When it comes to car-centered web series, Motor Trend’s “Roadkill” was definitely one of a kind, giving birth to several projects, including a physical magazine and a variety of spin-off series. This includes the highly successful “Roadkill Garage”, which despite having a similar concept as the original show, leaves some fans flabbergasted at not seeing Mike Finnegan anywhere in it.
So whatever happened to Mike? Why isn’t he in this show? Why did the original “Roadkill” show end, and what are his current projects? Keep with us to get all the answers!
- 1 Why Isn’t He In “Roadkill Garage”?
- 2 Was “Roadkill” Canceled?
- 3 What Other Projects Does Mike Have?
- 4 What Is “Roadkill” About?
- 5 Is The Show Real?
- 6 How Many Spin-Offs Does “Roadkill” Have?
Why Isn’t He In “Roadkill Garage”?
Considering that off-screen dramas aren’t a rarity in the entertainment world, many people immediately assume the worst when they stop seeing their favorite stars in a TV show.
However, this isn’t really the case of Mike Finnegan and “Roadkill Garage”. As it happens, Mike has never been part of the cast, and instead Steve Dulcich has been co-hosting it with David Freiburger, since its premiere in 2016.
There is really no explanation as to why Mike isn’t in the show, despite having hosted the “Roadkill” YouTube series with Freiburger for the longest time, but it’s not too far-fetched to think that they just specifically chose to work separately on “Roadkill Garage” once the show’s idea took shape.
That being said, Finnegan and Freiburger are not on bad terms, as after “Roadkill Garage”, they kept working together for the original show and its magazine, just as usual.
Was “Roadkill” Canceled?
If you have been following the “Roadkill” franchise long enough, you surely know the show started as an online series before leaving YouTube for sure in 2018. However, this doesn’t mean that the show was canceled, as in fact it was leveled up by officially joining the Motor Trend’s on demand platform.
This was a smart move both for the platform and Mike Finnegan and David Freiburger, as it opened many doors for their project to expand in several successful spin-off series and projects.
— Che Huevon (@ValisteVerg) January 15, 2017
All in all, the original “Roadkill” show is fortunately still going on strongly with Mike and David on the helm.
What Other Projects Does Mike Have?
Besides “Roadkill”, Mike Finnegan is nowadays busy with several projects, such as his successful MotorTrendPlus show “Faster with Finnegan”. He also co-hosted the podcast “The Kibbe & Finnegan” along with Rob Kibbe, as both friends shared their insights about cars, mechanics, movies and a lot more.
Although Mike left said podcast in late 2018, his most devoted fans can still learn what he’s up to through his YouTube show “Finnegan’s Garage”, which has been around since early 2016. Mike’s channel is everything one would expect from him, and even more. Besides sharing valuable content about cars and restorations, he also lets his over 800,000 subscribers know about his hobbies and whatever he does while free, keeping his content notably freer and with lots of personal touches compared to his previous projects.
Last but not least, in recent years he launched the online shop FMS Garage, which offers a wide variety of smartly-designed merchandise highly attractive to any petrol head. With so many projects in his hands, it isn’t hard to imagine Mike was most likely not interested in appearing in “Roadkill Garage”.
What Is “Roadkill” About?
People who came to know the franchise by one of its immensely famous spin-offs, surely don’t know how important “Roadkill” has been in the field of automotive entertainment.
Despite being described by its creators as ‘guys behaving badly with cars’, and ‘the show where we play with cars and you point and laugh’, it’s hardly possible to limit “Roadkill” as a series only for funsies. While the car experiments led by David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan initially gave off the impression of two guys improvising and coming up with whatever eccentric ideas they deemed possible, the truth is that the show was much better planned than it appears.
According to Angus MacKenzie, the intention behind “Roadkill” and other shows released at the time, was to revolutionize what was known as online content: ‘I decided the MotorTrend Channel would be like a proper automotive TV channel, something I’d dreamed about doing for decades’, he wrote in an article posted by the network’s website.
Coming up with the idea for “Roadkill” was a matter of convincing David to join the project, which wasn’t hard considering he was given creative freedom all along. The experiment worked well, and only a couple of years after its release, “Roadkill” was the most-watched online car-centered show, gaining a million views per video in a matter of hours.
Is The Show Real?
Almost everything is valid when it comes to the entertainment world, especially if it’s about pretending some things are real. While “Roadkill” and its spin-off aren’t free of these aspects, and sometimes don’t let its audience know the entirety of what happens in taking every project to the finish line, that doesn’t mean the show is fake.
be easy to point out what specific builds required so much more than what it seemed, it’s safe to assume the mechanic, fixing and fabrication processes are completely real. As well, Mike Finnegan, David Freiburger and other collaborators ever featured in the show, are real experts in their respective areas.
Besides being as real as reality TV allows it, “Roadkill”s main attractive points undoubtedly come from the creativity and ingenuity showcased in it.
How Many Spin-Offs Does “Roadkill” Have?
As former editors of Hot Rod Magazine, it isn’t surprising to know Mike Finnegan and David Freiburger dreamed of creating their own car-themed magazine. As Mike admitted during a “Kibbe and Finnegan” episode in 2018, the now-defunct online series “Roadkill” actually stole its name from his and Freiburger’s original idea for a magazine.
— MotorTrend+ (@MotorTrendPlus) December 30, 2016
Although a couple of years after “Roadkill” premiered in 2012, they got their own magazine – it wasn’t named Roadkill as they wanted, but Overkill. After experimenting with several names and concepts, in 2015 their Roadkill Magazine was finally given the green light by MotorTrend’s now former publisher TEN: The Enthusiast Network.
Roadkill Magazine followed the same content line of the online series, but in a more focused and expanded way given its quarterly schedule, on top of charging its subscribers $9,99 per issue. Although at the time “Roadkill” was quite successful as an online series, the magazine was deemed quite risky even though MotorTrend’s was quite positive about it, given the network’s decade-long success with other publications: ‘We do make a bunch of money in print. And with millennials, they’re not opposed to print. They just didn’t grow up with it’, as TEN’s former president Scott Dickey said at the time.
What Happened To The Magazine?
Despite the uproar surrounding Roadkill Magazine in its beginnings, unfortunately the project was unsuccessful at breaking the barrier between print entertainment and millennials. As Mike Finnegan admitted in “Kibbe and Finnegan”, the magazine faced lots of obstacles especially on the financial side: ‘it was a really large format magazine that really took paper. I believe it was the most expensive magazine. It cost more than everything else’.
Even in spite of the bad news, Mike admitted the magazine’s concept was risky from the start, not only for trying to catch the attention of a young audience, mostly used to receiving free online content, but also given other important aspects such as ecologic concerns and competing against already established magazines in a highly competitive industry.
Regardless of its failure as a long-lasting project, and the many difficulties it faced, Roadkill Magazine stayed in business for almost three years before being discontinued in 2018. It also brought lots of joy for Mike and David Freiburger as they saw their dream come true through it, on top of never lowering its content standards.
Premiered in 2016, “Roadkill Garage” is to this day one of the most successful “Roadkill” spin-offs created. With six seasons on air and a more than stable and loyal audience, “Roadkill Garage” features David Freiburger and Steve Dulcich resurrecting some of the forgotten projects left by the original show, or by themselves.
However, instead of discovering whatever went wrong with those vehicles and fixing it, they let their imagination run wild by performing some of the most daring and sometimes eccentric modifications. Though not everything done by Freiburger and Dulcich turns out well, it’s always an entertaining and educational ride when they’re involved.
All the creative, mechanical and testing processes are performed in The Farm, which contains not only enough space for the Freiburger and Dulcich’s creations to come to life, but also serves as a classic car junkyard where almost everything from trash to little treasures can be found.
Despite starting as a monthly show, the seventh “Roadkill Garage” season saw it become a weekly show, due to its outstanding success.
Who’s The New Guy?
It would be a lie to say Steve Dulcich was unknown by the time “Roadkill Garage” premiered in 2016. Long before the idea for the show came to light, Steve was already respected by the most knowledgeable car fans for having worked for top magazines.
Facts to Know About Steve Dulcich of Roadkill Garage & Engine Masters#SteveDulcich #RoadkillGarage #EngineMasters #SteveDulcichFacts
Click the link below to see full video.https://t.co/TD87DfqcgW pic.twitter.com/lXj069dTYX
— eCelebrityFacts (@ecelebrityfacts) February 26, 2018
Steve’s career as a journalist started in the late 1980s, by writing and subsequently editing the legendary High Performance Mopar magazine. Given his background in mechanical engineering, Steve easily provided tech research articles, while developing some of the most innovative projects in the industry.
Just as he climbed up the steps in the automotive and tech development world, he began writing for a variety of magazines including Mopar Muscle, Popular Hot Rodding and Guide to Musclecars. In recent years he took the spot of Engine Masters’ Chief Editor, while also joining “Roadkill” from 2015 to 2020, both as a star and writer.
Besides his extended run with “Roadkill Garage”, Steve is known for being host of “Engine Masters”, an engineering-centered innovative car show which features outstanding projects in the field. Other of his TV projects worth mentioning are “Best Of Top Gear”, and the Christmas-themed “Holiday Hooptie Challenge” car show. Additionally, in 2021 Steve started a YouTube channel which attracted almost 50,000 subscribers in less than a year.
It's one giant holiday party! Stream the first-ever MotorTrend Holiday Special, Holiday Hooptie Challenge NOW only on the MotorTrend App. https://bit.ly/32P3JaU
“Roadkill’s Junkyard Gold”
Despite it being a “Roadkill” spin-off, “Junkyard Gold”’s informational concept makes it quite a different show compared to the rest of the franchise. Hosted by Steve Magnante, he goes everywhere he needs to find the most impressive and historically valuable cars, while also providing the guys from “Roadkill” with the best candidates for their eyebrow-raising experiments.
Premiered in 2017, “Roadkill’s Junkyard Gold” is the perfect show for Magnante, whose knowledge in classics cars has made him an authority in the field. When he’s not looking for old cars, Magnante builds customized miniature classic cars at 1:25 scale, which he features in deep detail through his show “Steve Magnante’s Super Models”, premiered in 2021.
Wind the clock back to 1964 for the Little Red Wagon! ⏰ Stream a NEW episode of Steve Magnante's Super Models NOW on the MotorTrend App! ➡️ https://motortrend.app.link/sSHH2Gf2ghb
Though most people know him for “Roadkill’s Junkyard Gold”, Magnante actually debuted in the entertainment world back in 2002 in “Classic Car Restoration”, later making appearances in shows such as “Off-Road Adventures TV” and the TV movie “Inside GT Live”.
Other successful projects by Magnante include hosting segments of “Shift Talkers”, and his personal YouTube channel with over 60,000 subscribers.
“Faster with Finnegan”
Just like Mike’s other projects, “Faster With Finnegan” is a highly successful TV show, which features some of his most clever moments as a car builder.
— motortrend (@MotorTrend) October 1, 2020
With only a couple of days available and lots of imagination, Mike and his co-hosts Michael Cotten and David Newbern take their creativity to the extreme, to convert the most trashy looking vehicles into usable speed machines. However, there’s no such a thing as big budgets and luxury tools in this show, as everything is done in the least expensive way, to demonstrate what one could do with just the right amount of skill and imagination.
Regarding Mike’s co-hosts’ experience in the field, Cotten has appeared in “Shift Talkers”, and owns the YouTube channel Midwest Paint And Metal. Meanwhile, Newbern is known for appearing in and writing episodes of “Roadkill”. However, no matter how new their faces are in the entertainment world, “Faster With Finnegan”’s success has been unstoppable since the show’s premiere in 2020.
As if it wasn’t enough to produce a wide variety of shows fitting almost every petrol head’s taste, the “Roadkill” franchise also created the mini-series “Roadkill Extra”.
Although the concept of a series which shows snippets and short interviews to its main stars isn’t a new concept, “Roadkill Extra” goes beyond the limits, and has impressively produced daily episodes since its inception in 2017, through the subscription platform MotorTrend On Demand.
It would be impossible to sum up all the topics ever featured in the show, as over 1,000 episodes have been released so far. That being said, “Roadkill Extra” is the biggest proof of how deeply committed the franchise is to the automotive world, on top of providing motorhead’s all around the world with endless high quality entertainment.