I first met JT Nesbitt in August 2005, when he was the most famous motorcycle designer in the world. I was in New Orleans to profile him, which I did in an article titled "Mafia, Guns, Sex Toys and Hurricanes." It's that hurricane that changed things. A few months later I finally got JT on the phone. He was at work, at his new job in a gay bar, cleaning used condoms out of the toilet with his bare hands. But even Katrina couldn't keep JT down for long. Last September he headed to the Bonneville salt flats to attempt to set a speed record in a Lincoln Mark VIII he salvaged from New Orleans' flood waters. The documentary Salt Dreams tells that story.
I joined JT and his rag tag team of Big Easy misfits on that trip, resulting in a feature that appeared in 0-60 magazine's second issue. He never did set that record, but by pushing himself and his team beyond their breaking points, by focusing himself on a new project, and by inspiring people throughout his hometown, I think JT found himself again.
Gallery Photos: Grant Ray