Driven to Fail Podcast #4: Larry Chen and finding your flaws


How long would you work to build something you believe in? Would the answer change if you had to make up the path as you went along?

Three weeks ago, Hagerty launched a new podcast, Driven to Fail. The show is about what happens when things go wrong—what we do when life falls apart, and what we learn from putting it back together. Each episode is an hour, give or take, a candid and revealing conversation with a single guest.

I’m Sam Smith, the host. You can read more about the show and find the first episode here. The second episode is here. The third episode is here.

Episode 4 begins streaming today. Our guest is photographer Larry Chen—an industry legend whose unique eye has helped define how the world sees car culture.

Larry Chen Datsun 240Z Hagerty
Larry and his Datsun, by Larry Chen. Larry Chen

Larry has nearly 800,000 Instagram followers. He is a Canon featured artist whose clients include Toyota, Hoonigan, and Monster Energy. Over 20 years in the business, he has worked in more than 50 countries, shot every form of motorsport imaginable, and covered every 24-hour race on earth.

If that weren’t enough, Larry is the only person behind in a camera in this industry whose name means anything to kids in small-town America. And he worked his way there from a gig selling computers from the back of his Nissan S13.

Driven To Fail Sam Smith Automotive Podcast

I wanted to talk to Larry because he believes, in a very specific way, that he is not any good. How he sees holes in his work, his constant drive to move past something he views as weakness—those things make him who he is, and they’re why he’s made the difference that he has.

Driven to Fail can be downloaded or streamed wherever you get your podcasts. This link will take you to the show’s Apple page. Its home on Spotify is here.

If faces are more your thing, a video of each episode lives on the Driven to Fail YouTube channel.

If try our show and like it, please tell your friends. Even better, share a link or leave a positive review. A warm response will help make a second season happen, so hearing from you matters.

Barring all that, drop a line directly: I’d love your thoughts.

Thanks for listening!





Note: The introduction to this episode gives Chen’s Instagram following as 675,000. That figure was correct at time of taping but has since grown to more than 790,000

Click below for more about
Read next Up next: Jay Leno is already restoring the car that burned him


    Granted that it’s difficult to sell a podcast interview with someone whose whole life is visual, and not be able to show some pictures ; even so, I was enrapt from first to last. I could not engage with Mr. Berisha at any level, but Larry Chen is a brother. I know several photographers, but as a rule they lack Mr. Chen’s charm and spacious vocabulary.

    So far, the podcast is three for four with a bullet. I truly wish I could find a sour word to say about Sam’s work products, if only to make some new bones besides the “groupie” bones. But alas . . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *