A WOMEN’S AUTOMOTIVE MAGAZINE
gng'S Women of Automotive
QUEEN OF DIAMONDS
inside... 2016 SUMMER CAR WASH GUIDE GETTING ROWDY WITH THE BOYS: FEATURING KELSEY ROWLINGS
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S AUTOMOTIVE SOCIETY
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It’s been a long 2016
Karen Sullivan Editor-in Chief
and unfortunately, we were only able to provide 2 issues this past year. I would like to apologize for that. Being pregnant and then having a newborn makes for a fun learning curve! We are planning a packed 2017 however, and it will include so much more than before. The staff, and myself, at G’nG sincerely hope you will continue to enjoy this road trip with us as we continue to shed a spotlight on the ladies in the automotive industry and the lady enthusiasts that are out there. While we are making some changes to the magazine, the print edition will not be available. For those who have signed up for print, you will receive complimentary digital editions of the magazine until we fulfill your fourth issue subscription. We don’t want to unveil too much just yet with the new redesign and revamping of the magazine, but if you haven’t checked out the website recently, please do so! I sincerely hope you enjoy some of the new things we have planned for 2017 and are looking forward to a packed year. Don’t forget to signup for the monthly newsletter to stay even more up to date on everything! Happy wrenching & reading!
Girls ‘N Garages Magazine
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A WOMEN’S AUTOMOTIVE MAGAZINE
Karen Sullivan EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Taylor Haney LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER CONTR IBU TING PHOTOGR APHER S
KAREN SULLIVAN, TAYLOR HANEY, AMANDA ESTEY, HAYLEY LAWLESS, JOURNEE RICHARDSON, TOM MCCARTHY
WR ITER S & CONTENT CONTR IBU TION
KAREN SULLIVAN, TAYLOR HANEY, TOM MCCARTHY, MICHELLE PEREZ, LISA ROBERTO, JOURNEE RICHARDSON & HAYLEY LAWLESS
ONLINE CON TEN T
KAREN SULLIVAN, TAYLOR HANEY & EMILY JACOBS
ABOUT US Girls ‘N Garages magazine is a national quarterly women’s automotive magazine based out of Massachusetts. Our main goal is to bring together those women across the United States, and around the globe, who love anything automotive and educate them about everything to do with them. We will feature automotive women, their vehicles, different automotive parts, DIY maintenance, automotive locations and cruises, as well as much more. FOR ONLINE CONTENT, CHECK US OU T AT girlsngarages.com FIND US ON SOCI AL MEDI A: facebook.com/girlsngarages tw itter.com/GirlsNGarages instagram id: girlsngarages
FAC T CHECK ER
TODD SULLIVAN, AJ DICICCO & MARK BRYLO
Karen Sullivan Editor-in-Chief
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IN THE GARAGE
The First Hurdle
Top 5 Gender Reveals for Gearheads
By Shannon Wendell
Her love of twowheeled freedom
Getting Rowdy With the Boys
The International Women’s 12 Automotive Society: Revving Engines Worldwide
Story of a Drift Chick with Kelsey Rowlings
19 Plasti-Dip 101 & How 23
Basic Two-Bucket Car Wash
To Care For It
What is Formula Drift Pro-Am?
Import Alliance Spring Meet 44
Hot Rods, Motorcycles and Mystery:
With Lori Bentley Law
Emme Hall Driver. Reviewer. Rabble Rouser. Gazelle.
32 IN EVERY ISSUE
ON THE COVER
Sarah Edwards: Queen of Diamonds Jet Dragster, Photo by Tom McCarthy.
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Featured Women Featured Vehicles Tech Savvy News/Events
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The First Hurdle to the class. She was frazzled but was relieved to be working with a woman. I assured her, to the best of my ability, that we would get her back on the road again as soon as possible.
I was at my station completing my work orders, when a man suddenly appeared. He was visibly anxious, so I was hesitant to introduce myself and ask if he needed any help. Just as we made eye contact, he lunged forward with hands stretched out, as if he were reaching to ring my little neck as he shouted something about ‘taking advantage of his wife.’
It had been a few minutes since her car was pulled into the bay, so I took a walk back to see what could be done. I hadn’t had the chance to introduce myself to any of the technicians and it was obvious there were some who were happy to see a woman, and some, that were not; but that is a discussion within itself.
I jolted backwards and my mind raced to connect the dots. Then it clicked! This must be the husband of the woman that I has assisted earlier. Confusion had set in again, because, well, I do honest work. I’ve never sold anything to someone that they didn’t need. Furthermore, I am a woman myself; why would I ever take advantage of another?
After speaking with the tech and seeing the tire, it was painfully obvious that it could not be repaired. The sidewall had been damaged by being driven flat. Great, just what she wanted to hear, NOT!
I could see my manager coming towards us; he was worried and wanted to defuse the situation. I wanted to show him that I could handle the situation, so I put a hand up to say that, ‘I got this.’ While I was maintaining my calm, I asked the man if he would like to see why I recommended to replace the tire. He was still angry but he agreed and followed me to the tire pile out back.
By Shannon Wendell I thought the hardest part was getting the job as a service advisor in one of the busiest shops in the area. I had no idea the wake up call I was in for. Soon enough, I would learn that it takes a certain kind of person to do what I do every day. I may not be a firefighter or a nurse, but I do get to help people. I love my job because it brings me new challenges almost on a daily basis. As I turned off the ignition and gathered my things, I took a deep breath and got ready for my next adventure. I was greeted by my new manager who flashed me his rehearsed smile, which surprisingly calmed my nerves. He’s done this many times before; we went over procedures and how he likes the work orders to be filled out. He showed me to my station and I only had enough time to make myself comfortable before he unlocked the doors as my first customers filed in. A woman and her son approached and by the looks of them, you could see it had been a rough morning. She had gotten a flat tire on the way to her son’s school; they were late and her son had a project to present 6 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
short amount of time. My day had carried on somewhat uneventfully until late that afternoon.
I knew she wouldn’t like the news; I hate telling people when it’s more than they would hope for, however, I put on my happy face and hoped that she would take the news well. As I broke the news to her, she agreed to replace the tire, and she was back on the road in a fairly
begs to be asked, ‘Why?’ Is it because I am a woman? Is it because he had been burned by other shops before, leaving him to question every time his vehicle enters a shop? This is a big problem for the auto repair industry; creating and maintaining the trust between those who repair cars, and those who need their cars repaired, is crucial to our success. I strive every day to make sure my customers are informed about the estimate on both cost and time. I educate them in regards to the repairs that are needed and make sure they understand why these things are important. I want them to feel comfortable with us; believe it or not, we are here to help people and we are not just in the business of making money. It is truly a shame that some have brought such awful misconceptions about many of us in this industry. There are still honest and hardworking people striving for quality work and customer satisfaction. It can be very easy to be offended by customers with trust issues. After all, it wasn’t you who burned them. However, this is your opportunity to show them that there are shops out there that can be trusted. We are not all crooks and it takes people like us to prove it.
His face softened as he saw the damage to the tire and began to apologize profusely. The question JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 7
Top 5 Gender Reveals For Gearheads Words and Photos by Sam Letizio
Gender reveals among expecting parents have become a widely popular event. Parents-to-be devise fun and creative ways to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Is it a boy or is it a girl? Once those little black and white images on that sonogram are decoded, family and friends – and even some couples themselves – discover innovative ways to
reveal what the gender of the new addition will be!
The Top 5 Countdown 5. Balloon Revealers! W ho doesn’t love balloons? Balloons are an easy and inexpensive way to reveal the sex of your baby. W hether they are tied to the back of your ride in a classy style or pop out from the trunk in surprise, helium balloons in the color of the baby’s gender, are beautiful ways to showcase your ride, give it a f lair, and tell the world, “It’s a _ _ _ _ _ _!”
Catering to the lifestyles and interests of both car and motorcycle enthusiasts, GNG has found some of the most unique gender revealings for announcing the sex of future little gearheads; we have narrowed them down to the Top 5.
4. Photo Shoot Reveal! A simple way to showcase your ride and reveal your newest little gearhead is the “ his and hers” style photo. W hether it be helmets side by side with a mini helmet in the middle or your favorite rides side by side with a smaller car to represent the little one, these photos can easily be decorated or colored to reveal the gender in simple, yet festive ways.
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3. A Race to the Finish Reveal! Race enthusiasts will love this idea! Each car is marked ‘ boy,’ ‘girl,’ or decorated accordingly and the two cars will race down the strip. One will intentionally cross the finish line to reveal the gender of the baby! If the parents want to find out at the same time as their friends and family members, this is the perfect idea of making it an unforgettable day on the track for all!
2. The Colored Exhaust Reveal! This can be an awesome and exciting way to reveal the gender to your friends and family and it can also be a great surprise for the parents! All you need is some powdered paint in the color of the baby’s gender. Place a little bit in the tip of your exhaust and start up your vehicle. Ready, set, POOF! The paint will puff out into a colorful cloud of exhaust smoke making for a dramatic reveal! For those concerned about their exhaust and looking only for the colored smoke effect, smoke bombs 10 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
are a great alternative to yield the same effect and can be positioned behind the vehicle.
1. The Burnout Reveal! The number one gender reveal is the burn out! W ho doesn’t want to showcase their bad ass vehicle doing an awesome burnout? This can be achieved in many different ways from using custom colored tires purchased from Highway Max Tyres (or other tire distributors), powdered paint under and on the tires, or by using Photoshop to color the smoke. It is truly an exciting and exhilarating experience to be a part of. For those wanting to be surprised, a friend or family member can order the specialty tires. These tires look just like standard tires, so as the burnout happens, they too can be surprised as the colored smoke begins to fill the air. Reveals can also be filmed and shared with friends and family who could not attend so that they too can experience the excitement and surprise!
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RACING, WINNING AND DRIVING A CAR WITHOUT A STEERING WHEEL
hroughout the majority of her schooling and career, Victoria Ellis had never met another female that worked in the automotive industry, but in November 2011, everything changed. Being featured in Diesel Power Magazine for her accomplishments in the diesel industry with three other women, sparked a flame within Victoria — she realized that she was not alone.
The International Women’s Automotive Society Revving Engines Worldwide By Tara Hurlin, Photos Courtesy of Victoria Ellis
Victoria has worked various jobs within the industry: from parts sales, to engine building, fabrication, working as a diesel technician, and even building nationally recognized programs for Mopar. Today, she specializes in Cummins and VM Diesel engines and works as the Diesel Skill
Area Lead for Chrysler Technical Assistance (FCA US LLC). “I have such a love and appreciation for vehicles, there is not much that I don’t like,” she said. Victoria’s current baby is her 1997 Ford F350 diesel dually. “Hopefully after I find a house I will be able to start doing some serious work to her!” she said with excitement, “I want to slam it, and I think all of the fabrication would be an incredible experience that I would undoubtedly enjoy.” Victoria is not the type of gal that feeds into the notion of being a woman in a man’s world. “I think the less attention we give the topic, the less of an oddity it will become,” she explained, “I work side by side with technicians every day, and I think there are more JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 13
passion, with a goal to develop a well-rounded community of women to encourage, educate, assist and create a positive impact for the women of tomorrow. Their website offers a multitude of resources that will continue to grow, but the biggest thing they offer is something that cannot be found on Google: The support system and references from members makes the most impact. For example, if there is a girl looking into different schools, the members will coach them on what to look for and give first-hand insight on what schooling will be like.
opportunities than challenges for women in the industry. People’s way of thinking is evolving and the more we move forward in the industry, the less of a topic of interest it will become; it will be the norm, and the world will be onto something else.” In everything that she does in her job and projects at home, Victoria strives to help other women achieve their goals within the industry — to be the push that helps them on a bad day and to help direct them to their future; this is how the International Women’s Automotive Society was formed. The International Women’s Automotive Society was officially established in 2014 (informally since 2013). It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization driven by 14 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
“We work in three countries, so it’s difficult to get everyone in the same place at the same time,” she said. There is a promising future waiting for the International Women’s Automotive Society and its members. Plans include arranging school seminars to talk to kids and show girls how fun the industry is. Nowadays, finding a good technician is not easy, so
the growing passions of young minds and giving them the tools they need in the industry to take it to the next level will help the industry as a whole. As Victoria reminds us all, “Let’s face it, the younger generations will be the ones creating the Hellcats and Mustangs of the future that we will be driving when we can actually afford them!”
“It’s a family with the most incredible support system I have ever seen, because let’s face it, girls aren’t always the nicest,” Victoria said, “I think the best part of our organization is seeing the girls interact and their enthusiasm for helping each other succeed within the industry.” The organization has hosted several educational events that highlight many different areas within the industry. “Truthfully, a success for me is to be able to help a female looking to start her career by giving her the support, resources, and advice she needs,” Victoria said. Often, the organization is able to match a girl up with a mentor to share in the experience by helping with any struggles and celebrating successes.
To learn more about the International Women’s Automotive Society, visit their web page: http://www.womenofautomotive.com/
According to Victoria, the biggest challenge is working worldwide. JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 15
all of my dream bikes, but what’s one more? Perhaps a Crocker or a beautiful Vincent would be nice.”
Cristine SommerSimmons and her love of twowheeled freedom By Tara Hurlin Motorcycles hold a special place in Cristine Sommer-Simmons’ heart, and understandably so, since her entire life revolves around them. She was first introduced to the hobby when she was around nine years old, when her stepfather couldn’t get out of the driveway with his Honda 750 without a little girl begging for a ride. And then, it happened; Cris got her first motorcycle at age fifteen– a Yamaha Twin Jet 100. “My Step-dad 16 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
taught me how to ride in the parking lot of the Wonder Bread Store across the street from our house, and I loved every second of it,” she said. Then, about four years later she claimed her first Harley motorcycle. Today, she is the proud owner of multiple bikes: a 1988 HarleyDavidson Heritage Softail, a custom 2013 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim, a 1934 Harley-Davidson VLD, a 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin and a 1911 Wagner. “I’m mostly into the vintage bikes these days,” she said, “They are lots of fun to ride once you get the hang of the tank-shift and foot clutch.” Although she loves all of her motorcycles, there is one in particular that is irreplaceable, “I was riding my 1988 Heritage Softail when I met my husband in Sturgis in 1989, so that one is extra special,” she said, “I’m very lucky to have
If you are ever asked who has made a large impact in the motorcycle world, Cristine’s name surely should be high on the list. In the 1980s, she became a member of the Women’s Motorcycle Association, which lead to cofounding the Association’s second chapter Women in the Wind. In 1985, she co-founded Harley Women, the world’s first motorcycle publication to inspire other enthusiasts just like herself. From there she hit the road with her motorcycle and rode thousands of miles in search of stories and adventures, which is also where she met her husband Doobie Brother Patrick Simmons. She began appearing in national newspaper articles, radio and television talk shows, acting as an advocate for the increasing number of women who love to ride. By 1990, the American Motorcyclist Association honored her in their Women in Motorcycling exhibit, which is located in Westerville, Ohio. After fifteen years of involvement with her publication Harley Women, she sold her stocks and continued her two-wheeled journeys. Cris used her experiences and passion to produce captivating articles for several magazines in the United States, including American Iron, Motorcycle Collector, Iron Works, Easyriders and V-Twin, as well as magazines in Japan, Spain and Australia.
Japan was one of the best jobs ever,” she joked, “I got paid well, no one I knew read it, and I could write whatever I wanted to without getting upset over editing because I couldn’t read Japanese.” She traveled to Japan, made many friends and experienced some great rides. Marrying her best friend and raising three children tops her personal list of accomplishments. “They inspire me each and every day,” she said. However, in the motorcycle world, being inducted into all three Motorcycle Hall of Fames -- the AMA Hall of Fame, the Sturgis Hall of Fame and the National Motorcycle Hall of Fame -- has been, in her words, ‘an exciting and humbling achievement.’ Writing three books about motorcycles, one being an award-winning children’s book called “Patrick Wants to Ride,” and the other two being “The American Motorcycle Girls 1900-1950” and “The Cannonball Diary”, were three more dreams that came true. Being the only woman to ride and finish in two cross-country Motorcycle Cannonballs is something to admire. “When I’m on the Cannonball, it’s an endurance race,” Cris explained, “It’s about keeping your bike running, but taking care of your body too. It’s as much endurance on the rider as it is on the machine. Riding old motorcycles from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with maybe an hour to eat lunch if you don’t break down, is very tiring, even if you have good weather.”
“Writing my column for Hot Bike JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 17
“Being on two wheels on the opened road always reminds me of flying without having wings,” Cris said, “It’s an indescribable sense of freedom... there’s nothing that even comes close to it for me.” Cris undoubtedly has countless memories. “Crossing the finish line on Effie, my 1915 Harley-Davidson, was a moment I will never forget,” she said, “I really stepped out of my comfort zone on that one!” “I think pushing yourself to live your dreams is what life is all about. I have this little piece of paper taped up on my desk that is a quote from
Abraham Lincoln, ‘It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years that matters,’ and this has become my mantra.” Having a lifetime love affair with the two-wheeled variety has led Cris to meeting many wonderful people whom she may have never met, and for that, she is grateful. She continues to keep busy with writing projects and is looking forward to the 2016 Cannonball coming up in September. To top it all off, she will become a grandmother late this summer and will most likely be the first grandma to ride the Cannonball.
Basic Two-Bucket Car Wash Words & Photos by Emily Jacobs
ar season is in full swing which means car shows, meets, events, and cruises are happening everywhere. So how do you keep your car looking amazing without paying someone else to do it and without marring up the paint? We will be doing a multi-part instructional series going over the common detailing processes and questions. First up is the basic hand wash. This process works on all cars regardless of size or type. If your car is Plasti-Dipped or Vinyl wrapped, you will need to use the appropriate products and take care when power washing. When washing your car, the surface
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should be cool to the touch and the vehicle should be parked on a level surface in the shade. I prefer to wash on concrete or thick gravel. You will want to gather your supplies and get everything prepared and set-up to prevent any pauses or interruptions while washing. You will need: • One bucket filled with 2-3 gallons of water and the appropriate amount of shampoo. This bucket will be for your wheels. • One bucket filled with 3-5 gallons of water and the appropriate amount of shampoo. This bucket will be for your vehicle. • One bucket filled with 5 gallons JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 19
TECH & HOW-TO
Spray your wheel cleaner to the face of the wheel and tire, let the product dwell for 3-5 minutes to pull the iron deposits out and really start to clean.
• • Starting with your wheel brush scrub the barrel of the wheel and tire, then use your wheel sponge to clean the remainder of the wheel. You should always put your brush and sponge in the rinse bucket before putting it back in the cleaner bucket.
Once the wheel is clean, rinse the wheel and tire with your hose or power washer. Move around and wash the remaining wheels with the same method. 20 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
of water. If you have a grit guard, this should be placed in the bottom of the bucket. This bucket will be to rinse your sponge. Shampoo. There are many options available for all different types of vehicles. If your vehicle has a special finish (matte or satin paint, PlastDip, or Vinyl wrapped) you will need a special shampoo. I used Chemical Guys Maxi-Suds II in the wash pictured. A wash mitt for your vehicle wash bucket. Do not use this on your wheels. Wheel Cleaner. Specialized wheel cleaner will pull the iron deposits created from your brake pads out of your wheels and tires. I used Griot’s Garage Heavy Duty Wheel Cleaner in the wash pictured. A sponge and brush for your wheels. Do not use these on your vehicle. A microfiber drying towel and a few extra microfiber towels. You could also use a squeegee if you have one. A hose or power washer.
You always want to wash your wheels first to make sure that any wheel cleaner over spray gets washed off when you wash the vehicle. Spray your wheel cleaner to the face of the wheel and tire, let the product dwell for 3-5 minutes to pull the iron deposits out and really start to clean. Starting with your wheel brush scrub the barrel of the wheel and tire, then use your wheel sponge to clean the remainder of the wheel. You should always put your brush and sponge in the rinse bucket before putting it back in the cleaner bucket. This removes any dirt or contaminants from the brush and sponge to prevent them from scratching the wheel surface. Once the wheel is clean, rinse the wheel and tire with your hose or power washer. Move around and wash the remaining wheels with the same method. I also use these buckets and tools to wash my exhaust and
remove any carbon build up from the outside. Once you’re finished, you will want to empty and refill your rinse bucket. Now you have shiny clean wheels, but the rest of your car is looking a little lack-luster. When washing your vehicle, you want to wash from the top down versus front to back or starting at one corner and working around. The reason for this is that the bottom of your car is often dirtier than the top, since road spray and dirt will hit these areas more often. To start, you will want to rinse your car well; pay special attention to wheel wells, under the bottom edge of bumpers and sideskirts, and any other area that dirt might be hiding. Next, you will want to grab your fresh rinse bucket, cleaner bucket, and wash mitt and start by washing the roof, glass, and any of the connecting body panels; from here you will continue to wash each of the panels working down in sections. When washing, you want to work in back and forth movements, never in circles; this helps to prevent swirls or marring the paint. You will also want to rinse the sponge often in the rinse bucket before loading it with more soap. Lastly, you will want to wash the dirtiest areas of the car. Once you have thoroughly cleaned all of the vehicle, you will need to rinse the vehicle. If you’re washing in high temperatures, you may have to rinse several times as you are washing to prevent the soap from drying on the paint and causing water spots. Once all of the dirt and soap have been removed, do a final rinse with low pressure, allowing the water to sheet off of the car. This will help to prevent water spots and remove the last bits of soap. Drying your car is almost as important
To start, you will want to rinse your car well; pay special attention to wheel wells, under the bottom edge of bumpers and sideskirts, and any other area that dirt might be hiding.
Next, you will want to grab your fresh rinse bucket, cleaner bucket, and wash mitt and start by washing the roof, glass, and any of the connecting body panels; from here you will continue to wash each of the panels working down in sections. marring the paint.
Lastly, you will want to wash the dirtiest areas of the car. Once you have thoroughly cleaned all of the vehicle, you will need to rinse the vehicle. JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 21
as washing it! If you don’t dry your car, you will be left with water spots on the glass and paint, which can eventually etch into the paint, being very difficult to remove. If you have a squeegee, you can remove a large amount of the water before drying with your towel. Simply squeegee the water off in straight lines starting with the roof and moving down the vehicle. Now use your microfiber drying towel and dry the vehicle by wiping each panel in back and forth wipes. You will want to start with the windows and the mirrors to prevent any unsightly streaks or water spots. After you have dried the outside of the car, you will want to take one of your microfiber towels and wipe down the door jambs of all of your doors, trunk, gas filler door, etc.; this prevents any drips from water that is hiding in these areas. Lastly, you will use another microfiber towel to dry your wheels. You should always dry your wheels with a different microfiber towel just in case there is still brake dust so that you are not spreading it to the rest of the car. And that’s it! You now how a shiny, new car ready to hit the road or track! Pat yourself on the back, snap a few pictures (or several if you’re like me), and get ready for clean-up. You will want to thoroughly rinse all of your tools and buckets and lay everything out on a clean towel to dry. You don’t want to lay your washing mitts or microfibers on the ground or a wood surface; this increases the chance of them picking up small imperfections that can damage your paint. Have any questions? Have a suggestion for another article in the series? Let us know!
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Plasti Dip 101 & How to Care For It By Taylor Haney, Photos by Mark Brylo & Taylor Haney Now use your microfiber drying towel and dry the vehicle by wiping each panel in back and forth wipes. You will want to start with the windows and the mirrors to prevent any unsightly streaks or water spots.
After you have dried the outside of the car, you will want to take one of your microfiber towels and wipe down the door jambs of all of your doors, trunk, gas filler door, etc.; this prevents any drips from water that is hiding in these areas.Lastly, you will use another microfiber towel to dry your wheels.
Whether your car is lifted, slammed, bagged or stock, Plasti Dip® seems to show up everywhere these days at car shows and even on the racetrack.
And that’s it! You now how a shiny, new car ready to hit the road or track! Pat yourself on the back, snap a few pictures (or several if you’re like me), and get ready for clean-up.
Plasti Dip® is an air-dry, specialty rubber coating, that is peelable, flexible, non-slip, and very durable. This rubberized coating can protect and cover anything from wheels and emblems, to the entire car, and for less than half the cost of a full paint job or vinyl wrap. The product comes in a variety colors and options from
the original Plasti Dip® manufacturer or another popular company, DipYourCar.com. This product is durable, lasting up to 3 years, according to DipYourCar®’s website, if applied properly. One of the major issues I see among users of dip is that they don’t apply enough coats of the product, and then complain that it doesn’t peel up or has ruined the finish. From the beginning, the manufacturer recommends 4-5 coats minimum to ensure easy removal if you get tired of the color. Doing this JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 23
dip to stick to chrome finishes can be “tricky.” However, he advised that a properly prepped surface is key to how well it adheres. One personal disclaimer, do you and your car a favor, and skip the rattle can version. Using the type of ‘dip in a can’ solution can cause unevenness in the application of the product, and creates more of a spray can effect rather than a smooth paint job. Professional grade plasti dip products come in gallon containers that are used in a paint sprayer. Either teach yourself how to use a paint gun that can handle the thicker dip product, or have a professional apply the full car dip coating. You’ll be much happier with the result. many coats, especially when applying to an entire car, ensures that the dip will be easy to remove in large chunks rather than tiny pieces. Also, it is recommended on new car paint jobs that a test spot be performed to ensure the preservation of the original finish.
degrees. This would be a great solution for those who compete in road racing, off-roading or rally. However, this is NOT safe for painting brake calipers or engines. Use only specialized paints for extreme heat applications.
So what about weather and in racing situations?
The Plasti Dip® kits sold by DipYourCar.com make it easy to get started, and has excellent customer service. In addition, there are many local paint shops that are now offering Plasti Dip® services. This ensures that the product is applied correctly and evenly the first time. Dip is sensitive to temperature and conditions during application, and must be applied at the same time for all-over car situations. Brad Keller, a DipYourCar product support tech, said when applying the product, “Not in direct sunlight, above 65 degrees, not during changes in temp/humidity such as when a storm comes through.”
DipYourCar®’s website claims that the Plasti Dip® product is “extremely resistant to the elements, including sun exposure, winter ice, cold, salt etc.” This would come in handy for nice wheels, bumpers or anything that you don’t want corroded in the winter months. It’s important to note that Plast Dip® needs a clean, rustfree surface in order to function as a preventative coating. Any rust that exists will still show through the dip just as it would for paint. For racing, Plasti Dip® is resistant to hot conditions rated up to 200 24 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
Can I apply it myself?
In addition, Brad said that getting
For more information and resources on how to apply Plasti Dip® and whether it’s right for you, refer to DipYourCar.com’s FAQ page. How to Take Care of Your Dip Coating Washing a dipped vehicle is a similar process to washing any other vehicle. However, the difference is in the product you use. Theoretically, you could wash with regular car soap or all-purpose cleaner (Simple Green is a great one), but you would not be guaranteed to have your dipped car protected. Stay Fresh Car Care®, for example, sells a dipped car cleaning kit that includes their Dip Wash, Dip Shield, and Dip Detailer along with microfiber towels and applicator pads. Typically, I notice that my car needs a wash every week to two weeks depending on weather and road conditions. This can also vary by the color of your dip, and whether a protectant, like Stay Fresh’s Dip JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 25
TECH & HOW-TO Shield, was applied to the dipped surface. Unlike paint, buffing or washing in a circular motion is unnecessary due to its matte finish. The rubberized coating is textured as you rub against it, so you may have to apply some pressure as you rub in the product. For car show season, Stay Fresh makes dip specific products for touch up jobs and further preservation of the dip’s shine. One criticism I have for dip is that things like tree sap, sunscreen (found this out this summer), and bugs can be difficult to come off of the coating. Also an important note is to avoid getting gasoline on the dip at all costs. I’ve already had some spillover around my gas tank door, and is starting to show some of the coats underneath. In addition, around my key lock, scratches are starting to show up very easily. This may be a benefit to paint, since generally small hairline scratches like light key marks can be buffed out. This is not the case with Plasti Dip® without re-dipping that part of the car . We hope that this dip care guide serves and informs you on your decision on whether dip is the right product for you.
On right, result after applying Dip Shield versus left side without product. 26 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
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Aubry also heads out to races representing Chix Gear Racewear outside of the retail store. You can keep up with what races are being attending by Chix Gear Racewear by following their Facebook page at https://www. facebook.com/chix.gear and new merchandise that is being produced. Thank you for sponsoring Girls ‘N Garages magazine!
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Wheelz Up Radio was created by Chris Barnes and is co-hosted by Mike Carr. The radio station is dedicated to the NHRA and IHRA class and sportsman racer. They pride themselves on giving racers a platform to talk about their racing and to give not only themselves, but their sponsors as well, the coverage they deserve. Wheelz Up Radio gives you some of the best Sportsman Drag Racing talk on the Internet every Wednesday night at 7pm
EST. You can tune into their show at www. blogtalkradio.com/wheelzupradio. They have a variety of on-air personalities and an array of shows that will continue to grow, as they grow. They also welcome call-ins as well. Check out their website and listen to past shows and see how you can call-in to their next one! While Wheelz Up Radio is first and foremost a radio show they do stay involved with the local community. Over this past summer they brought many children into the drag racing realm by bringing the children of the Concord, New Hampshire Boys and Girls Club to the New England Dragway also in New Hampshire. The kids were able to go into the pit area with Chris and the Wheelz Up Radio crew and meet some of the drivers and even sit in a drag car! The radio station also held a Carz for Kidz event in Concord, at the Boys and Girls Club facility, bringing in some drag cars for the public to see. Check them out if you have a chance!
JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 29
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inside... LADY DRIVEN BATTLE OF THE BUILDERS THE VALKYRIE PROJECT:‘69 AMC AMX DRIFTING 101 BY BRITTANY BASSETT
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inside... LADY DRIVEN BATTLE OF THE BUILDERS THE VALKYRIE PROJECT:‘69 AMC AMX DRIFTING 101 BY BRITTANY BASSETT
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These last 2 years have been amazing, and our staff is ready to bring you more stories of ladies from automotive in our all new format! Stay tuned on news about our bigger, better and not to mention WRENCH TURNING coverage in 2017 with your premier automotive resource, Girls ‘N Garages Magazine. JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 31
Getting Rowdy With The Boys Story of a Drift Chick with Kelsey Rowlings
By Taylor Haney, Photos Courtesy of Taylor Haney & Kelsey Rowlings
Although life always presents its own set of challenges, it’s with real passion and determination that someone can rise from the ashes and come out stronger. For Kelsey Rowlings, her journey to becoming a Formula Drift driver was met with its share of roadblocks. This past year was Kelsey’s first year in the Pro 2 Class in Formula Drift, which proved to be more challenging than she anticipated. Coming into Pro 2, she only had two months to prep her car coming from Pro-Am, the Formula JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 33
How did you get into drifting? “So I started in 2008, that was when I got my first car; I was eighteen, I was going off to college and I needed a car. I learned what drifting was in high school…when I went off to college, my parents decided to help me out to get my first car. That’s when I got my first 240.”
Drift licensing series. So, Kelsey was coming into FD Pro 2 with a Pro-Am level car; this puts her at a disadvantage because of the power difference between the Pro cars and her turbocharged SR22 motor. Of course, Kelsey didn’t let that hold her back. For the 2015 season, Kelsey drove a 1995 Nissan 240SX SE (S14) with a turbocharged SR22DET built by Mazworx. This car has a great deal of history with Kelsey, having been her drift car for six years now. Before getting into Pro 2, Kelsey competed in the Streetwise and Lonestar Drift Pro-Am series. At this point she wasn’t going for her license, but was only trying to get her feet wet in competing. Kelsey stated, “I was going for experience, track time, that kind of thing.” It wasn’t until 2015 that she started shooting for a Pro 2 license. 34 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
However, when Kelsey started drifting, her parents didn’t know. In fact, according to Kelsey, her father was especially against the whole idea. Having had bad experiences of his own, like being ejected out of a car from flipping over several times, he was not okay with Kelsey racing. Just starting out, Kelsey did what she could. Whether it was borrowing wheels, helmets from friends, and sometimes engaging in less than condoned antics, Kelsey said, “I would go back behind the Tires Plus and dumpster dive for tires at one o’clock in the morning.” She had a dream and was determined to drift. How did your father take the news that you were drifting? “He was livid, but I convinced him to come out to one of my events like ‘Hey, I suck, but Dad I feel like I can really do this. I feel like this is something that could really work for me.’” However, after wrecking her S13 240 at a race later on that year, her dad said that was it; Kelsey would get another car to drive to school, but she was done racing. What she didn’t know, was that her parents had
secretly bought her a racing helmet for Christmas. What did you do after that? “So for about the next six months, I went without driving at all. I got another 240 that was just an automatic. The plan was my dad said, ‘Do well in school and we’ll think about 5-speed swapping it in the summer in 2009. If you’re really serious about doing this [drifting], I want you to be safe.’” After a successful semester at school, Kelsey was driving her 240SX home from college for the summer and was unfortunately rear-ended; the car was totaled. You would think that after two wrecks in one year, Kelsey would be done with getting 240s. Well, she decided to get a third 240 S13 that had an SR motor with suspension upgrades and a LSD (limited slip differential) already done to it. Can you, the reader, guess what happened next? On her third day driving the car, Kelsey was giving horseback riding lessons (her other passion), and went to pick up one of her students. She stated, “I was pulling out of my neighborhood and a car was about to t-bone me. I saw my life flash before my eyes and I floored it to get out of the way and I got out of control. I ended up hitting a tree.” Within one year, Kelsey went through three cars. After all of that, you would think JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 35
Kelsey was ready to hang her hat up. “I had a really rough start,” she said, “and most people would’ve quit, but I was so sure that it was something I wanted to do, that I got another car. Luckily I had insurance and that saved me.” This time, she got a 1995 Nissan 240SX (S14), took the stock SR motor out her third S13 240 and rebuilt the motor as she continued to learn how to drift. Kelsey stated, “That’s the pink car I have now. I’ve been driving that car for six years and the block is the same one in that original S13 that I wrecked. So all that bad luck in that first year paid off.” How was the 2015 year for you? “We had a really rough year because we did 2 Pro-Am series within a year; we didn’t have a lot of time between the second Pro-Am series and the FD Pro 2.” Kelsey only had two months to prepare for Pro 2, which isn’t nearly enough time to build a new car, motor or do anything else that may need to be done. “In Orlando, we broke a rocker arm after two practice laps and I had to qualify on my third lap. I was able to qualify; luckily it was my home track,” she said. However, Kelsey greatly underestimated the amount of power her competition was putting down. Kelsey said, “I had to go up against Alex Halburn, who has the 1200 HP BMW and I’m over here with just under 500 HP going, ‘I think I can, I think I can.’” 36 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
Next was Seattle, where in the second practice run, Kelsey blew a motor. She stated, “I lost compression, but not completely, thirty psi in cylinder one and ninety in cylinder four, and there was just no way to get it around that bank with limited power.” At that point, Kelsey was just interested in saving the block because the Texas race was right around the corner. Kelsey and her crew had a week to go home, rebuild a motor and get back on the road to Texas. They made it to Texas, but there were a few mishaps. At the Texas Motor Speedway, they have what Kelsey refers to as ‘rumble strips,’ coming past the second inner clip of the racetrack, where she says, “You’re supposed to take the car wide through; if you go just a couple inches too wide, you hit right where the ‘rumble strips’ start. So the dirt that is dug out there, you’re basically hitting a curb.” Because of the ‘rumble strips,’ Kelsey ended up breaking two wheels, a differential and bending a lower control arm from just going that hair too wide. She then stated, “That bit me in the butt, so right before qualifying we had to change the diff and my spare diff was a different gear ratio.”
course up perfectly up until the last turn, when the car really wanted her to downshift and she wasn’t ready. Once she came around that corner, her car was no longer within its power band. “Everyone says that if I had finished the course, I would have probably placed top six in qualifying,” she stated. The final run took place at the Irwindale Speedway. Kelsey already felt like the car wasn’t up to power; it was overheating at a staggering 266 degrees after one run, even with an electric water pump running. “I was so scared we were going to blow another motor,” she said. This coupled with steering bind issues due to the new tire rods and spacers up front; it all proved very frustrating for Kelsey. However, this did not stop her, she completely bled the cooling system which attributed to the possible issue due to air bubbles. She also took a coupler and duct tape and made what she calls a ‘make-shift, redneck, bump stop’ on the lower control arms. However, back on the track, she still faced the overheating problem.
This is a major problem considering torque is the key in maintaining a strong slide through the turns. Kelsey said, “I was running a 406 and I had to go to a 408, so that dropped me about 2,000 or 3,000 RPMs, and I had to go into qualifying not knowing where I’d be throughout the whole course.”
The icing on the cake was when Kelsey and her team found that runner number one on her intake manifold was cracked at the weld. She goes on to say, “For some reason, I think we were getting these crazy vibrations that was causing hairline fractures in the weld, so it was causing me to have this major boost leak basically.” Subsequently, she found out that a boost line had also come off.
In her second run, Kelsey linked the
After all of that was fixed, Kelsey JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 37
a] 100-150 horsepower basic car; you need coil overs, a working handbrake, a welded or locking diff, and some good front tires...but that should be a given.” This 2016 season, Kelsey is sure to come out swinging, so watch out for her on the track! To catch Kelsey in the 2016 season, be sure to watch for Formula Drift Pro 2 events in your area by going to formulad.com.
Kelsey Rowlings slides door to door with Nate Hamilton at the Import Alliance Spring Meet at Atlanta Motor Speedway March 19.
realized her electric water pump had also failed and they didn’t have a spare. She said, “We ran to Dave Briggs, who I knew ran the same pump and he had just blown his motor, so he was already out.” She bought the water pump off of him and went back out. In the end, Kelsey was at least able to put down a score for both runs she had at Irwindale.
chassis as well, but thought it would be too much to get used to right away. With the same chassis, her and her team will already be familiar with the setup. For someone starting out drifting, what is your advice for them?
“Every time it was something we didn’t anticipate [in 2015], which is why we’re building a new car. I’ve been racing that car for 6 years and it’s tired. So that’s what we’re going to do for 2016 and come into Pro 2 strong,” Kelsey stated.
“My biggest advice is take it slow. When I first started getting serious about it, I was in my stock KA, coilovers, 2A differential and stock handbrake, and that’s all I had. Start with the basics: figure eights, donuts, and work on car control. Once you have car control in the first and second gears, it makes third, fourth, and fifth so much more natural,” Kelsey advised.
For the 2016 season, Kelsey decided to go with another S14 Chassis with a Coyote motor from Ford Performance. She initially debated going with a new
Another piece of advice she gave, “Don’t go straight for an LS motor swap or an SR with 300 horsepower right away; you don’t need it. [Just
What does 2016 look like?
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Sara Edwards Giving Back Words and Photos by Tom McCarthy
Ever since Sarah Edwards was a little girl, drag racing has always excited her, especially the jet cars. “I remember what it was like for me when I was a little kid, to see the big jet cars run,” as she recalls, “When I was twelve in 2004, my dad and I went to E-Town in New Jersey and I saw Jessie Harris go over 300 MPH in the Queen of Diamonds jet dragster. 40 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
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That was the most exciting thing I’d ever seen in my life. I remember what that was like for me, so now I want to give back to kids of today. I want them to see and feel what I did.” It was a defining moment for Sarah; she had an epiphany at that race and has been in pursuit of her dream ever since, to be that person in the driver’s seat. To date, she has spent half of her life leading up to this moment in time. Much of her life has been spent in preparation to take the wheel of a jet dragster. As the 2016 racing season unfolds, Sarah is now ready to take the wheel and live her dream as she enters her rookie season as a jet car driver for the Hanna Motorsports in the Queen of Diamonds II jet dragster. Shortly after graduating high school in 2010, Sarah attended the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in July. There she learned how to drive a dragster and earned her NHRA Super Comp class 42 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
license. In the summer of 2012, her family purchased a Mullis dragster and the family formed the “Queen Bee Racing Team” consisting of Sarah, her dad Scott who does the wrenching, her boyfriend Steve who handles the electrical/computer work, and her mom who always makes sure the team stays focused. Sarah’s team began actively competing at the New Jersey Atco Dragway in the Top Dragster and Super Pro racing classes. With each passing season, Sarah has become faster. When her performance elapse times dropped into the mid seven second elapsed time zone, at speeds in excess of 180 MPH, she earned her Advanced ET competition license in the summer of 2014, from the National Hot Rod Association racing sanction. She is now ready to take the wheel of the 300 MPH Hanna Motorsports Queen of Diamonds II jet dragster. Drag racing school is not the only school Sarah has attended since leaving high
school. Sarah has earned her Associates Degree in Interior Design from Norwalk Community College. During the workweek, Sarah works with an interior designer in her hometown of Stamford, Connecticut. She also works a part time job with a construction company doing administrative work. And when the weekends arrive, she trades in her interior designer wardrobe for a racing helmet and a fire suit. “This is my first season driving and racing a jet dragster, but it won’t be my last,” she commented in an interview recently, “It’s like my whole life has been leading up to this moment, I have a true passion for this.” With her driving credentials well earned from 2010 through 2015, Sarah took the driving job with Hanna Motorsports as a jet car driver where she was well received by the team. Her training began in the late Fall of 2015, where she then resumed in the Spring of 2016 with trips to Atco, New Jersey and also New England Dragway. With determination,
she earned her jet car driver’s license with the NHRA sanction and she is now experienced with five-second elapsed times and has crested 300 MPH in testing. As the 2016 racing season unfolds, look for the Hanna Motorsports Queen of Diamonds II jet dragster at race tracks near you. Be sure to stop by, meet Sarah, and pick up a free photo card of the jet car and meet the team! Sarah would like to thank Hanna Motorsports, her Mom and Dad, Stephen Frycz, and most of all the fans! You can follow her through one of the following: Facebook: Sarah Edwards – Queen of Diamonds II Jet Dragster Instagram: @queenofdiamondsjet Twitter: @QODJetDragster JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 43
Atlanta Motor Speedway, Braselton, GA - March 19, 2016 By Taylor Haney, Photos by Taylor Haney
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Car enthusiasts from all over gathered at the Atlanta Motor Speedway March 19th and 20th for the Import Alliance Spring Meet.
Car enthusiasts from all over gathered at the Atlanta Motor Speedway March 19th and 20th for the Import Alliance’s Spring Meet. In previous years, this event attracted 8-10,000 people, making it one of the largest yearly car meets in the United States. Import Alliance celebrated its 10th year hosting this massive car meet, and it’s 8th year meeting at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This event is meant for car enthusiasts of all kinds, not just imports. Attendees brought what they had, whether it was show-car
ready or still a work in progress, all of them bringing their mutual love of cars with them. Even though there was no “best overall” award for those that showed up, people surely did not let that stop them from bringing their prized possessions. For those drift nuts, there were pro drivers offering ride-alongs for a fee. People were lined up waiting for their turn to experience the adrenaline rush that drift enthusiasts live for.
Import Alliance The Ladies
We ran into Kelsey Rowlings, a female Formula Drift driver, who came out in her pink 240SX to “get rowdy” with the other drift nuts. She participated in tandem with her partner-in-crime from Enjuku Racing, Nate Hamilton, and even shared some paint! It’s all fun and 46 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
Kelsey wasn’t the only female out there representing at Import Alliance (IA). Brianna Booska, co-owner of Boostka Customs out of Tampa, Florida, was out there shining in her white and teal Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Brianna represented Pretty Little Drivers, a women’s automotive club, at the event as well as her body shop.
This girl is talented at the paint gun, and a strong, independent woman with a love for all things Evo. Her boyfriend, James Kuhn, shined along with her at IA in the Youtubefamous Evo 8 called Jasmine. The car was made famous by the YouTube channel DudeInBlue, a channel run by David Patterson.
games, but these cars take the hit. Be on the lookout for Kelsey Rowlings in the upcoming Formula Drift season with her all new drift car, another Nissan 240sx strapped with a Coyote motor. You guys better look out for this girl! JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 47
Bear Dellinger, an import model and avid car enthusiast, brought her toy out to play too! She has quite the impressive collection of cars: a Nissan 350z, a Nissan 240 s14 with a SR20det motor, and her drift car, a Nissan 240 s13 with a RB25DET
motor. Bear shredded some tires in the s13 both days at IA after not drifting for 6 whole months. She’s not looking to get into any competitions at the moment, but be on the lookout for Miss Bear!
Finally, we had a chance to meet up with Pro-Am drifter and stunt driver Emmalee Muller to speak with her briefly about the upcoming season. She will be participating in the U.S. Drift sponsored events this year, so be on the lookout for her, too! To sum it all up, Import Alliance’s Spring Meet was the kick-off for car show and race season for many passionate car enthusiasts. Look for us at many more events this year, bringing you the latest automotive women out there shredding and wrenching!
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Hot Rods, Motorcycles and Mystery with Lori Bentley Law By Tara Hurlin, Photos Courtesy of Tara Hurlin & Lori Bentley Law
For the FULL EVENT PHOTO GALLERY, check out girlsngarages.com!
“Old cars and trucks resemble a love of history and craftsmanship, coupled with the romantic idealism of how it has survived for decades, centuries even; the fantastic notion that it has lived a life before–and yeah, I know you can argue a thing can’t live, but I know different. My Bondorella thrums with life.” Lori Bentley Law is an award-winning television and news photojournalist for NBC in Los Angeles, California, a talented author, and perhaps the most
happy-go-lucky, down-to-earth car, truck and motorcycle gal I’ve ever met. She is at her happiest when she can climb behind the wheel of her 1948 Ford pickup named Bondorella or hop on her motorcycle for a bit of adventure. “The sense of freedom on the open road is pretty darned impossible to describe. My Sporty and I have trekked across the country, burning up tons of miles, and I’m sure we have many other adventures to come — and not just on the Sporty, but on our other two-wheeled beasts as JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 49
well,” she said. Lori and her husband have somewhere around 30 motorcycles and several are dirt bikes. “They all have different characteristics and we love every single one of them, that’s why we have so many,” she said. For example, Lori loves the way the Triumph Bonneville looks, so she purchased a 1977, but as it turned out it was too large for her to kick-start on her own. Being a very independent woman, nothing is worse than having to have someone else kick-start her bike. Now she has a 2004 Triumph Bonneville that shares the looks of the older model, but starts with ease. “People now have stereos on their motorcycles or headphones to listen to music, but part of the experience for me is being absent from all of that noise. If I need to, I just start singing.” At first, Lori didn’t intend to buy the 1948 Ford F1 pickup that she found at a Pomona Swap meet, looking lonely in the parts section with a sign posted “for part or whole.” After all, she always loved Studebakers and she thought the Ford would be way too big of a project for her; but her husband saw how much she loved it, and about a month later he talked her into the purchase. That same year, her husband bought her a 1952 Mercury flat-head engine to bring the truck back to life as “Bondorella.” Lori isn’t afraid to bust a knuckle — or lose patches of hair — to keep her beloved Bondorella running smoothly. One day, while Lori was driving in bumper-to-bumper Southern California traffic, Bondorella’s old drum brakes failed. Thankfully, she was able to pull the truck over safely and have it towed home. There, she began troubleshooting the problem; Lori upgraded the brake system with a 50 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
dual-reservoir master cylinder, rebuilt the wheel cylinders and put in all new lines. “I had never done anything like that before!” she exclaimed. Just as many projects do, it took some trialand-error: The new dual reservoir had a flip-top, and because of the location of the master cylinder, under the driver’s side floorboard, she was unable to open the latch. In came the remote reservoir. The repairs took three consecutive weekends and to make matters more difficult, the place where she was getting the parts wasn’t opened when she was able to work on the truck. So when she discovered the plunger length was too long, then the next time it was too short, she had to wait even longer for the correct part. Even after everything was installed and the brakes were bled, it still didn’t feel right. Lori didn’t detect any leaks, so she asked for advice on the H.A.M.B., a well-known forum for traditional hot rodders, where someone suggested fiddling with the drum adjustment; she did and Bondorella was finally stopping smoothly. “After driving a ways and realizing what I had accomplished on my own, raw and overpowering pride and happiness gushed through me and I shed a few tears behind the wheel,” Lori said. Not much later, Lori went to her hairdresser for her usual appointment only to discover she was missing chunks of hair from the top of her head. She didn’t have her hair completely covered while working and the brake fluid had dissolved her hair; they both had a good laugh. Motor Dolls Lori has always been a reader, but no matter how hard she searched, she
could never find novels based off of car girl adventures. “I thought it would be fun to write a fiction about girls, motorcycles and cars,” she said. It took quite a few years to write, and on top of that, she was turned down several times by publishers because their opinion was ‘girls wouldn’t be interested.’ Needless to say that was a low-blow and she sat on the idea for about 10 years, until the spark reignited and she published the book titled Motor Dolls herself, and motor gals (and guys) everywhere are glad that she did. Motor Dolls is a girl-powered adventure following two gearhead gals: Jeda, a graphic artist that could make a career as a stunt-double, and Benny, a photographer seeking her perfect moment on film. Both are in search of their life’s passion while teaming together to discover a prophecy shared by a stranger on the day of Jeda’s Grandmother’s passing. There is suspense at every turn of the page. Lori’s writing can be described as a work of art as she paints the picture of the two girl’s lives with her words:
“She shifted and pulled the accelerator more, the bike vibrating under her as she pushed the machine beyond anything she’d ever tried. It responded to every subtle movement, every slight pull and she knew it had more to give. She opened it up all the way, propelling her forward, burning a path toward the destination. Pushing. Blazing. Faster. Faster.” It’s a novel filled with thrills, mystery and self-discovery. And the best part of all? It is the first book in a series of three, so there is more to look forward to in the future! Visit http://www.motordolls.com for more information and to follow Lori’s life adventures via her blog. _____________________ What others have said after reading Motor Dolls: “The icing on the cake is how Lori covers the entirely well done psychological story in a retro world that is incredibly detailed and seductively intriguing. JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 51
She adds in classic car and car races in the desert, rebuilding custom vintage motorcycles, ghost towns, downhill luging on skateboards, a mysterious man who knows everything they do, diving into dye tanks, flying in a person kite over Santa Monica Pier and the weather in Belize. Her attention to detail and talent for description is extraordinary and her ability to keep the pace of the story makes it fantastic to read.” – Ali Crean, Blogger _____________________ “The Motor Dolls plot is a high velocity who-done-it, guaranteed to get you arrested for speed reading. This is the very definition of a page turner, as it has pages that turn and everything. A must read for aspiring escape artists!” – Scotty Gosson, Author of Rat Rods, America’s Favorite Station Wagons, and Wildest Show Rods _____________________ “Hoowee! I can assure you this book is as much fun as it sounds. It’s easy to see this book was written by a woman who knows her way around the garage and with a knack for creating believable characters, even in unbelievable situations. Little quirks make the characters seem very real, like someone you know or could easily know. There are lots of zinging one liners that are as amusing as they are true. There’s also beautiful descriptions of girls and their cars or riding their motorbikes at top speed to clear their heads.” – Sheri Bomb, Australian Rockabilly Blogger _____________________ “Rich with imagery, this is one of those books that just makes the rest of the world go away it’s so engaging. A story about a pair of car-loving college52 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
aged gals and good pals during their Summer of Thrills. Not only do I love the adventures and mystery that they find themselves in the middle of, but I love that the two main characters are thoroughly unique, independent, and courageous.” – Kristin Martin, Automotive Journalist and founder of GreaseGirl.com _____________________ “I devoured this book on a rainy sick day. It is accessible and easy to read while being very engaging, descriptive and colorful. By the time I was halfway through, I wanted to grab a friend and hop in the car for a road trip. Motor Dolls is a great story about friendship, youth and discovering who you are, with a fun mystery to tie it all together.” – Kat Tessier, Hells Belles Car Club _____________________ “Seldom do I fall in love with characters or a story so far from what I would consider my comfort zone, but with Jeda and Benny, you just can’t help it. Excellently written, wonderfully thought out, a perfect adventure of laughs, danger and mystery. Harder and harder to put down as you flip each page.” – Johnathan Denney, Photographer _____________________ “Bravo! This story kicks ass, and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know your characters. Your plot is interesting, unpredictable and credible.” – Ed Aubry, Author, Static Mayhem and Caprice
Tandem Love What is Formula Drift Pro Am? Words and Photos by Taylor Haney
In our first issue, you heard Rachel Turtz’s story, a grassroots, drifter from New Jersey, and saw our coverage of East Coast Bash at Englishtown Raceway. We want to acquaint you more with the world of drifting and why drifting is becoming a fast growing motorsport to get into for both women and men. In preparing for every event, even if you’ve done everything to prevent trouble and honed your driving skills, something could still go wrong. The great news for drift enthusiasts is that no professional competitor became pro overnight. They got their start in local events, or “grassroots” as it’s called, getting better until they were ready to move up. So where is the next level from local track night to semi-pro in the drift world? Formula Drift Pro-Am (FD Pro-Am)
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FD Pro-Am is the Formula Drift licensing series for grassroots drift competitors. There are three classes in Formula Drift: Pro-Am, Pro 2 and Pro 1. To qualify for Pro 2 or Pro 1 class and the license for those events, the driver has to score in the top three at their region’s Pro-Am event series. In previous years, Pro-Am racers would receive licenses and move right into the Pro 1 class with extremely seasoned drift racers. This mix of intermediate drift racers with pro, put the new Pro-Am drivers at a disadvantage. Thus, the Pro 2 class was born. Anyone that has acquired a license can race either class, but for those who don’t want to jump right in with the top racers, the Pro 2 is there. Not to say that the Pro 2 class isn’t “up to snuff,” these guys and gals are there because they have earned it.
So where are the women amongst the tire smoking action? Meet Emmalee Muller from Atlanta, Georgia. Emmalee competed in the U.S. Drift series in 2015 with a purple 1993 Nissan 240SX. Emmalee learned about drifting from guys she met at a car meet six years ago and has been hooked ever since. When asked what she loves most about drifting, Emmalee says, “It’s just fun, so much fun. The most fun I’ve ever had. I never want to do anything else. If I could afford to drift every single day I would. And the community is amazing. Like one big family.” When the car breaks down on the track, Emmalee is the one turning the wrenches along with her dad. She stated, “It’s rare that we need someone else’s help. I did all the motor work myself with the help of
Formula Drift Pro driver Chris Forsberg conducts driver’s meeting at Virginia International Raceway for the Formula Drift Pro-Am series September 2015.
my coworker. My dad’s kind of the suspension guy and I’m the motor gal.” As far as Pro-Am, Emmalee told us last year that it has been a real struggle for her. She said, “I missed Round 1 because I didn’t want to rush the build; Round 2 was our test day for the car. At VIR [Virginia International Raceway] of all places. I’ve never had a car with power so it was all new to me and I wrecked.” Just because drivers are in Pro-Am doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready. It’s all a learning process in which Emmalee is very aware, but that doesn’t mean she’s lost faith. So how can you get into FD ProAm?
Emmalee Muller sits in her drift car during a qualifying run July 2015. Photo retrieved from Emmalee Muller’s Facebook page. 54 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
First, find out your Pro-Am licensing event region. For Emmalee, she competed in the Streetwise Drift series, which is mostly southeastbased, but decided to drive with
U.S. Drift this year. No matter what region you compete in, you’re still eligible for the Pro license if you make the top three. Emmalee outlined four essentials when it comes to Pro-Am or grassroots drifting, “Dedication, money, a tire pressure gauge, and just a well setup car. You want something you can get in and drive and not have to fight with.” In addition to this, there are specific regulations that must be met for tech inspection before the race, such as a roll cage. These are outlined for any of the drivers competing and should be reviewed thoroughly. Feel like you’re ready to take your grassroots drift skills to the next level? Check out formulad.com/proam for upcoming events, your region, and current standings. As always keep wrenching ladies and stay sideways! JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 55
“Driver. Reviewer. Rabble Rouser. Gazelle.” by: Journee Richardson, Gazelle Photos by: Nicole Dreon 1617 Photos by: Phil Kaos Photography, Total Chaos, Robby V Media, and Journee Richardson I am forever grateful for the friendship and inspiration I have received from Emme Hall. She is not only a great driver, wealth of knowledge, quirky, spunky and an all-around badass, but she has been a loyal friend and true source of motivation. ______ It was October of 2014 and I was preparing to race my first ever off-road race 56 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
in Barstow, California. This was the 9th annual MORE Powder Puff Race for a Cure - an all-female off-road race benefiting breast cancer research. I was preparing to drive a truck I had never driven, in a suit I’d never worn, with people I barely knew, and only limited time driving a stick shift. Let’s just say, I was feeling a little out of my element, but at the same time, ready for the challenge. The day before the race was pre-running the course and Technical Inspection/ Contingency (Tech). I was out at the course watching the other girls of the team I was with get a little practice time and waiting for my turn to get a short run in. We had parked next to a team with 2 buggies that were friends of Sammy the Bull, the owner of the truck I would be driving. Suddenly, a gal in a red fire suit popped up out of the roof of a blue and white buggy and asked if she could use my restroom. Who knew that my camper bathroom would be the reason I met one of my greatest influencers and inspirations - Emme Hall! ______
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“To finish first, first you must finish.” It’s a lesson that I’ve taken from Emme through reading articles she has written about her time off-road racing. Overall it means, that you must take care of your vehicle if you expect it to get you to the finish line. I will never forget her story of racing through the deserts of Morocco at a limited speed because they had injured their vehicle the day before taking too big of a risk. ---------The very next month after Powder Puff, obviously hooked to this thing called off-road racing, I purchased two Ford Ranger trucks. I planned on creating a race truck with the two vehicles. However, I was a LONG way from getting it to a race course. As luck would have it, Emme was 58 GIRLS N’ GARAGES JUNE 2016
looking for a co-driver for an upcoming race, the MORE Slash X Duel in the desert. After a brief email conversation, followed by a phone call, I was in. February of 2015 came and I met Emme again in the deserts of Barstow. I had never been in a buggy, it was my second race EVER, and again I was surrounded by strangers. She instantly took me under her wing. On race morning I hopped in by her side, ready to rock! Her car, 1617 but affectionately called Monkey, is a Class 1/2 1600 Buggy. This is a single or two seater limited class. Engines must be an air-cooled 1600cc with 4 forward gears. They have a VW front end with limited wheel travel. They are light weight (most of them anyway), nimble, and they beat you up to no end. Horsepower and torque numbers are both below 100, so momentum is key. The only way to win is to
keep it pinned and hope for the best. This is a true driver’s class. Coming in to the finish line and seeing that checkered flag came with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. With a total time of 04:01:24 and an average speed of 39.8, (HEY air cooled VW remember?) we were ecstatic to learn we came in 2nd place!
maps, and their own intuition. It is a true test of skill, knowledge, endurance and patience.
Not only did I walk away from Barstow with a trophy, but also an inspiration. I was hooked on the buggies. I had been inspired! Emme was not only a woman driver, but she was a woman driver who was on the podium, in a pro class, racing her own car!
What initially drew you to off-road racing/rally racing? My dad raced class 1600 and class 10 cars, so I was always around it when I was a kid. I learned to drive in Glamis in our dune buggy.
That’s enough about me, let’s learn a little more about Emme and what makes her uniquely her. Emme competed in the Gazelle Rally for her third time earlier this year. The Rallye, Aicha Des Gazelles du Maroc is the a women’s only off-road rally. Created in 1990, this unique event brings together women between the ages of 18 and 65 from more than 30 different countries in the Moroccan desert. Whether in a 4x4, Crossover, quad, truck or motorbike, they all come to take part in the Gazelle Rally. With the freedom to choose their own path, competitors must drive the shortest distance to win. The Gazelles have to reach the predetermined checkpoints along their course in the least number of kilometers, rather than in the least amount of time. They have the choice of driving around a mountain or crossing over it, driving through the dunes or avoiding them...using only a compass, navigational plotter,
Let’s start with the basics, who are you? Emme Hall. I currently live in Oakland, California and I enjoy chocolate chip cookies.
What was your first car? A 1980 Toyota Celica 5-speed. It had an 8-track player with a cassette adapter and a sun roof. What Pro Driver /Car Legend / Famous Person would you like to spend a day with? I really want a driving lesson from Rob MacCachren. He drives a Trophy Truck now but he started in my class. I introduced myself at King of the Hammers this year and he replied, “Yeah I know who you are.” WHAT?!?!? I totally geeked out! What is your dream car? So many! I love the Porsche Boxster but I also have been a Jeep fan for a long time. Of course, I love air-cooled VWs, especially the VW Thing. It’s so ugly and awesome. What achievement are you most proud of? I have an amazing career that I built up with my hard work and some luck. JUNE 2016 GIRLS N’ GARAGES 59
I don’t have to depend on anyone, so I’m totally free. Do you feel like you are at a disadvantage in a male dominated sport/industry? Not really. Most of the guys are pretty cool, and if they’re not they will eventually filter down to the bottom. What is in your garage right now? My baby, a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata. What is your favorite car that you’ve owned / driven? I get to drive a lot of cars in my line of work, but I’m always happy to come back to my Mazdaspeed. Other than that I had a great time in a 2007 Land Rover Defender in Morocco and I got to drive the newest Boxster in Portugal. It was epic. What is your automotive related career? I am a reviews editor for Roadshow. We are the automotive department of CNET. I get a new car every week and write a review and often shoot a
video. Sometimes the manufacturers fly a group of journalists to a location for a press drive, so I get to travel a fair amount, both in the US and internationally. Can you describe the Gazelle rally in 3 words? Totally life changing. Describe your 1617 in 3 words: Big fat pig! What is your favorite event? Well, I love any kind of desert racing. I love the loop races in the high desert, where you race six 20-30 mile loops. Logistics are easy, and that means a lot when you’re on a tight budget. How did your family feel when you first started racing? My parents were super supportive. My dad is at every race and my mom comes out a lot as well. I think she worries more than my dad does though, so I always make sure I call her when I get out of the car if she’s not there. Where do you see the sport going in
5 years? It’s tough to say. There are so many regulations and insurance issues. It may be that we will have to race on private land or just move into stadium racing. How do you celebrate a win? Win? We are happy to just fucking finish! I celebrate a successful race with a Diet Dr. Pepper and a baked treat from our radio monitor and sometimes co-driver, Pepper Dey. Do you have any pre-race rituals? Pre-race I get Tammy, our time keeper and hair guru, to braid my bangs to get them out of my face. Then I make sure I have my stripey socks on! What is the Gazelle Rally and what does it mean to you? The Gazelle Rally is a 9-day all female off road rally in the desert of Morocco with no GPS. All navigation is done with a compass and points are awarded for shortest distance between checkpoints, not fastest time. There are no chase crews, no cell phones...and no whining! What was your most memorable experience at this year’s Gazelle Rally? Getting the ridiculously heavy Land Rover Defender up and over 300 foot dunes in Chegaga. I didn’t really have the best tires and I didn’t have bead locks. I could only air down to about 12 psi. I really had to be very careful on the throttle, keeping enough momentum to get up and over, but not so much as to launch over the top. There is nothing like looking up at one of those big dunes and knowing that you can conquer it!
could forget from the Gazelle Rally? We had a temperamental battery. It was located under my seat and it started to go bad on day 8. It was leaking and it smelled and it was really hot and all I could think was, “This battery is going to explode under my ass.” We had to borrow a portable jumper box from another team (I’ll have one of my own, next time) as sometimes it just refused to start the truck. If we had lost the battery, our rally would have been finished. On the last day we were so worried the battery was going to go south, it made the day really stressful. If you could give anyone advice for becoming a Gazelle, what would it be? There are always 1000 reasons to not do it. The rally is expensive, it’s tough to get time off, the main language is French, the logistics are a pain...but if you want to do it, you just find a way to work through those things. Trust me, once you get there and complete the rally, all those things will seem like a piece of cake! Don’t give up! If you have any questions I’m always available to chat about it. Oh, and bring your own toilet paper and an extra toothbrush. What is your favorite tool? Unfortunately I never get the chance to work on my car! The 1617 lives in the high desert and I don’t have a garage at my house. I really want to get a commercial space with a roll up door that I can live in and start teaching myself the basics, mostly likely on an old air-cooled VW!
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“Dream Big - and never give up. Let the naysayers fuel your fire. Go ahead... tell me I can’t.” bogi lateiner