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“Craft of Speed” Mooneyes Documentary

Yellow Dean Moon Roadster standing in garage

The making of this great movie needs our help and support.

A fascinating documentary is in the works on Mooneyes hot rod parts, but it needs your help towards its crowdfunding campaign.

By The Editors

Tue, Feb 2, 2021 01:21 PM PST

Filmmaker Ming Lai is putting together a documentary called “Craft of Speed” about Mooneyes hot rod parts to try and revive the hot rod culture that is sadly declining.

Mooneyes Documentary EndTitle Logo
“Craft of Speed” end title.

However, he needs your help. The film is independent and low budget, and to fund the project, sponsorship opportunities are available. You can see the “Craft of Speed” sponsorship tiers here, along with a preview of the film.

The minimum goal is to raise $50,000 for the documentary to make it through production and postproduction costs. Once completed, “Craft of Speed” will shine a light on the glory days of hot rodding, starting at the beginning of Mooneyes Speed Equipment.

Humanist Films Ming Lai working the camera
Ming Lai, the Director of “Craft of Speed.”

Why Does This Film Need To Be Made?

Despite its rich history, there’s declining interest in hot rods. Hot rodders are becoming older or dying, and their prized cars are being sold. However, younger people don’t have the money to buy the expensive hot rods, the technical knowledge to maintain them, or the skill to race them.

Dante Deuce Dragster in black/white photo
Dean Moon, the Founder of Mooneyes, and driver Dante Deuce sitting in Dean’s dragster.

Hot rodding and its huge contribution to our culture are at risk of disappearing, hastened by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The grand challenge of this documentary is to honor Mooneyes’ important contribution to car culture, preserve hot rodding history and, most of all, inspire new generations of hot rodders.


"I was introduced to Mooneyes by my father-in-law, who used to own a ’32 Ford Roadster, in bright yellow and equipped with Mooneyes speed parts. Later, I had the honor of meeting Chico Kodama, the President of Mooneyes USA, and I was inspired by his and Mooneyes owner Shige Suganuma’s incredible story. With their full support, my team and I are making a feature documentary about their lives and work. The film is an epic origin story of legendary Mooneyes founder Dean Moon and his worthy successors, Suganuma and Kodama. It spans from Moon’s creation of Mooneyes as an iconic American speed equipment & custom accessories company to Suganuma and Kodama’s growth of it into a coveted international brand. We’re deeply honored to be able to tell this important story to inspire new generations of hot rodders."

- Ming Lai, Director, “Craft of Speed”

Story / Synopsis

For 30 years, Shige Suganuma and Chico Kodama, two Japanese hot rodders, built Mooneyes, an iconic American speed equipment & custom accessories company, into an international brand, honoring founder Dean Moon’s legacy and celebrating car & motorcycle culture.

Chico Kodama, the President of Mooneyes USA, working on a motorblock
Chico Kodama, the President of Mooneyes USA.

As Asian/Asian American pioneers in their industry, they battled against racism and xenophobia and ultimately earned their respect. Now, Shige is attempting to grow the company despite declining interest in hot rods, and Chico is handcrafting a new modified street rod to try to break his second land speed record at Bonneville Salt Flats.

Visit the “Craft of Speed” campaign page to get the full details, along with sponsorship opportunities and subsequent thank-you gifts.

Owner of Mooneyes Shige Suganuma sitting in the bleachers of a drag race
Shige Suganuma, the Owner of Mooneyes.
Featured image: Dean Moon’s roadster in the museum at Mooneyes, Santa Fe Springs, California.
This article was compiled by the editors of LACar.

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