The first car-loving woman I met was my Mother. She was always very vocal about her love of cars, and her stories almost always included mention of a car or an adventure enjoyed whilst driving. As a child, I remember her speaking to the car from time to time, especially after a particularly fun corner. “Good job!” she would say, and pat the steering wheel lovingly.
My Mother was the first person who taught me to listen to cars: the sounds the engine makes when it requests an upshift, the feeling of a tire losing grip and the scent of tired brakes, among others. The men in my life taught me how to change a tire and brake pads, but Mom fostered my favorite part of being a car-owner: the pure joy of the interaction between woman and machine.
Over the last four decades, I have met several car-loving women in everyday life. Women who, after spending years as chauffeurs and commuters, found their way to a race track and transitioned to performance drivers. Women who confessed to me, in hushed tones, that they have always secretly wanted to drive their cars fast enough to scare themselves, but haven’t yet because “it wouldn’t be the responsible thing to do.” Women who are automotive engineers, test pilots for tire companies, and driving instructors at performance driving schools. Women who, like me, are engaged by the sound of cars and derive joy from the driving experience. Some of us work in the automotive industry, but the majority of us are living everyday lives with partners and children and enjoying our cars in between.
This blog is for all the car-loving women out there who manage to take the long way to the grocery store in between a work meeting and a play date. Enjoy the winding road and the joy of a perfect downshift!