#1 - Adam Brock
Updated: Feb 2
Cincinnati, OH - Some may see welding as just a profession, but for 9hio owner Adam Brock, it's an art form. We were fortunate enough to sit down with him and learn more about his story and passions.
"The first time I picked up a welder I was probably 13," Brock recalled. "The ability to make things so permanent from metal snowballed my love for it."
Beginning with a "janky skate rail", Adam took up welding as a way to create things that he didn't have. Not having his own equipment at the time, he borrowed a friend's Harbor Freight flux core welder to get the job done.
"I was the kind of kid who, if I didn't have something, I would just find a way to make it myself," he said.
His love of creating would lead him to attend art school, where he had a specific goal - learning to build roll cages for race cars from scratch. Roll cages are essential for racing, as they prevent the cockpit of a vehicle from being crushed during an accident.
"You don't have a race car until you have a roll cage in it," Brock chuckled. "Every car, to become a race car, needs a roll cage in it. That's one of the most important things that separates a road car from a race car."
Adam always had a passion for motorsports growing up, specifically rally. Rally is a high speed, closed road race that takes place on various types of terrains in highly modified street-legal vehicles. Unlike other forms of racing, rallying is a point-to-point race based on time it takes to finish the course, done one car at a time.
"There's something about the texture of a car driving 100 miles per hour down a gravel road that hits all the spots for me," Brock said, grinning. Wanting to race himself one day but knowing the cost of purchasing a roll cage, he perfected his skills while in school and did what he does best - found a way to make it himself.
Eventually, Adam began working professionally in fabrication and welding while continuing to make roll cages and do work on the side. Feeling that his time for side work was being limited by his nine-to-five job, he began his own racing fabrication shop: 9hio.
9hio specializes in custom roll cages and racing fabrication, all fabricated and welded by Adam Brock. He's completed work for professional rally drivers such as Chris Greenhouse, who has competed in the USA Rally National Championships and Canadian Rally Championship. In addition, he's worked on a variety of cars - BMW, Porsche, Volvo, Dodge, Subaru, and more.
What makes 9hio different from other fabrication shops? It's mobile.
Combining his necessity for a shop and a form of transportation, Adam decided to create his own mobile welding and fabrication studio out of the back of a sprinter van. This gave him the ability to bring his shop to people who couldn't travel to him, as well as giving him the freedom to work when and where he wanted. At one point, he even lived in it.
"I've always loved living in vehicles," Brock said while speaking on his mobile setup. "There's something about having no overhead cost and working in that type of shop."
He added that having a home and an established (non-mobile) shop was definitely a goal, one which has since been achieved, but that he saw those things as optional. He now uses the van as a tool to grow his business and travel.
Adam enjoys traveling in his free time, and has learned a lot from the experiences he's had while doing so. He believes these experiences have influenced many things in his life, even his view on what it means to be successful.
He told us the story of a trip he took to California, where he hoped to learn how to surf. While renting a board and confessing it was his first time surfing, the employees at the surf shop offered to go with him. He spent the afternoon with them and said the interaction left him inspired by the lives they lived.
"Their entire lives revolved around one thing - surfing - and to me, that was making it," Brock said in admiration. "I thought, if I could base my entire life around one thing, which for me is building, then that's success."
Adam always seeks to do his best work whenever he's given the opportunity to showcase his talents. This is not only because he takes pride in what he does, but because he knows his roll cage could save someone's life, and actually has.
He spoke briefly about a Subaru he did a full fabrication build out on that crashed at the 2020 Show Me Rally event. The vehicle came around a turn too fast and slid off course, crashing into a tree sideways at 60 miles per hour. The driver was airlifted to the hospital and broke several bones, but he survived due in large part to the fact that his vehicle had a roll cage installed.
“After seeing that crash, I was definitely thankful I was the one who did the cage because I know I put my absolute all into it,” he stated while speaking on the accident. “I don’t think about saving lives, I think about doing my best work, and doing my best work is what will save a life.”
Adam knows his craft and business have both come a long way, and feels he has achieved his goals of where he wants both to be. He now aims to be able to maintain what he’s doing for as long as he can.
“I’ve worked very hard to hit a point in my career where all I’m doing is building race cars,” he said. “My end goal is to be doing exactly what I’m doing right now for as long as I physically can, and figuring out a way to maintain that for as long as possible.”
To check out more of Adam Brock's custom roll cages or to contact him for work, please visit 9hio.com.
Custom roll cages by Adam Brock of 9hio
Adam Brock - Fabricator, Welder, Owner of 9hio