Member Spotlight: David Ankin
If you’ve seen the hit show “ToyMakerz,” you’re familiar with AAA Carolinas Member, David Ankin. A former stuntman, Ankin performed for the Warner Brothers Batman stunt show, various Universal stunt shows, and other high-octane events. The TV show was born from Ankin’s successful company (of the same name) of building high-end custom racing machines — including cars, motorcycles and trucks — for adults.
Growing up, Ankin would watch his father use metal to build things. It inspired him to do the same. Today, his eccentric one-of-a-kind racing machines are extremely popular. From collectors to adrenaline junkies, clients from all over the country call on Ankin for his grown-up versions of custom-built toys.
“I created Toymakerz because I couldn’t afford to buy the hot rods, so I decided to build them,” he shares. “Also, I have dyslexia and had to think outside the box to be successful.”
One of the rewarding byproducts of his successful business and the notoriety of the ToyMakerz brand is the ability to pay it forward. “The avenues the show has opened up to allow us to help others has been amazing,” Ankin explains. “We recently had a fire in our town, and some guys in our shop knew the family. We arranged a fundraiser with local businesses to raise money to help them with hospital bills and things like that.”
In addition, Ankin and his team work with local schools to give students a valuable skill set in the automotive manufacturing industry.
Even though he knows his way around just about every vehicle imaginable, Ankin understands the value of being a AAA Member. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been AAA Members since 2009.
“I’m the guy who doesn’t need any help. I know it all and I can fix it all,” he explains. “But sometimes you need something you don’t have. Once I needed a battery and another time it was a tire. Bam! AAA was there in no time.”
“Also, I don’t like the thought of my wife driving without a AAA Membership,” he continues. “It’s important to have the insurance and peace of mind knowing my family is taken care of. That’s huge.”
You can catch “Toymakerz" on the Velocity network. It airs Fridays on at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST.