car that I drive everyday, it’s a 1976 Porsche 911S, my dad bought it in 1992 when I was about four, and it’s been in our family ever since. It’s something we’ve restored like twice, we’ve put a 3.2 liter engine in it, it’s kind of a really special family heirloom car, that’s an amazing daily driver. It’s got almost 200,000 miles on it, just clicks away.
What Petrolicious video do you relate to the most?
T: The one that convinced me to work for Petrolicious was the one called ‘Building a Dream’ which was the one about the guy named Peter Jacoby; basically a 512 Testarossa that he built himself. Original body, that was built by the factory but was never built into a car, it was sitting in a barn for 50 years he found it and bought it, and basically built it into a fully functioning road car. It’s got more power than a traditional 512TR, it’s just a really beautiful..-you know, it’s not painted, its rough aluminum, it’s just a really stunning car. I recommend you watch the video, because it’s one of the more moving and beautiful tales we’ve told. That one convinced me to move out there, [L.A.] there’s a few that are about fathers and sons that I would identify with.
In the Audrain museum right now we just opened our Drop Dead Drop Tops exhibition, all types of convertibles. A couple of the cars in the exhibit are the Nash Metropolitan and the Autobianchi Bianchina. For a day in Italy, which do you choose?
T: The Bianchina, because it’s Italian! But the Nash Metropolitan’s a really interesting car. It’s basically powered by a weedwacker, and it looks like a car that Stuart Little would drive. No, he drove a Studebaker-mini Studebaker. But it looks like a little mini clown car, such a cute thing. The Bianchina’s cool, and you can really wind it up and chuck it around.
Did I mention this Venice sized interview happened while walking the paths of the city itself? I just want to apologize to Ted for assuming he had no acknowledgment of the smallest state. If I had some phone service out here I could’ve learned that before we met. But regardless, again, thanks for your time. Always fun making connections, especially those that connect to home somehow. Enjoy Europe, and continue to #TravelTastefully. (Shouldn’t be too hard-the guy has a leather phone case to match his leather camera strap.)
- Ben Chester