Jud Massingill was born in Houston and has lived there his whole life. He attended the University of Houston and met his wife there. They have been married since the 70’s and she was the person who motivated Jud to make The School of Automotive Machinists (SAM). Jud got started racing at the circle tracks and caught the eye of an investor who wanted to back his racing team and open up a machine shop. This investor decided to spend his time and money elsewhere and offered the business for Jud to buy. He jumped on the opportunity, hired a few guys, and took a swing at running the own engine machine shop.
One day, Jud and his wife were eating dinner and he was commenting on how hard it was to hire skilled employees to run the machines. His wife suggested he open up a school and actually teach people to do it! So, she spent a couple years filing paperwork and submitting to become an accredited teaching institution.
Over the years, Jud has kept it as a family business. His wife still runs the day-to-day operations, Jud teaches many of the classes, his son does the marketing and drives one of their drag cars, and his daughter handles and advises the students. They have worked very hard to make the school as good as possible and recently designated A National School of Excellence by the accreditation committee. This is something that less than 1% of vocational schools have achieved, and they’ve done it two times in a row!
They currently occupy 30,000 square feet but have ambitious plans to double their footprint. They employ around 30 people at the school and have around 200 students. The SAM courses include; Block Machining, Head Machining, Engine Block Combination, CNC, EFI, and Associate Degree program. Students can take one or all of these classes. Jud is very proud that they are among the top 1% of vocational schools when it comes to job placement.
Game Changing Product: Self-learning EFI systems
Software: SolidWorks & MasterCam for the CNC machines
Favorite Shop Tool: Boring Bar and the Hone
Daily Driver: Chevy Suburban
Future of automotive performance: Electric cars will become more prevalent but there will always be a market for hot rod internal combustion engines!