The all-female build team is now finalized for the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. Starting this month at Source Interlink Media’s Southern California headquarters, a team of technicians, enthusiasts and industry personnel will work together to customize the 2013 Ford Mustang GT donated by Ford Motor Co., the title sponsor of the project.
The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) assembled more than 30 women for the team, which will install 50-state, street-legal aftermarket parts provided by SEMA-member manufacturers and suppliers on to the Mustang GT. The team will transform the vehicle into the winning design, a black chrome satin luxury Mustang concept known as “High Gear,” which was designed by Jennifer Seely of Ford and was chosen by Source Interlink magazine readers and fans in June. The completed vehicle will be auctioned off on eBay Motors with proceeds being donated to the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Kellie Colf, SBN assembly coordinator and president of Colf Creative Resources, said, "I am thrilled to be working with such a talented team of women. There are SBN members coming in from all corners of the industry, with all levels of expertise and it’s amazing to witness. The best part is that I get to work with other like-minded female gearheads, build an amazing car and help fund scholarships for future industry leaders all at the same time!"
The following women from the SBN will lead their respective teams during each phase of the build in El Segundo, Calif.:
Powertrain Team: JoAnn Bortles, Crazy Horse Custom Paint, Waxhaw, N.C.
The SEMA Mustang Build was a brainchild of Bortles after she participated in a successful all-female motorcycle build. Bortles has more than 30 years of experience as an award-winning custom painter, airbrush artist, welder/fabricator, photojournalist and is the author of six books. In addition to having owned a Mustang repair shop in the early ‘80s, she is one of the first women to own and operate a custom paint shop in the United States.
Paint/Body Team: Theresa Contreras, L&G Enterprises, San Dimas, Calif.
With a background in graphic design, Contreras’ vast experience includes vehicle design concepts and renderings, with a specialty in custom painting. She’s been featured numerous times in paint tech articles and recently participated in an episode of “Car Warriors,” where she was the first female team leader. During the competition, Contreras led her team to victory with their 1970 Chevrolet C-10.
Undercarriage Team: Mollie Lewis, All in the Wrist Auto and Diesel Repair, Albuquerque, N.M.
Lewis has been in the automotive/diesel service and repair industry for 25 years. Her certifications include: EPA Certification Refrigerant and Reclamation and Handling, MOOG Alignment Certification and No Code Diagnostic Strategies. As an ASE-certified technician, Lewis is well equipped to lead the team of women who will install the aftermarket exhaust, suspension, wheels and tires.
Interior & Stereo Team: Kristin Cline, Cie Studios, Long Beach, Calif.
Cline’s automotive experience began when she acquired her first classic car more than six years ago. Cline is comfortable working on various years/makes/models of vehicles and maintains her own blog about the automotive hobby at greasegirl.com. She also is a founding member of the Gasoline Girls car club, where she shares her knowledge and encourages other women to get their hands dirty in the garage.
Quality Inspection Team: Jennifer LaFever, RoushYates Racing Engines, Mooresville, N.C.
Jennifer LaFever has been in the automotive industry for several years and has earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and attended Universal Technical Institute for automotive technology and motorsports. LaFever’s expertise is in component inspections, mathematical calculations and diagnostics with a strong understanding of electronics.
The SBN Vehicle Build Task Force is comprised of Task Force Chair Rose Kawasaki (Exports International), Project Vehicle Coordinator Sherry Kollien (Ford Motor Co.), Assembly Coordinator Kellie Colf (Colf Creative Resources), PR/Media Coordinator Camee Edelbrock (Schiefer Media Inc.) and Product Coordinator Susan Carpenter (JR Products). Advisors include Mike Spagnola (Street Scene), Joel Ayres (Bedslide) and Marla Moore (Hypertech).
For more information about the women behind the project and the manufacturers supporting them, visit www.sema.org/SEMAMustangBuild and follow the build at www.youtube.com/MotorTrend and www.HOTROD.com.