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  • Writer's pictureNielsen Studios Inc

American Faces - #42

Tim Huttner is a complex guy, but he sees the world in a binary way – black and white, good and bad, ones and zeros. Tim admits he’s obsessive-compulsive, and maybe just a touch ADD. His hobbies range from smoking ribs to building high-performance firearms. He and his wife, Roxy, coordinate a weekly car show in the summer. He serves on the local economic development council. He has a sound studio in his basement. He’s eclectic. But Tim’s singular passion is automotive performance. He’s kind of an engine wizard, really.

Tim builds high-performance engines from the block up – precision machining, advanced fuel injection, custom exhaust, engine and transmission electronics. He has two U.S. Patents for automotive technology. It’s hard to keep track of everything Tim has going. But he has help. Roxy keeps the Huttner Enterprises auto repair business humming along, while their son, Norris, works in the shop and drives the tow truck (their other son, Tyler, a machinist, still helps on occasional projects).

While this self-professed car jockey is most at home under the hood of a hot-rod, Tim is all about community. He thinks of his “clients” as family, and goes to extremes to treat people right.

Though always a “straight shooter,” Tim admits he’s not a great communicator. “I’m a blunt-talking type-A, and my thought process, the way I want to do things, is sometimes hard to explain. I know it’s frustrating for others.” He relates his thought process to how he’s worked to overcome Dyslexia. “I’m not great with words. But I can look at a complex circuit board and I can tell you how it works.” He says what might at first seem a weakness is often a strength.

His experience in working to overcome his own challenges informs Tim’s advice to others: “learn from the struggle – whatever you’re dealing with, don’t let it discourage you. Just do what you love to do.”

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