A few months back we had the opportunity to visit Mickey’s Chassis Works in Moore, Oklahoma and had the privilege to take a tour of his facility. Owner and Racer, Mickey Tessneer gives DRM the inside scoop of some of the cars in the works and also the story behind how all of this was started. Now some of you may or may not know that Mickey has one of the cleanest 1966 Nova’s out on the racing scene. But we will talk more about that bad ass ride later. Mickey had the dream of building race cars at very young age because of his father introducing him to racing at such a young age. His father had raced cars and also had been friends with a local chassis builder in which also helped sparked the interest. Mickey’s father Rick Tessneer has been a huge influence on what he is doing today, from racing along with the chassis shop. Mickey decided in High School to enroll in a welding class and found he was a natural at it. Out of High School, Mickey found a job at a local factory as a welder, in which furthered his skills and knowledge. Mickey wanted to further his experience as a welder/fabricator, so he put his feelers out and located a very small and young fabricating shop that hired him, this company was on track to skyrocket and he wanted to be a part of it to help further his desire. He says within a very short time this new company was growing at a rapid pace and started construction on new state-of-the-art machine shop which included a new multi -axis CNC machine. Since he was one of the first employees this gave him the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of basic machining along with the computerized machining units. With all of this knowledge and opportunity coming at Mickey also came with long 16 hour days. This was cutting into his passion to build race car design and fabrication. So, with all the overtime being put into his full-time, he started saving money for tools and equipment so he could get to work on what he really wanted to do in life. As soon as the proper equipment was obtained, he found himself doing a lot of side-work out of his roommate’s garage installing roll bars, and cages into local guys cars. Mickey says as the tool collection grew so did the need for more shop space, he was able to find a small 25 ft x 40 ft shop to rent for $350 a month. Now this might not sound like a lot money for rent, but when you are doing work for friends and buddies of friends you sometimes cut yourself short and this is what Mickey caught himself doing. Mickey recalls the first 20 or so jobs he completed he lost money on. He says he was at the crossroads in his short career as an independent welder/fabricator. After weeks of contemplating, he decided to give up on his life long dream as chassis builder because he could not see making any money with it. So it was decided to change career paths, so he decided to sign up to be a Oklahoma City Firefighter.
The story on Mickey Tessneer and Mickey’s Chassis Works will continue……….