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THERE’S A LOT GOING ON IN SMALLtown garages and DIY shops. It’s so cool to see the true passion and history these classic Ford industry guys have. To give them the recognition they deserve, we’re highlighting these shops in special behindthe- scenes tours—with our F-100 BG twist, of course. First up is Gabriel Light of Rabid Muscle Cars in Athens, Georgia. Here’s what he had to say about what got him started.

Gabriel Light of Rabid Muscle Cars is the perfect example of the “next generation” keeping this industry alive and thriving.

F-100 Builder’s Guide: What was your first shop-built vehicle?

Gabriel Light: My first official build out of the shop was a 1972 Ford F-100 called “The Cow Truck.”

F-100 BG: What’s your favorite build to date?

GL: Probably still our first build—Cow Truck—as it’s still the most memorable.

F-100 BG: How many years have you been in business?

GL: The timing actually couldn’t be better; this is our one-year anniversary!

F-100 BG: Oh wow, perfect, congrats! Tell us more about your shop. What do you specialize in?

GL: We specialize and focus on classic car and truck customization, parts, sales and trading. Rabid Muscle Cars hunts classic vehicles and offers restoration and customization for anything pre-1986.

F-100 BG: What made you open a shop, and who did you learn from?

GL: Truly it started as a hunt because I needed the space to house all my trucks and parts. During the hunt for shop space, I quickly decided to turn my passion into a business with a little push from my family. Mostly I’ve learned from my own mistakes, trial and error, and a ton of research from an early age. My first car was a 1971 Monte Carlo at the age of 14 and, of course, it needed work. It was a ton of fun learning the history and fixing things along the way and seeing how these classic cars and trucks shaped the automotive industry as a whole.”

F-100 BG: What’s your most recent build?

GL: We just finished up a 1970 Sport Custom F-100 full restoration (featured on page 90).

F-100 BG: Who do you look up to for inspiration?

GL: All the garages and mechanically gifted minds out there making the dream work every single day. All the small family shops are my motivation as I hope to pass this on to generations after me.

F-100 BG: What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

GL: My dream is to build a family-oriented business that my kids and grandkids could carry on, a legacy of keeping classic vehicles on the road for generations to come.

F-100 BG: Anyone you want to thank for helping get to where you are?

GL: Definitely a big thanks to my family: Keith R. (stepfather), Mary (mom), Jeff Light (dad), and my wife Heather for all of their support and pushing me to follow my dreams.

F-100 BG: How do people get a hold of you for hunting down the perfect project?

GL: I mostly use Instagram and message, but we have a website and email for inquiries. Thank you guys for touring my shop!