WHO & WHAT is Fireball Tim?
Fireball Tim is AUTOMOTIVE HOLLYWOOD. A crazy cool mixture of American Automotive Pop Culture and Sci-Fi Action Films.
This BLOG focuses on Cars in Movies, Amazing Concept Artists, Future Car Design, Futuretecture, Hollywood Heroine Art, CARtoons and Fireball’s long running TV Show 5MINUTE DRIVE which featuring celebs like PARNELLI JONES, SYD MEAD, DENISE CROSBY and many others.
- AS A HOST… Fireball’s been a Television Host and Car Design Expert for the last 25 years for Speed Channel’s “STREET TUNER CHALLENGE,” Discovery and Velocity’s “WORLD MOST EXPENSIVE RIDES” and “EXTREME RIDES” and “MONSTER GARAGE” for TLC. All told, he’s reached literally over a billion viewers.
His Multi-Award Winning Hit Series “5MINUTE DRIVE” and it’s shorter segments “CAR STORIES” has been touted as the world’s coolest “Talk Show on the Go” and was also the first of its kind, featuring awesome CARS and unique GUESTS. The show airs on The Auto Channel TV Network to 12 million households as well as a massive and ever-growing online audience.
In addition to this, Fireball is the emcee and Host for the AUTOMOTO International Film Festival in Monterey California for the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance (The world’s only Automotive Film Festival) in August and the Grand Marshal for THE HUNTINGTON BEACH CONCOURS.
Son of hugely famous Sci-Fi Writer, Anthony Lawrence (The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Hawaii 5-0, Bonanza), Fireball grew up on Sci-Fi Movies and TV, Comic Book Conventions and of course, Cars. (Although only the Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Corgi kind early on, he’d have to wait a quite few years before he could actually drive.) But he took to ART and DRAWING CARS very early and excelled quickly. He also took to Karate at the age of 4 and was instructed by none other than Chuck Norris for many years.
Through the late 60’s and early 70’s in California’s Palos Verdes, Fireball’s talents as a Car Designer and Actor/Performer flourished among his family of 7. They would quite frequently do Shakespeare at the dinner table. His adolescent days were filled with drawing crazy vehicles and acting in School Plays as his parents did not want him to become a child actor. Instead, he became an ultimate Sci-Fi and Car Geek and took advantage of Conventions, Design Contests and anything that would take him on an adventure.
Moving to Ojai in 1976, Fireball continued his drawing, but struggled with schools eliminating their art and drama programs and the potential bully. He sought out after-school opportunities as well as anything that would advance his talents as a Martial Artist, studying with greats like Benny Urquidez, Norris’ right-hand man Bob Burbidge and Korea’s Master Dae Kyu Chang.
After High School and living through STAR WARS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, BUCK ROGERS, FLASH GORDON and many other Sci-Fi films & TV, College opened up Fireball’s skills even further as he enrolled in every Art and Drama class offered at Ventura Community College, determined to champion his activities. While working at a book store in 1981, he discovered a book by Futurist SYD MEAD and immediately sought him out. Among his favorites being CHRIS FOSS, VIRGIL FINLAY and JOHN BERKEY, Syd was the closest to him and in LA.
For the next year, Fireball drove to Hollywood from Ojai every Friday to be by Syd’s side as he painted for the movie BLADE RUNNER, a learning experience he would never forget and introducing him to ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN.
In 1985, and after taking every Art class that Ventura offered, Fireball entered Art Center and began creating unique concept vehicles and futuristic environments that spawned a shift in the creative flow of education. Although majoring n Transportation, he invented Entertainment Design and took it so so seriously that his influence started a completely different division at the school. He interned at Chevy’s Corvette Advanced Concept Center, Nissan in La Jolla and a Theme Park firm called Sequoia Creative. But as a senior student, Fireball decided not to be forced into designing for a car company, and instead, designed a futuristic MagLev Train Depot over 8-feet long and presented it to WALT DISNEY IMAGINEERING. He graduated in 1989 and landed a job at twice the pay of other car designers, opening his next chapter.
Fireball went on to create rides and show vehicles for TOMORROWLAND, DISCOVERYLAND, INDIANA JONES & TOONTOWN at IMAGINEERING for 3 years. And this is where he met his soon to be wife, sculptor and Costume Designer Kathie Clark. They became fast friends for over a year before dating and then, in 1992, were laid off from Disney and decided to go 100% freelance. Starting with a small stint at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. Then, Fireball and Kathie went into film…
Over the next 25 years, Fireball created designs for more than 400 MOVIE and TV PROJECTS envisioning concepts for what now can only be termed as the beginnings of American Automotive Pop Culture. His designs have graced films like AVENGERS, KNIGHT RIDER, BATMAN, SON OF THE MASK, PITCH BLACK, JURASSIC PARK, X-MEN, and GONE IN 60 SECONDS. Designs have also gone to celebrities like Ben Affleck.
But Fireball’s Geek-rise as an Automotive Social Media Icon truly exploded when AutoWeek Magazine dubbed him “The Wildman of Transportation” and claimed him as the Big Daddy Roth for the 21st Century. His blogs and hilarious original series episodes like RIDE ALONG, WACKY RIDES MONDAY, AUTODISSECTION, HOLLYWOOD GARAGE and many others created Internet prowess among audiences across the globe, especially in Europe and Australia. It also established him as the most sought after Automotive Host and Design Expert out there.
Fireball’s company KCL PRODUCTIONS (with his wife Kathie) is also very unique. Kathie builds some of the most memorable MASCOT COSTUMES you’ve ever seen for clients like ELLEN DeGENERES, THE WHITE HOUSE, NINTENDO, THE 2012 and 2015 SUPER BOWLS, HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS and hundreds of others.
Fireball currently writes the running “Ride of the Week” Article and Comics for the famous MALIBU SURFSIDE NEWS and his shows are supported by CHEVROLET, CADILLAC, BUICK, GMC, PORSCHE, JAGUAR, HONDA, KIA, HYUNDAI and many others. He’s also an Award Winning CARTOONIST and Author of 6 Books on Design and several for Kids. If there ever was an ultimate geek, Fireball’s it.
Fireball and Kathie currently reside in Malibu, California with their dogs, Bug & Sammy. **All Fireball projects benefit The National Mill Dog Rescue.