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Road to SEMA Influencer Introduction: Aaron Hagar & Rat Runners Garage


Aaron Hughes Rat Runners Garage logoAaron S. Hagar describes his Rat Runners Garage as an art-based Hot Rod and Custom shop that is all about the "art of resurrecting and preserving old metal". The shop creates unique and extraordinary works of art in the form of Rat Rods, motorcycles, paintings, and other original pieces.

Aaron and his crew specialize in finding old wrecks and bringing them to life, making these former skeletons of rusted metal into working and running masterpieces of machinery.


CTEK Co-Pilot Aaron S. Hagar - Rat Runners Garage Owner

Aaron S. HagarAaron has been an artist and creative spirit from a young age. In his early 30s, Aaron had a heart attack that was partly attributed to the environment of automotive finishes and paints. He moved into a corporate job while he recovered, but felt the draw of the artistic world pulling him back. He realized he could go back to creating and working with cars, he would just need to be more diligent about taking care of his health. Aaron was able to once again use his creative talents, while still earning a living, taking care of his family, and maintaining his health.

Hagar has not only appeared on Jay Leno's Garage but is also hosting "Design, Cut, Build" on YouTube's Shift and Steer with Brad Fanshaw and Matt D'Andrea, in addition to working with his dad on Sammy Hagar's Rock and Roll Road Trip. Aaron has been able to successfully combine his creative talents with a knack for business while maintaining a balance of life and appreciation for the people and places around him.

Road to SEMA Gets to Know Aaron Hagar

As a copilot on the Road to SEMA, we wanted to get to know Aaron a little better, so we asked him some questions to find out what a road trip would be like with the Rat Rodder:


Company | Brand

Rat Runners Garage


Aaron Hagar


Facebook Handle


Instagram Handle


What was your favorite road trip and why?

Ohhh that is a tough one! Every road trip seems to be my new favorite. Last year I got to drive my family's 1982 Ferrari BB512 (THE one from the "I Can't Drive 55" Video) from Marin to Los Angeles and back for our High Tide Beach Party. A few years back I drove our 1956 Woody Wagon to SEMA from Tahoe to Vegas and back. Last year I also drove the Woody Wagon with a dear friend from Australia from Marin to LA. And most recently I drove a 15' Uhaul from Rockdale Texas to Lake Tahoe filled with three 1957 BMW Isetta's! Perhaps the best trip of all!! Each journey is filled with in-between towns, scenic views, great food, and fuel anxiety! All memorable. I can't think of a drive that hasn't been!

What are your top 3 songs you must have on your road trip playlist?

"Stuff you Should Know"-Podcast

"Sexy Little Thing" - Chickenfoot

"Don't Dream It's Over"- Crowded House

Who would you choose as your road trip co-pilot, alive or dead, to join you on the ultimate road trip and why?

Oh C'mon!!! My Family! Because no road trip is complete without the family... Hello, "Vacation"...Griswalds!

What is your favorite vehicle/bike you have owned or built?

Ahhh jeez, another impossible question!! OK, my first car. My 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Speciale. And pretty much every vehicle since then!

What is the one vehicle/bike you wish you owned? Or what was one you owned and foolishly sold it?

That first car! My 1959 Alfa Romeo Guilietta Speciale.

What fueled your passion and got you into this industry?

My father and my late Uncle Bucky. My father always had a passion for Euro cars, and my Uncle Bucky worked on them. I learned the perfect balance between the two.

Do you have anything coming up between now & SEMA that you would like us to feature?

Yes, our "High Tide Beach Party" in Huntington Beach. Sept 28-29th. Huge concert and car show event! I will have my outlaw Hot Rod "Red VooDoo" there and Dad will have his 1972 Jaguar XKE Roadster from his TV Show "Sammy Hagar's Rock and Roll Roadtrip".

The Quail August 16th, in Carmel Valley during Monterey Car Week. We will have the Woody Wagon as usual and our Sammy's Beach Bar Rum display.

Tell us about your experience with CTEK product(s).

Had them for years. My GoTo! Dad has them on every car (except his hybrid hypercar the LaFerrari)! I only had one and that was my most reliable battery tool in the shop! But it was through my friend, Edd China, that I began my relationship with CTEK. He introduced me to a few folks after an event we did together in Los Angeles a few years ago. Since then it's my ONLY battery tool in the shop. With 14 cars and 12 motorcycles, I am always swapping chargers from one vehicle to the next, keeping them all charged and ready. It's horrible when you go to start up your favorite choice of vehicle and the battery is dead!

Classic cars, it's no big deal to simply charge them up, but in Dad's collection he has exotics, supercars, and even hypercars, their electronics are very sensitive and systems will fail if the battery isn't fully charged! Just yesterday he called me after he drove his BMW Z8 Alpina. It barely started as it was at his home and not on a charger. By the time he got to his studio/warehouse the transmission was giving him errors, and the dash was lit up with additional error lights. After a few hours on the CTEK Smart charger, all systems were restored and in proper order. Most Euro cars are sooo sensitive to low power and will cause faults and erratic behavior, so they must be kept on a reliable charger during short or long term storage. Modern cars have electronics that draw power and must be "tendered" if left for more than a few days.  In modern times it is imperative! We love our CTEK products!


Thank you to Aaron and his crew at Rat Runners Garage. Remember to submit your vehicle to be a winner in the Road to SEMA Sweepstakes. 

Learn more about the Road to SEMA and the great prizes you can win. Join us on our EPIC Summer Roat Trip, culminating in Las Vegas at the SEMA Show! CLICK HERE to get involved!