Yeah, you read correctly. The powers-that-be at AvalonKing just gifted YouTube automotive powerhouse itsjusta6 with a brand new $30,000 dyno, and do you know what? We feel like these cats deserved it, dammit.
As one of the online world’s greatest underdog success stories, the tale of itsjusta6 is a textbook example of what happens when you blend years of toil with innovation and determination. You won’t find any fancy CG cutscenes, over-hyped celebrity car builds, or trick shots here folks. The itsjusta6 YouTube channel is just about as down-to-earth and forthcoming as it gets in its approach to car culture and the content creation surrounding the shop’s torque-filled builds.
Who is itsjusta6?
Not familiar with the name itsjusta6, and are curious as to how they hit nearly one million YouTube subscribers in less than two years? Here are some specs on this southern United States success story, along with a little background on the fledgling brand.
First of all, regardless as to which social media channel you tune into, if it’s got the name itsjusta6 in the title section, chances are the content is going to be petrol-powered. From day one, cars are what these cats have focused on, and apparently that’s the way it will always be. From tackling a 1,000+ horsepower Mustang build, to covering the many mishaps that occur in the world of automotive enthusiasts, there’s a pretty wide array of material that is discussed on the itsjusta6 YouTube channel. Core video-related explanations out of the way, we turn toward the unassuming beginnings of this high-performance Louisiana-based start-up.
Apparently, upon beating a 5.0-liter Ford Mustang with a V6-powered Nissan 370Z in a street race, company founder and CEO, Gavin Trace Simon, found himself confronted by a very angry adversary. The confounded competitor accused Gavin of packing a far more potent engine beneath the bonnet of the Z, to which he replied, “Nah dude, it’s just a 6.” This quickly turned into an inside joke amongst Gavin and his friends, none of whom were aware that the phrase would eventually evolve into a series of highly successful social media channels.
One Huge Leap of Faith
Back then, Gavin was just posting pictures of each new car he procured on Instagram under the handle itsjusta6, and was doing little else to promote the name. But the frequency of his posts caused his fanbase to grow at an equally exponential rate. Like a lot of car guys, Gavin was notorious for changing cars at the same frequency as his underpants, which if you’ve ever experienced the humidity in Louisiana, you fully understand that these changes occur often.
At the time, Gavin was working as a software developer alongside a chap by the name of Nicolas Winners, and in his spare time, making car modifications with his roommate, Daniel. As the two roomies tinkered with their toys and recorded media content, Nic worked behind the scenes, meticulously transforming the recorded material into a money-making machine.
Both Gavin and Nic were attending Louisiana Tech University together, and in their spare time, confided in one another over how they pined for more than a diploma that had been affixed to a desk job rifled with corporate headaches. As time went by, it became obvious that more and more Instagram followers found the trio’s fast-paced after-hours automotive exploits fascinating, and talk shifted from “What are we doing?” to “What aren’t we doing?”
Neither of the three could have predicted that someday they would have a wildly successful Instagram page dedicated to their passion for all things automotive. Yet here it was, plodding along, kicking ass and taking names. There was also a significant amount of pressure regarding the need for a dedicated YouTube channel. Some of the heaviest coercing came from Gavin’s close friend, roommate, and fellow wrench-turner, Daniel, who almost daily reminded him that it was time to begin exploring other social media outlets. And so Gavin and his buddies started the itsjusta6 YouTube channel, fully unaware of the fame that it would soon yield.
It didn’t take long for the itsjusta6 YouTube channel to take-off, and after seeing two months of traction, Gavin realized that he could make enough money to survive solely off YouTube content. So instead of doing what he had always done, which was play it safe, and let others make decisions for him, Gavin took a leap. He dropped out of school, quit his job as a software developer, and hit content creation with everything he had as an automotive enthusiast.
Gavin and his two compadres quickly realized that relying upon on YouTube content for cash required a certain level of survival instinct. Week by week, they stretched every spare cent in order to get to the next paycheck, most of which ended up going back into car parts, as fuel-powered fodder for the online masses. Two more months went by, and after seeing even more growth, Gavin asked Nic to come work with him full-time, all in the hopes of turning the fledling YouTube channel into something spectacular. With high hopes and even loftier goals, Nic agreed, and upon graduating, quit his job, and took the same leap that Gavin and Daniel had made just a few months prior. There was no guarantee of a paycheck or job security. Only the promise that they would be building the channel and the itsjusta6 brand from the ground up.
Doggedly pushing onward, the men fueled themselves on a potent formula of fear and excitement. Back then, every day consisted of a round-the-clock work regiment, with the boys stumbling through problems, concocting solutions, and feeding off one another’s energy, as they built and filmed their car video content one frame at a time.
Back in those early days, working on cars was a chore. Not only due to budget constraints, but because the only place Gavin and Daniel could mod their machines, was in the parking lot outside of their apartment. Every morning, from mid 2017 to early 2019, the boys would hit the parking lot outside of their apartment in Ruston, Louisiana, and get to work on that day’s video.
Outside of being forced to work outdoors and film in an unpredictable environment, keeping up with content was also becoming a huge headache. Coming up with new ideas that were worth a damn was a constant struggle, as was seeing them manifest in a timely fashion. Every last resource had to be carefully calculated in order to get to the next video upload or part install, with the steep price of high-end aftermarket parts compounding things.
But the boys stuck with it, and channel growth became more aggressive with each upload. From confrontations with cops and plowing through snowy embankments in rear-wheel drive muscle cars, to purchasing supercars and showcasing the benefits of applying a ceramic coating to a vehicle’s exterior, the crew at itsjusta6 lived life at 100mph, and YouTube viewers ate it up.
Over time, big challenges eventually became little ones, and as the crew’s confidence and bankroll grew, so too did the depth of the risks they were willing to undertake. Which leads us to the topic of the $30,000 dyno that AvalonKing so graciously bestowed upon this team of high-speed adrenaline junkies; because if you can’t backup a badass Ford Mustang burnout video with some power figures in the comments section, you are going to lose a ton of credibility.
Oh, and as for Gavin’s old roommate Daniel… he now plays a major role in daily operations down at the itsjusta6 shop. An ever-present physical reminder that incessant peer-pressure is not always a bad thing.
Why Buy a $30,000 Dyno?
To put it frankly, it is both illegal and extremely dangerous to do street-tuning on high horsepower automobiles. Therefore, in order to avoid costly citations and confrontations with the fuzz, as well as the risk of severe car body damage, the need for a tuning solution over at itsjusta6 had been apparent for quite some time.
A dynamometer, also known as a “dyno,” would easily solve these problems. This clever device is used to recognize the amount of horsepower and torque a vehicle can produce. Since it has the ability to mimic road speeds, a dyno can be used to fine-tune a car’s engine management system to run more efficiently and faster. Hence the term “dyno tuning.”
But without one of these miraculous (and extremely expensive) machines, company growth down at the itsjusta6 shop was bottle-necked tighter than Christina Hendricks’ turtleneck. The itsjusta6 boys needed to find a solution FAST. Unfortunately, due to having just upgraded to a larger shop, and plopping down some serious coin on the required accoutrements for said space, the funds just weren’t there for this pricey, yet extremely useful power measurement apparatus.
It was around this time that Gavin contacted the head honchos over at AvalonKing in order to see if we were able to help make this investment a reality. Sara Sands, Influencer Manager at AvalonKing, admits that while this unorthodox request was indeed unexpected, it provided a unique opportunity for both parties. On one hand, AvalonKing had been wanting to work with these guys on a long term project for quite a while. Meanwhile, the guys over at itsjusta6 had expressed that they had little interest in creating the same regurgitated content found within countless other ceramic coating videos. A unique middle ground had to be found.
Being that there was a set budget in place for the remainder of the year, and that this particular Dynojet setup was within these parameters, Sands says that Gavin’s request was an obvious winner. AvalonKing would give itsjusta6 exactly what it wanted, because quite frankly, we feel like these guys deserved it. Hell, we would have been investing that same sum in their channel anyway, so we might as well prove to the world exactly how much AvalonKing believes in the itsjusta6 brand. So a deal was struck, and a brand new Dynojet dynamometer was officially on its way to the little shop in rural Ruston, Louisiana.
Quick Nerd Note: Originally founded in 1972 by three motorcycle-racing brothers, Dynojet is the AvalonKing of vehicle dynos. And like itsjusta6, it too has evolved over the years in order to overcome all odds, with Dynojet being heralded as the most widely recognized dyno company in the world today.
Dyno Obtained, Let’s Talk Shop
Dyno procured and successfully installed, the guys at itsjusta6 say that thanks to AvalonKing’s generosity, they now can confidently take the auto performance aspect of their business to the next level. AvalonKing’s massive present isn’t the only thing these guys have in the hopper right now either, as the team prepares to take the money it has saved, and dump it into increasing the production value of its YouTube channel.
This translates to higher-quality camera equipment and more content and strategy planning, which results in an even greater double-shot of high-horsepower content for viewers. Sure, the 1,000+ horsepower builds they’ve completed have been impressive, but with a McLaren 570S Spyder Launch Edition now in their possession, it’s safe to say that things are going to get pretty interesting in these upcoming months.
While talk of the shop’s bright blue new car hitting the dyno has been on some subscriber’s lips, there are plenty of other itsjusta6 machines that are eager to stretch their legs on the Dynojet’s rollers. Being that itsjusta6 is (and always will be) an automotive-oriented endeavor first and foremost, it only makes sense that the modification of a black 2016 Mustang GT was what really got their proverbial pistons pumping on YouTube.
Much of the channel’s success can be attributed to that particular Mustang. A muscle car that after receiving some much needed performance reinforcements, as well as a bit of mandatory car maintenance, sits with a supercharged, fully built motor, and a massive list of bolt-ons and weight-reduction mods. The last dyno run for this Ford Mustang tipped the scale at just around 900+ horsepower. Being that the tuning process on this beast is still far from over, Gavin feels that there’s quite a bit of untapped power lurking beneath its bonnet too, as viewers anxiously await further build updates on this beast.
There’s also the shop’s 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which as opposed to the Mustang, rocks some unique cosmetic modifications, and comes propelled by a centrifugal “pro-charger” supercharger system. Coupled with some serious air intake upgrades, a few new cooling components, better flowing fuel injection solutions, and a laundry list of other additions, this car is also set to raise a few hairs when it hits the itsjusta6 dyno.
Then there’s the twin-turbo 2017 Shelby Mustang GT-350, which is currently pushing upwards of 1,100 horsepower, all while still rocking a full interior and a relatively unassuming exterior to help it retain its “sleeper status.” Some other shop builds include a Nissan GTR R35, a nitrous-fed Chevy Silverado pickup, which just received a brand-new race engine, a C6 Corvette for track time, and the latest addition to the fold, a McLaren 570S Spyder.
That said, all of these cars, save for the McLaren and Silverado, sport manual transmissions, and for damn good reason. Sure, dual-clutch automatic slushboxes now offer the ability to shift gears faster than a human, but that’s not what driving should always be about. Controlling a car with a finely tuned manual gearbox is one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have in this life, even if it may take a bit of patience, and a few embarrassing stalls during the learning process.
For most people, driving is little more than a nuisance. The act of putting a gear selector into the “DRIVE” position, and then heading out to a destination offers little joy. These people don’t give a shit about what gear they’re in, until it’s time to put the vehicle into park or reverse.
In contrast, properly piloting a vehicle with a manual transmission is the act of man and machine working together in tandem, a well orchestrated symbiotic relationship, all tuned to the trumpeting sound of spent exhaust fumes. Naturally, when said machine happens to be a high-horsepower monster from another dimension, this sensation becomes even more exhilarating, like hopping on a wild stallion with the hopes of somehow taming its unbridled spirit. As the driver, you must respect the beast and the power that it wields, because it will be quick to buck you at the slightest opportunity. However, learn what the beast likes and treat it with care, and you’ll be rewarded with a ride that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
Remember Your Roots, Focus on the Future, and Whatever You Do… Don’t Lose Sight!
Horse-riding analogies aside, we turn toward the current goals that have been set in place for this tight-knit crew. Forthcoming ventures are rumored to go well beyond talking about paint damage and building high-horsepower automotive hellions. Growing the itsjust6 online retail space has become a massive undertaking. Merchandise has proven to not only help foster the evolution of the brand via branding and giveaways, but it also encourages the expansion of social media ventures and shop projects. Therefore, in order to tackle these various advancements, the itsjusta6 team will likely be growing in size shortly, thus allowing the brand’s originators ample room to oversee operations management and company growth.
Having multiple business ventures outside of YouTube requires some serious juggling as well, especially since Gavin’s musical side project with close friend Kaleb has begun to attract significant amounts of attention. Commonly known as “Trace. + Mello” these bayou boys’ music videos have garnered hundreds of thousands of YouTube views, with the duo recently announcing that there is a metric mess-load of new material in the works as we speak.
In closing, we’ve got a few numbers to throw at you. When we last checked, itsjusta6 had just over 955,000 YouTube subscribers, and over 227,000 Instagram followers. When asked why people tend to follow itsjusta6 on social media, Nic Winners says that it’s often for quite a few reasons. Sure, all of the crazy car builds and the adventures these guys go on makes for outstanding entertainment, but that’s just a small portion of the itsjusta6 pecan pie. For all of their fame and business growth, this crew is really just a group of down-to-earth car guys with a dream. A dream that was built from the parking lot up, forever serving as a reminder that despite all of life’s challenges, one must remain focused on their goals, because whatever happens… “Don’t Lose Sight.”