8 May 2015

Motoring Moms: Hold the flowers, bring on the cars

It’s that time of year again. The temperatures are rising, flowers are blooming and mothers are anticipating the annual extra boost of recognition that they deserve. Realistically, every day is Mother’s Day, but this Sunday we give an extra-loud, pavement-rumbling shout out to the car-loving moms around the world.

Amy Holbrook and her husband, Jon, of Jordan, N.Y., didn’t expect to have any children, but they now have a son, Brodix, who just turned 5, and the couple says he is the most precious gift they’ve ever received. Amy and Jon are known for their unique hot rod creations under the name Reaper’s Rejects. When they started their SkullRod build, Amy had just learned she was pregnant. Brodix went to his first Syracuse Nationals event at three months old, and he is very much an active member of their team, always doing whatever he can to help out in the garage, including the tedious task of sanding. Everything that Amy and Jon do revolves around their son, including their builds and hobby involvement, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Shelley Lincoln-Gibbs from Parma, Mich., says that her children, Nash and Carter, love cars as much as she does. Their car, named Frankie, is a 1951 Chevy Fleetline. The 350-cid engine, chassis and steering are from a 1976-77 Camaro. Shelly has been making upgrades here and there, and last summer she replaced the carburetor, but 2½-year-old Nash will proudly state that he, in fact, did the repairs. Both boys enjoy hanging out with mom while she works on Frankie. They help wash and vacuum the car, and Nash loves to sit in the front seat and crank the wheel. Carter, the oldest, begs his mom to pick him up from school, and he goes for rides as often as possible; he says he wants Frankie when he's older.

Robyn DeVillez from Knoxville, Tenn., is the proud owner of a mint and modified 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Her five-year-old son, Dresden, and her three-year-old daughter, Lilianna, attend all of the drifting and drag-racing events with her. Robyn has also taken them on multiple drives along a stretch of road known to car enthusiasts as the Tail of the Dragon, running from eastern Tennessee into North Carolina. Both Dresden and Lilianna love to help clean the car, and they will hand Mom the tools she needs while she works under the car.

Kim McCool from Delton, Mich., is a proud mom, grandma and owner of a 1951 Pontiac Tin Woody Wagon paired with a 1954 Toni-Home trailer. Her family has always been involved in cars, including hot rods, while their son was young, and in the past 15 years Kim has become very active in the antique trailer and camper lifestyle. Kim appropriated the wagon, and together her and her husband, Brian, built the Toni-Home for Kim’s involvement in an all-women outdoor group, Sisters on the Fly. Now Kim and Brian are building a modified 1963 Buick Riviera with an LS engine, but Kim’s wagon will never be replaced.

Klaudyna Ziemlo of Norridge, Ill., is a truck and car nut, and a loving mom to her son, Kody. She currently has a 1964 Ford F-100 that is powered by a 460-cid big-block engine, and the family also enjoys their custom 1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville.

Dorrie Bishop from Turtle, Okla., has had her 1973 Plymouth Barracuda for more than 20 years, and she drove it on the 2012 Power Tour. Dorrie has lovingly redone the Barracuda three times, and the current color, Inferno Red Pearl, matches her 2009 Dodge Challenger. Dorrie is the proud mother to two boys, Dwain and Daryl, and she has one grandson — the entire family loves cars.

Iowa resident Rosanne Schneider is building a 1947 Studebaker truck, and she is also doing all the work herself. Once the Studebaker is on the road, she plans to take her two grown children and her grandson to the annual Symco (Wis.) Shakedown, a huge outdoor hot rod and custom car show that also features a live music festival.

Kim Murphy’s 25 years of drag racing stemmed from her mom, Diana Murphy, who has been drag racing for more than 40 years. They go to a race every weekend at the Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, and they have done two Hot Rod Power Tour events together. Not only that, but the mother/daughter pair attend Daytona (Fla.) Bike Week every year, and they plan to be in Sturgis (S.D.) August 3-9. Kim’s daughter, Madisson Cline, is also very involved in the hobby, and has been going to the track since she was three weeks old; she just turned 18 this year. They are definitely a horsepower family!

Claricia Spears from Republic, Mo., has been driving the Pour Tour since 1995. In 2005, she participated in the Long Haul, traveling from Springfield, Mo., all the way to Florida during the first week of June, in a 1969 Camaro with no air conditioning and a black interior — while she was six months pregnant. What a trooper! Both of Claricia’s sons came home from the hospital in the Camaro, and she brought her oldest son, who was two, in the family’s 1958 Chevrolet Nomad station wagon through the entire Long Haul of the Power Tour. Both sons were at their first car show at one-week old; they are now nine and six years old. When the boys were younger, Claricia made them ABC books by using cutouts from car magazines to teach them the Alphabet: A for Antifreeze, B for Buick, etc. Claricia and her husband also used hot rods to teach the boys their colors.

Cheryl Braden has been a car girl since her teenage years, when she was a lifeguard and ran with guys who had sports cars. Her first non-hand-me-down family car was a 1970 MG-BGT purchased in England and shipped to the States. When she met and married her husband, Pat, it was like a dream come true; cars that she otherwise could never afford became the cars that she could drive every day. Their children, Lee, Kay and Patty, lived and breathed Alfa from the day they were born — a love of cars was instilled in them. Their youngest daughter, Patty, attends AROC conventions with Cheryl, and is carrying on the Braden Alfa tradition. Kay was known at her high school as the only kid who drove an Alfa to school, and in correlation, Cheryl was the only employee at her various workplaces who drove an Alfa. The family also had other cars, such as BMW Bavarias, Mercedes Benz, Moretti, Fiats, Abarth and some non-exotics, but Alphas always hold a special place in their hearts.

Cynthia Pierce in Hurst, Texas, isn’t a mom herself, but her mother was (and still is) very important to her. She was a complete hot rod wife, and Cynthia’s parents lived that lifestyle day in and day out. They bought a 1969 Pontiac GTO in 1980 as a family car, and when Cynthia was born in 1983, her dad made her initials spell “CAR,” and Cynthia came home from the hospital in the GTO. In 1990, the motor was pulled for restoration. There it stayed for many years, untouched. Cynthia’s mom passed away from cancer in 2004 before the car was completed. Finally, in 2011, the restoration began, and the GTO was finished in time to take it on the Power Tour in 2013, in her mom’s honor. When the motor turned over for the first time, and that 400-cid big-block came to life, tears rolled down their faces. This car embodies Cynthia’s entire family, and her mom smiles whenever it's driven. Today, Cynthia is following in her mother’s footsteps by living a hot rod life with her husband, family and friends.

Gayle Childers — with the help of her children, Tamisha, Falisha, Kimberly, Danny and Jason — restored her 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle, now named Dixie Rose, after the loss of her sister to breast cancer. Being a single parent, the family involvement was priceless to Gayle, and the restoration couldn’t have been completed without all of their support — so much support, in fact, that her son, Danny, gave Gayle a 454-cid Engine for Mother’s Day in 2014, just in time for Gayle to finish Dixie Rose for the 2015 Power Tour. Like many classics, Dixie Rose is more than just a car, she is an intricate part of the family, and now she helps bring awareness to breast cancer in a very unique way — Dixie Rose looks lovely in pink.

Patricia Bejma from Lampasas, Texas, is a mother of four teenagers: three girls and a boy. Patricia comes from a family of females who weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Her grandmother had an auto parts store, and her dad worked on his own cars with Patricia by his side. Patricia does the same with her own children. Her current project is an all-original 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook with a straight-six, and her daughters love picking up a wrench to help out — they are even talking about starting their own project cars. Patricia hopes to have endless generations of females in her family who can do the same.

Doni Langdon from Macomb, Mich. is the maker of Throttle Gals Magazine. She has three boys: 11-year-old Mike, 9-year-old Carter and 7-month old Morgan. Mike is learning to weld at an early age, and they all love going on road trips; one of their favorite things is being picked up in the family’s 1959 Chevrolet, otherwise known as  Ramona, for lunch. Mike and Carter will also help by watching Morgan if Doni is working on something too dangerous. They attend almost every show together — it’s a family affair, and the boys even wear Throttle Gals shirts to represent! When working on car projects they are known as Doni’s little “shop gremlins”. The boys understand it's not just what they do, but it is what the family is all about.

Do you know of an awesome mom who owns a cool car? Are you a car mom? Now’s the time to reminisce and tell us your story.

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