I clearly remember when and where I first discovered the goonzquad brothers on YouTube. I was sitting on the couch at home after a long day of work, and I was browsing through YouTube via Apple TV. The date was October 14, 2018 – A day after binging on many other car videos for three hours straight. Apparently YouTube thought that I wanted to see car videos on this day as well, and they presented me with a video suggestion for a rebuild a wrecked Corvette Z06.
Keep in mind that I have absolutely no interest in rebuilding cars. I’m definitely a car guy, but my video preference tends to lean towards car reviews and spirited driving. I’ve never once had the urge to rebuild a wrecked car, but I clicked on the video anyway since I’m a big fan of C7 Corvettes (especially after driving one cross country from San Diego to Washington DC).
Little did I know that this was the start of something big. Not only for me (as it’s always fun to find interesting new content on YouTube), But for the goonzquad brothers as well. Granted, they already had over 400,000 subscribers by the time that I discovered them. But compared to where they’re at now, that was long before they got big.
They make the process of rebuilding things entertaining to watch. In the beginning, it was all about the cars. But even after they started moving away from automotive content in 2020, their unique and energetic content style kept me as a loyal subscriber.
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The goonzquad brothers don’t reveal very much personal information, but here’s what we know:
- The goonzquad brothers live in Chattanooga Tennessee (surrounded by family). They also have extended family in Eastern Europe.
- They have two older brothers. The oldest (Alex) is in the home construction business, but didn’t want to be a part of the goonzquad YouTube channel. Which is a shame because the boys have mentioned several times that he’s into cars. You could also see him wrenching on his own cars in the background in some videos.
- Alex was kind enough to give the boys a loan of $50k to purchase the C7 Z06 in late 2018 (just as the goonzquad YouTube channel was in its initial growth stage).
- They also have a sister, who sometimes helps out with administrative things like merchandise and camera work.
- The “goonzquad” name came from the fact that the channel started out as a place for them to post videos of them goofing around on their motorcycles and quads. It was blend of “goons” and “quads”.
- The goonzquad PO Box address is: P.O. Box 37, Rossville,GA 30741. they love receiving gifts from their fans (they used to open every package at the end of the videos they uploaded on Sunday).
- The official goonzquad email address is: email@example.com
- The older goonzquad brother’s name is Eleazar. The younger brother (the one with the blonde hair) is Simeon. Prior to mid 2021, they jokingly referred to Eleazar as “Billy”.
- Speaking of Eleazar, he’s a married man. The wedding was in Chattanooga, TN (June 2019).
- Eleazar’s birthday is sometime during the third week of June (I’m not sure of the exact date since they made only one brief mention of his birthday during that time period).
- Simeon’s birthday is March 31st. He was born in 1997.
- In addition to motorcycle and quad content, the two boys started out making videos of home renovation projects and were planning on going into that business with their older brother. However, they had a deeper interest in cars and decided to focus their YouTube channel around that.
- In 2020, they purchased an unfinished house and used that as a way to expand the focus of their channel into a wider variety of topics.
- Their parents are immigrants from Eastern Europe (the Ukraine).
- They both speak semi-fluent Ukrainian, and it’s the primary language they communicate with their parents in off-camera.
- The boys have also mentioned several times that they do help the family out financially. Their father (who used to drive trucks) is now a full time paid employee of the goonzquad YouTube channel.
- Eleazar never attended a technical school of any kind, which is surprising considering how much he knows about auto body repair. He learned everything himself along the way with each new project car.
- Simeon isn’t as skilled as Eleazar in that regard, but his primary role in the goonzquad channel is cameraman and video editor. Of course he does help out with the builds as well (whenever and however he can), and he’s learned a lot since the beginning.
- The goonzquad YouTube channel is growing at a rate of 4700 subscribers a day (as per SocialBlade). They are projected to hit 4 million subscribers by December 2023.
- The goonzquad merchandise store is a very big part of their monthly revenue. The boys spend a lot of time creating and promoting their own merchandise and it’s become a very important part of their business.
- Neither of the two boys went to college.
- Even though they lack a formal education on general construction and rebuilding cars, they’ve been very successful and have had very few mistakes along the way. For example, in regards to cars, one of the biggest mistakes they ever made was having to repaint the Camaro ZL1 three times due to not letting the paint cure long enough before polishing. They owned the mistake, admitted they were learning as they went, and figured out how to do it right.
- Early on in the history of the Goonzquad channel, they were approached by a television production company with an offer of $1 million to make a reality-based TV show about them. They turned it down.
All the vehicles / projects that have then built on the goonzquad YouTube channel though the middle of 2021:
- Jeep Rubicon
- 2017 Ford F-150
- 2013 Subaru WRX
- 2015 Ford Mustang GT: The car that started it all. They bought it with minor front end damage, which involved replacing the passenger front fender, the front bumper, in the hood. Some minor framework was needed as well
- 2017 Corvette Z06: Very similar in damage to the mustang GT, though a lot more complicated since it was a much more expensive car and parts were harder to find.
- 2017 Dodge Challenger Hellcat: The most significant damage was in the rear passenger side quarter panel (which ultimately needed to be replaced). Minor front damage as well requiring a new fender and front bumper.
- 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: This car is unique in that all of the damage was sustained by falling off the back of the trailer during the delivery process. The most significant damage was in the rear, as the bumper was pushed upwards as it fell off the trailer. There was minor front end damage as well, but overall it was a relatively easy fix. Until they tried to paint it that is. They ended up re-painting this car three times due to inexperience with the kind of paint that they were using. But in true goonzsquad form, the brothers took it all in stride and happily learned from their mistakes.
- DF Goblin kit car: This build was a partnership with the DF kit car company based out of Dallas Texas. This kit car came with everything that they needed except for an engine – which they eventually obtained from purchasing a totaled Chevy Cobalt SS. As a matter fact, they ended up having to purchase two to get all the parts they needed for the build.
- 2016 Dodge Viper T/A: I consider this build to be one of the greatest and most challenging for the goonzquad brothers. Damage to the car was not very significant, but it was challenging because most of it was carbon fiber and they had zero experience doing that kind of repair. They learned a lot in the rebuild process for this Viper, And unfortunately I suspect they will have problems with their carbon fiber repairs in the future. The way they did it didn’t look very…legit.
- 2013 Nissan 370Z (widebody): To be honest, I still don’t know why they decided to purchase this beat up old 370Z. Compared to some of their other builds, it just seemed like a cheap and ugly (and somewhat unnecessary) project for them. I was never a big fan of this car.
- 2015 Lamborghini Huracan: This is the build that started getting the goonzquad brothers noticed in the car world both on and off YouTube. Taking on the challenge of rebuilding a wrecked Lamborghini is daunting even for the most experienced automotive professionals, but they took on the challenge and learned a heck of a lot along the way. The good thing for the boys was that this car had only slight front end and rear quarter panel damage, and was a relatively easy fix. However, it was unlike any other rebuild they had done before since Lamborghini’s are NOT built like other cars. Parts are hard to find as well. In the end, they had to spend $38,000 purchasing a severely burned parts car to get all the pieces they needed to complete the project.
- 2009 Honda S2000: This is another car that had me scratching my head during the introduction video for it. I’m not sure why they went from a Lamborghini all the way back down to a lowly Honda S2000, but they did and what’s done is done. However, this ended up being one of the most interesting builds because they quickly discovered that the car had a blown head gasket and the engine was going to require a complete rebuild. However, why rebuild engine when you can simply find another one to replace it with? That’s exactly what they did, by purchasing a totaled car with a fully intact motor. This was the first engine swap ever done on the goonzquad YouTube channel, and the brothers did an amazing job with it. Even though neither of them had ever done anything like this before!
- 2015 Ferrari 458 Spider: This car was damaged in a very similar way that the Huracan was, so it was somewhat of an easy build right from the get-go. However, the previous owner had an aftermarket exhaust and audio system in it (which was sloppily removed after the accident) – which gave them a bit of a challenge.
- 19’ Mariah ski boat: Arguably one of the most head-scratching builds that the goonzquad brothers have ever done. They purchased it for $1800 from Copart in Nashville, TN – which, by the sounds of it, was kind of an impulse buy. In the kickoff video for the series, Billy mentioned that he placed a bid on it even though he didn’t expect to win. Long story short, they got it, and it actually provided for some interesting content. The trailer was completely trashed, but the boat was solid (other than being in dire need of of cosmetic updates).
- 2019 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 4WD Crew Cab: Purchased to be the new goonzquad shop truck, this was easily their smartest acquisition of 2019. The truck had minor front end frame (and suspension) damage, but they were able to get it for half of its $72000 sticker price. The fact that it was less than a year old with 50,000 miles on it likely drove down the price as well – but it was still an epic buy IMHO.
- Dual 2019 DRZ 400 Supermoto’s: This was an odd project for me, considering that they had been focusing so much time and energy on high-end cars and trucks over the previous year. They bought two of these things (both with minor damage) and repaired them slowly over the course of several months.
- 2018 Dodge Charger police car: Before they started the rebuild process for this, I had no interest in Dodge Chargers at all. However, by the time they finished it, I found myself scouring Craigslist for ex-police cars on a regular basis. They did an amazing job on this!
- 2019 Can-Am Maverick X3: Again, not my cup of tea, but the goonzquad bros did an amazing (and entertaining) job of bringing this wrecked side-by-side back to life.
- 2019 Ford F-150 Platinum: This one seemed totally out of left field for me, since they had just finished with the Denali build and said so many good things about it. What was the need for another (bigger) truck? It turns out that Billy and Simon were just being proactive is all – the F-450 had a much higher towing capacity than the Denali, and they knew they were going to take full advantage of it for future projects.
- 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon: Not a surprise considering how much we know that they like Jeeps. As always, it was a cool build with loads of aftermarket parts thrown on it.
- 2020 Dodge Ram 3500: Another truck?! Actually, this one was for their father. Good boys.
- “The Forklift”: Actually, I don’t know what this thing was other than: big, blue, and ugly. It was a fun project for sure, but they never seemed to do anything with it even though they stated that they bought it so that they could put it to work for them.
- The Ultimate Apocalypse Vehicle: It was by this time that I was starting to think they were getting burned out on doing car rebuilds. Basically, this was an old military transport vehicle that they bought for the purpose of going camping (and surviving the coming apocalypse).
- 2018 Jeep Trackhawk: Quite possibly the most heavily-damaged and most AMAZING build the goonzquad brothers have ever done. This Trackhawk had rollover damage, and they essentially had to tear down and rebuild it from the ground up (with lots of help from vTuned of course).
- Robinson R22 Helicopter: If it wasn’t obvious that the qoonzquad channel was getting away from cars by now, the initiation of this project should have confirmed it. Still, an interesting project.
- 2020 Toyota Supra: Just when you thought that they were done with cars for good, they picked up a lightly-damaged Supra to tinker with. They ended up putting some Street Hunter parts on it, which was neat because it was the first time I had ever seen them interact with TJ Hunt directly.
- The goonzquad headquarters: A MAJOR development (and all-new direction) for the goonzquad brand! This was the project that put all their automotive builds on hold, and the channel changed direction in a major way. The most interesting thing about this? They didn’t lose any subscribers, and it only helped them to grow even more successful. It was a risky move for sure, but it payed off for them in a very big way.
- 2019 Ford Raptor: In April 2021, the goonzquad boys purchased a 2019 Velocity Blue Ford Raptor from Copart that looked like it had been driven through a fence. The entire right hand side of the truck had to be rebuilt and repaired, as did the right rear hub (which snapped clean off). This Raptor had only 3500 miles on it, and they were able to purchase it for $45,000.
And it doesn’t end there. To stay up to date with all of the latest goonzquad builds, I highly recommend subscribing to their channel. There’s always something new.
A brief timeline of the growth of the goonzquad YouTube channel through late 2020:
December 15, 2015: they uploaded their first video, which had absolutely nothing to do with cars at all.
May 28, 2016: their first viral video. It was actually a short clip of a camper fire, and again – it had nothing to do with rebuilding wrecked cars.
November 28, 2017: the first video showing the goonzquad brothers doing home renovations. This was significant in the fact that it could’ve been the start of an entire YouTube channel based on this kind of content. As I already mentioned, their older brother was already in this business and the brothers were poised to follow closely along. Thankfully for all of us car people, they chose a different path…
February 2, 2018: the first car rebuild video after the home renovation project, which ultimately formed the goonzquad YouTube channel as we know it today. Note that this was NOT their first car build – but it was the first “big” automotive project for the goonzquad brothers, and the first video series which got a lot of attention.
May 28, 2018: the completion of the rebuild of the Subaru WRX. This was a significant video in the sense that it showed the brothers that there was a huge market for this kind of content, and they needed to do more of it. A lot more. Yes, their Jeep rebuild was a major success, but it wasn’t until they finished the WRX that they realized how many more people were interested in sports car rebuilds than trucks.
July 24, 2018: the start of the C7 Corvette ZO6 rebuild. Some will say that it was the 2017 Mustang GT rebuild which catapulted the goonzquad YouTube channel into the stratosphere of success, but YouTube didn’t start recommending videos from the goonzquad brothers to me until the start of the C7 build. As a matter fact, I noticed a significant growth in their subscriber base during the six-month period of that build. There were definitely a lot of other people interested as well, and therefore I proclaim it to be one of the most important cars for the growth and success of their channel. Oddly enough, it was one of the first cars they sold when they needed to reshuffle and raise more capital for new builds.
March, 17 2019: the 2015 Lamborghini Hurican rebuild begins. A very significant build indeed considering that it was the first wrecked Huracan rebuild on YouTube. At least the first of this caliber. And again, it ended up being a significant project for the goonzquad brothers, as their subscriber count grew by 100,000 during the course of the project.
August 8, 2019: construction of the commercial shop begins. One of the biggest challenges facing the goonzquad brothers (and their massive growth in 2019) has been running out of space at home in their two-car shop. On August 8, 2019, it was revealed that they had purchased a 1-acre commercial lot in Chattanooga. A large (and fully-equipped) garage will built on this lot and will become the massive (and much needed) new home for the channel.
August 18, 2020: The initiation of the construction of the new goonzquad headquarters! In what I considered to be a massive change in direction for their YouTube channel, the goonzquad brothers purchased an unfinished house (and acres of vacant property) located in the mountains surrounding Chattanooga. This was purchased for the purpose of not only being their new headquarters, but being the home for both Billy and Simon. FYI, Billy lives in the house with his wife. Simon will live in the “apartment” they will be building in the adjacent shop.
July 2021: The goonzquad unleashed YouTube channel is launched. This was created as a podcast / vlog channel for the boys to post anything they felt didn’t fit into the main channel.
There are three main reasons why I’m so fascinated with the goonzquad brothers and their YouTube channel:
I’ve often sat and wondered what it is about the goonzquad brothers which makes me click on every single video they upload. The content of their videos aren’t normally my cup of tea, but for some reason or another I feel like I’m totally missing out if I skip one and fall behind.
Perhaps the fear of missing out is one reason? The way they structure their videos in a very neat and organized fashion (categorized by projects) makes it super easy to follow along. It’s very addictive as well. Let that be a lesson for all of you wannabe automotive influencers out there: make it easy for your subscribers to follow along, and you’ll hook them for life.
By the way, if you’re looking for more tips on how to get started making car videos on YouTube, check out the article that I wrote about doing automotive reviews.
Anyway, I’ve got a lot of vague ideas in regards to why I like watching the goonzquad brother so much. However, there are three very cut and dry reasons I can think of immediately:
- First, I love cars. Yeah, even though rebuilding wrecked cars isn’t exactly how I like to spend my own time, it’s still pretty neat to watch and I would admit that I’ve learned quite a bit by watching these guys do what they do. Not only that, when they moved away from working exclusively on cars in 2020, I still watched every video they uploaded.
- Second, they are completely fearless, and not afraid to try anything. From repairing carbon fiber and replacing engines on cars, to building houses – they’re not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. Even if they have no idea what they’re doing and they’ve got to learn along the way.
- Finally, it’s amazing to watch these boys grow and have so much success at such an early age. Even before the age of 20, they built a YouTube channel with millions of subscribers (and it’s only been growing from there). That’s what I call massive success.