There are a ton of really cool 'AutoGirls' that I have gotten to know over the years. From mechanics to women who do body work & restoration, welders, fabricators, painters, race car drivers, writers, consultants, women who work for corporations and shop owners like me. Most of them live out of Vermont, which gives me a great excuse to travel multiple times per year.
Every November I travel to Arizona and Bogi and I make our annual drive to Vegas to attend AAPEX & SEMA otherwise know as Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. Bogi is one of my most favorite AutoGirls. Like me, she owns her own automotive repair business, but she is also an ASE Certified master technician, writer, speaker, educator and has co-hosted the show "all Girls Garage" on Velocity TV for seven years. Bogi is what I call a 'Bad Ass'.
Back in 2015 Bogi talked about buying a 1957 Chevy Truck and restoring it. We talked about how much work that would involve, and how she would need folks with body work, fabrication and painting skills to help her. We also talked about how cool it would be if she could put together a team of skilled women, and invite other women to participate who always wanted to get involved working on cars.
Next thing I knew, Bogi bought a truck that was in really rough shape and a building tucked back in an industrial side of Phoenix that also needed a lot of work to be usable. When I flew out in 2016 this is what found sitting in Bogi's driveway.
Bogi loves projects, and she now had a deadline of one year to get her new building ready, find sponsors to donate equipment, tools, parts and find qualified women to help her completely restore her truck before October 31st where it would be unveiled in the BASF booth at SEMA 2017.
Long story short.... she did it! I'm sure she would say it was the hardest year of her life, but also the most gratifying. I'm so proud of her & and all the women that contributed to the build. I had a great time playing with the truck and now I know even more awesome AutoGirls! Here is a video that BASF - the main sponsor made... you can get a good feel for how much time, energy and work went into rebuilding this beautiful '57 Chevy Truck!
Why was this project called The Chevy Montage?
The name “Montage” was chosen for the build due to its the unique combination of a vintage truck powered by a modern BMW M5 engine, as well as representing the collaboration of women from all over the country contributing to the success of the project.
The plan is to take the Chevy Montage on the road to industry events to showcase the 'truck built by women' and to stop at middle schools and high schools to show off the truck and talk with students about the many opportunities there are for them in the automotive trades.
Bogi says, "Follow your heart and your dreams, no matter what they are, because there’s no one path for anybody. And if this is what you love, go do it. Go make it happen."
You can follow along with the Chevy Montage's 2018 adventure:
Instagram / Facebook / YouTube
This picture was taken after the unveiling of the truck in the BASF booth at SEMA 2017. Not all the ladies that contributed to the build made it to the show, but we had a large turn out & it was wicked exciting!
Here are some awesome pictures taken by Hagerty.com for you to enjoy!
HERE WERE BOGI'S GOALS FOR THE PROJECT
[and yes... she achieved them all!]
*Celebrate and shine a light on the many women actively ‘rockin it’ in the automotive industry, and highlight all the opportunities for women that the industry offers.
*Create opportunities for women to try their hand at a large variety of the skill sets involved in a full vehicle build.
*Encourage more women to consider the trade as a hobby, or potentially as a career.
*Build a complete and running ‘57 Chevy Truck that is as unique as the women who worked on it.
*Attract both industry and mainstream attention in hopes of shining a positive light on the automotive industry which will help to attract new talent (both male and female) to an industry that is having a major labor shortage.
*Document the build on YouTube to educate and inspire the next generation of technicians, body workers, painters, enthusiasts and more.
*Create a supportive community of women who are passionate about the automotive industry. Foster friendships, mentorship and collaboration that will create opportunities for these women to be successful in their lives and careers.