Classic car site Petrolicious turns to motorcycles

Petrolicious has posted more than 120 short films in the last two years

In 2011, software developer Afshin Behnia sold his legal software start-up and, with his wife, former Disney executive Kika Vigo-Behnia, pooled their resources and their passion for classic cars to found Petrolicious.

Since launching their first movie in early 2013, they have posted more than 120 lovingly hand-crafted short movies on YouTube, where Petrolicious has 250,000 subscribers and more than 400,000 monthly visitors for its 5- to 10-minute movies about vintage automobiles.

Petrolicious posts an average of a film a week, made by a handful of select directors.

The one they made a year ago about a rare Ferrari 250 GTO has been seen almost 800,000 times, according to YouTube. So has a short they made about Brentwood architect Holger Schubert's love affair with his Ferrari 512BBi.

This week, Petrolicious is posting a rare motorcycle-themed movie -- a profile of Stacie B. London, founder of Los Angeles' East Side Moto Babes, profiled in The Times last year.

The new video can be seen here.

The 13-minute movie was filmed by Saam Gabbay, Behnia's childhood friend and a Petrolicious regular.

The lavishly shot video chronicles London's nascent racing career, and her efforts to get a checkered flag on her vintage 555-plated Honda race bike. Though most of the Petrolicious films are one-day shoots, London and her Triple Nickel got a multiple-day treatment and shooting that took place in several exotic motorcycling locations.

Behnia -- who lives off Benedict Canyon with his wife, their newborn child and a collection of a dozen vintage Alfa Romeos -- said Petrolicious has "good revenue" but is not profitable yet.

A relaunch of the site may change that. The reboot will feature a retail store and may include an area for classic car sales. Behnia said outside investors are also a possibility.

But the arrival of a new child in the family has forced a Behnia reboot too. His daily driver, for years, was one of his Alfas. Now, he said, it's his "baby car," a BMW 328.

Twitter: @misterfleming


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