Installer Institute graduate joins world-famous West Coast Customs

on 19 March 2018
Created: 19 March 2018

Many custom car installers start out working in their own garage for fun on the weekends after work. Not everyone knows from the start that this is the type of career path they want - they stumble into it. Alex Sinclair’s story is no different. After going through job after job with no excitement in his work, Alex Sinclair followed his mother’s advice to turn his car hobby into a career. After trying other lines of work, nothing held Sinclair’s attention or interest. All of his free time was spent working on cars, a hobby that he truly enjoyed. It was time to make an investment in his future towards a career he knew could hold his interest. Sinclair enrolled in the car audio training program at the Installer Institute in Holly Hill, FL. While it was a long way from California, accommodations within walking distance of the campus were included in the tuition and he could complete the initial program in just a few weeks.

Sinclair jokes that when he arrived at the school, he didn’t know his way around wiring or anything with car audio. But all of that was about to change. Sinclair learned how to properly wire a car audio system, from replacing the radio to adding amplifiers, subwoofers and speakers. Fabrication became his specialty and the hands-on training allowed him to not only learn how to build subwoofer enclosures, but to actually practice in a workshop filled with professional 12 volt installation tools. After taking his first course at the Installer Institute, Sinclair returned once again for more in-depth training in the advanced installations program, which covered remote start installation, security, integration and more. It was this training that helped jumpstart his career in car audio and customization.

After training at the Installer Institute, Sinclair returned to California where he was able to work on several big projects, earning the attention of the world-famous West Coast Customs in Los Angeles, CA. In the early 2000s, West Coast Customs starred in the famous show on MTV, Pimp My Ride, for seasons 1 - 4. They were known for creating over the top transformations where millions tuned in each week to watch how and what the team would do next. Today, they have their own show on Velocity called Inside West Coast Customs. Each episode shows the incredible transformation of a vehicle created for a celebrity, athlete or client. Their years on air have created a massive West Coast Customs fanbase all around the world, with the shop now offering merchandise, their own car care product line and paid tours throughout the day.

Sinclair’s work impressed the shop and he joined WCC as a custom fabricator. Known for their complex and elaborate customizations, it was up to Sinclair and the team to make these designs come to life - often while on camera filming for the show. Sinclair was anything but bored. His new career in a world-class shop allowed him to apply his talent and creativity to vehicle customizations for some of the biggest names in Hollywood. This opportunity was not something that many installers will have in their lifetime.

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In 2018, Sinclair ventured out on his own and is now commissioned by clients to work on custom car projects. He still works with the team at West Coast Customs as needed, but enjoys the freedom of running his own business and building his name in the industry. Sinclair always comes and visits the Metra Electronics booth at trade events like the SEMA Show so that he can catch up with the Installer Institute and his Metra sales representatives. For what he’s achieved, Sinclair still stays humble and is gracious to the staff at the Installer Institute for helping to jump start his career in car audio. We wish him well in his new endeavor and hope to bring him back to the school soon.

Follow Alex Sinclair on Instagram as @alexwestcoastcustoms to see more of his work.

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