Platinum is more precious than gold. A tough metal that resists corrosion and normally costs twice as much as gold, platinum’s rarity made King Louis XV of France declare it the only metal fit for a king.
It is no surprise then that George and Jack Keshishyan of Platinum Motorsport modify high-end vehicles as if they were meant for royalty. The Platinum name and its meaning is something that they take very seriously, constituting it part of their philosophy and approach to their trade.
On any given day, the Keshishyan Brothers are up to their necks in work. Fortunately, George was able to take some time off and talk to DUB. Their story and the rise of Platinum Motorsport is what people mean when they speak of achieving the “American Dream.” Seriously, these guys worked hard to get to where they are now, and they are always quick to point out that they owe it all to their father.
“We basically grew up on cars,” George said. “My father was in the automotive business for 30 years. He had worked at a body shop, a mechanic shop; he did very minor mods. I had the shop basically out of high school. Actually, I was running the shop while still in high school. Platinum has been in effect about seven years.”
By the time George graduated in 2000 from Grant High School in North Hollywood, he had been running Platinum for over a year.
2005 Rolls Royce Phantom• 24” Lowenhart LT6 wheels with color-matched centers
• Cooper Zeon XST tires, size 295/35R24
• Custom lowered suspension by Platinum
• Tinted windows, including front windshield
The Keshishyan Brothers’ father had been in charge of the shop, but he had other businesses to tend to, so he handed over the management of the company to George. The responsibility of running the shop served other purposes, as well.
“What happened was that it was something to keep us off the street,” George said. “Our dad didn’t want us to get in trouble. It was the easiest way to keep us out of trouble. I was 16. Either I was gonna make it or break it. Imagine that; at 16, running a company on my own.”
Although, George admitted that street life was always available when the brothers were young. “I’ve seen the worst and the best,” he said. “Our father made us real strong. The routine was: school finishes, get to work—everyday. My brother too. We were business men overnight at a young age. Now, we’re 23 and 21. There’s not one shop that’s this young and doing this good.”
George mentioned that when they were growing up, life for them was like a movie. “Like one of those Italian movies,” he said. Their father was very straightforward in a strict way. “It was either his way—the right way—or no way.”
Despite the stern discipline, George is thankful, for he sees it as an important ingredient in the success of the shop. “Yeah, we went to school, but we learned more from our father and the street than the school,” George said. “We went to school mostly to keep my mother and grandmother happy. You know, the tradition—to get that diploma. We learned more from our father, though; we learned the good and the bad. That just made us stronger. We grew up quickly. Our father made everything available to us.”
When the shop began to receive a high volume of traffic and things got hectic, George turned to his father. “I used to tell him, ‘Dad, I can’t control it. It’s crazy,’” George explained. “He told me, ‘I’ve run businesses most of my life. It can’t possibly be that busy.’ Then, when he came back a few years later, he saw the progress we had made, but suggested we bring in more employment. It was not something that could have been controlled by one person.”