Ford Assembles All-Women Build Team For Mustang SEMA Project

The first step of building a SEMA showcar? Have a design. The second step? Build a team to build the car. Thus far, Ford’s High Gear Mustang concept appears to abide by this formula. Weeks after a design theme was selected and ratified, the car’s build team – staffed entirely by women – is now falling into place.

As we reported last month, the High Gear Mustang’s design is the handicraft of Ford’s Jennifer Seely, who was reportedly inspired by upscale luxury goods like jewelry, couture apparel, and premium architecture. The Mustang – itself a 2013 Mustang GT – will receive satin black paint, LED angel eyes for the fog lamps, and rose gold accents for the grille, wheels, and mirrors. Interior touches include quilted suede and leather upholstery and rose gold trim to match the exterior.

Presently, the car only exists in the virtual form you see here – but not for long. The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) has spearheaded the construction of a 30-woman team, comprised of five groups led by the following individuals:

POWERTRAIN: JoAnn Bortles, from Crazy Horse Custom Paint in Waxhaw, NC. Interestingly, Bortles dreamed up this SEMA Mustang build after participating in an all-woman motorcycle build. Bortles has 30 years of experience as a custom painter and welding fabricator, and once owned a Mustang repair shop in the early 1980s.

PAINT/BODY: Theresa Contreras, from L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, CA, will lead the team tasked with giving the Mustang its new exterior look. Contreras has a background in graphic design and custom painting, and led a team to restore a ’71 Chevy pickup on an episode of “Car Warriors.”

UNDERCARRIAGE: Exhaust, suspension, and wheel modifications will be the domain of Mollie Lewis, from All in the Wrist Auto and Diesel Repair in Albuquerque, NM. Lewis has been in the automotive repair industry for 25 years, and is an ASE-certified mechanic.

INTERIOR/STEREO: Revisions within the interior are the responsibility of Kristin Martin, from Long Beach, California. Martin is a classic car nut, a founding member of the Gasoline Girls car club, and blogs about her car experiences at

QUALITY INSPECTION: Jennifer LaFever, from RoushYates Racing Engines in Mooresville, NC, has a degree in mechanical engineering and experience in component inspection. As such, she’ll ensure the High Gear Mustang comes together entirely as planned.

“I am thrilled to be working with such a talented team of women,” said Kellie Colf, SBN assembly coordinator and president of Colf Creative resources. “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 next step: to build the car, of course. You can keep tabs on the build progress by visiting

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0-60 MPH:

5.3 SECS


19 City / 29 Hwy

Horse Power:

305 @ 6500