Team Hybrid Founder & President James Lin, in his own words.
“I grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. That’s where I was born, as well. And then at the age of seven my family moved us here to Oxnard, California, which is where Team Hybrid originated.
“The definition of ‘hybrid’ is a cross between two species, but I’ve taken that definition and incorporated it into the automotive world, which is mixing and combining different body-part makers, engine swaps, even people – different ethnicities that come together like a big melting pot.”
How Team Hybrid got its start
“Team Hybrid was started when I was 19 years old. You only have a certain budget when you’re 19 years old.”
“So we all know speed breaks things, but when you do a show and build a show vehicle, well, you can keep it pristine for years and decades to come.”
“[One example is my] 1996 E36 BMW. It has the full Rieger tuning body kit, and it also has the world’s first StopTech Trophy Big Brake Kit. [It has] upgraded Sparco racing seats, Sparco steering wheel, NRG Quick-Release Short Hubs, Sparco shift knob and pedals. The interior is accented with carbon in suede. This is for show purposes and also to be a brand ambassador to many of the sponsors that we work with.”
How does Team Hybrid measure success?
“Success is measured in various ways in Team Hybrid. Some people see success as winning best of show or best in your category. Team Hybrid is the most winning team in import industry. We have won thousands and thousands of trophies and accolades. But, to me, success is where you do accomplish a goal, but then you make somebody else just as successful or more successful than you.”
Members share in success
A perfect example is Team Hybrid member Scott Dean and his 2005 BMW M3.
“Some of the features you’ll find on this car are a custom rocket-bunny body kit with rocket fender flares,” said Dean. “There was some custom molding done to make it a little more unique. Because it is a convertible, it was necessary to put in a roll cage. The wheels are WORK Meister S1 3Ps, so they’re custom re-barreled to make up for the fender flares. These things are 19 x 11 in front, 19 x 13 in the rear.
“The most recent show I was at, this vehicle took Best BMW. And then the very next day I took Best Euro. Having a vehicle that stands out is one thing, but getting to know the other people that share that same passion is what I really enjoy,” said Dean.
“For us, the biggest thing is people,” said Lin. “There are seven chapters of Team Hybrid across the U.S., and Taipei, Taiwan, is another location internationally that we have. We just expanded to Hawaii and also to Kansas and different states on the East Coast. We’re very strong here on the West, but we will continue to grow not only in the import scene but in life as well together.
Leadership means helping others
“Being part of the leadership of this team, I spend most of my time making sure other people’s rides are where they want it to be, helping them with sponsorship, helping them with information. I’m mostly helping them out.”
Jay Ovid, a relative newcomer to the team, is a prime example.
“I wasn’t really a car-group kind of guy,” said Ovid, “but when I joined Team Hybrid it really changed me because these guys really know their stuff. And that’s what I liked.
“I actually got my 2015 Civic Si in 2016 about a couple years ago, but I really didn’t start getting into it until 2017. I first started off with my custom bumper and duckbill carbon-fiber wings. And then I started doing more car meets and everything and saw some inspiration. And I said, ‘You know what? I just don’t want to look fast. I want to go fast.’ So I ended up putting down a KraftWerks Supercharger, and then I just hooked up the nitrous oxide. It makes 442 hp to the wheels and 352 pounds of foot torque. It’s a rocket ship, man,” said Ovid. “I’m just telling you right now.”
Team Hybrid for life
“Team Hybrid is something I’m very, very passionate about,” said Lin. “It occupies my life. You know, if I’m not working, I think about Hybrid. If I’m taking a break, I’m working on Hybrid. Before I sleep, when I’m driving, I think about Hybrid. Other people might listen to music, but I task hot things I need to take care of for the team in order to keep it going every day,” said Lin.
“Anybody can really build a car with time and a little bit of money,” said Dean. “That’s not a big deal. But it’s just building relationships with other people – to me that’s a lifelong attribute that I’m always going to have it.”
“A lot of teams have asked me to join their crew,” said Ovid. “And if I’m going to go with a team, I’ve got to go with the best. And in my eyes, for me, it’s Team Hybrid.”
Teamwork = success
“I mean, a person can only do so much. But everybody that’s successful knows they need a team of people around them in order to be that successful or even more successful,” said Lin.
“There’s a saying: When you want to go fast, you go alone. When you want to go far, you go with a team.”
“You work hard and you can make it. This car club is a testament of that.”