By Amie Williams
It was only a few short years ago when I was slinging coffee behind the bar at Starbucks and working the cash register at a local surf shop. I have been a server and hostess, I’ve done the whole retail thing, and I entered countless promotional data into an ancient computer for an organic food distributor. Things have certainly changed.
It’s funny what one car can do. Back in 2010, I started writing for a small blog on MustangEvolution.com, and I moderated their forums as a hobby. It wasn’t long before I realized that I was good at it, and I was soon contacted by AmericanMuscle.com and StangTV.com to provide paid blog content. I attended my first SEMA show in 2011 with my trusty Nikon handy and met up with Evan Smith, editor of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine at the time. It wasn’t long before I had jumped in head first providing event coverage and writing car features for one of my favorite magazines. After a couple years of freelance work, I landed a full-time job in Tampa, Florida, as an Associate Online Editor for Source Interlink Media, owner of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords, Modified Mustangs & Fords, and Mustang Monthly magazines.
After working full-time for a little over a year, the company restructured and home base was moved to California, and then the sad day for print magazines as a few of our favorite magazines such as 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords and Modified Mustangs & Fords were axed or absorbed by similar publications. Even worse, our Tampa office doors were closed for good. Luckily, I was able to get right back into freelance work with Power AutoMedia helping with titles such as StangTV.com, Dragzine, Off-road Xtreme, etc., and also started writing a little for GM-EFI.com that was started by the former editor of GM High Tech magazine. As soon as things settled down on the print magazine home front, I jumped right back on board with the new editor of Muscle Mustangs, Henry De Los Santos. As of right now, I run the Snap Shots section in the back of the book, and I write features (that also appear on Mustang-360.com), as well as help with social media.
This year I’m adding another notch in the belt. Evan recommended me to ProMedia, LLC., the company that runs the NMRA (National Mustang Racing Association) and NMCA (National Muscle Car Association) series, and I’ve been traveling up and down the east coast as a video assistant, I guess that’s the best way to describe it. I don’t really have an official title, but I hang out trackside and provide footage of all of the heads-up action.
I’m happy now to be a part of the Team Mustang Girls blog! It’s crazy to think that one car can create everlasting friendships and memories. It was just a year ago that Courtney invited me to go on my first rally with her, and I’m happy to help her navigate Rally North America for the second year next month. We also made a committed trip from South Carolina to Las Vegas and back for the SEMA show this past year in Courtney’s ’65. On our way home, we decided to tack on a few more hours and take on the Tail of the Dragon on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, a popular mountain road for auto enthusiasts and motorcycles with its 318 curves in 11 miles. This year’s RNA Big Sky Rally will take us from Montana all the way to Portland, Oregon. By the way, this year’s charity is benefiting Camp Sunshine, a retreat in Maine dedicated to helping kids who are fighting life-threatening illnesses, and their families, so please be so kind as to donate by clicking here!
But, let’s rewind for a minute. I’ve always been interested in cars and machinery. My brother and I spent every childhood summer with our dad, a skydiving instructor and pilot, at whatever airport he may have been occupying at the time. Mom would drop us off at the closest small airport and we climbed into my dad’s one-seater Cessna “jump plane” and soon we were off to Michigan or Florida or wherever he landed. Living on the airport in an old renovated school bus, my dad, was always tinkering on airplanes, and I was fascinated, always trying to find a way to help. Not only was he always working on planes, he had a soft spot for old Chevys. Sadly, my dad’s mechanic lessons stopped when I was just 12 years old after his plane crashed in Arizona. Sorry to throw in the Debbie Downer, but it’s part of the story, you know?
My first car driving duties were served in a blue ’93 Mitsubishi Eclipse complete with junkyard engine. It was a manual and my stepdad taught me how to drive it during a Category 1 hurricane. It was a little four-banger that left me stranded everywhere, and it was as if the belt had a job of interrupting the occasional afternoon football practice. It was a bittersweet moment when it finally decided to blow a head gasket. I won’t get into how many cars I’ve owned, but the only one that ever seemed to matter was that first Mustang.
One of my best friends had purchased a ’99 Formula One Firebird after trading in his Midnight Blue ’88 IROC-Z. I remember the day that he finally let me drive it. We just so happened to pull up next to a Fox notch at a red light. A scared look my way and “Amie, don’t you even think about it.” Light turns green and I chirp it all the way through third. The Mustang is in my rearview and I’m in 6th and gone. Always at car meets, car shows, drag races, and if we weren’t, we were usually just hanging around someone’s engine bay, or just changing oil in the driveway. Midnight drag races at Pecan Park took up plenty of weekend nights.
Why Mustang? It was the car my mom didn’t want me to have. It was the car I’ve always wanted. When I finally moved out from under my mom’s roof, it was the car I bought – a black 2001 V6 manual with an aftermarket true dual exhaust. Honestly, it became a money pit, and after starting a new job, I needed something a little more reliable. I cried the day I finally traded it in for a brand new Focus and the salesman decided to burnout as he took it to the back of the lot. Even though the Focus was a fun little car to drive, I missed having a Mustang. That’s when we decided to buy another V6 Mustang in Sonic Blue, my favorite color. A few years and a bent k-member later, I bit the bullet and traded it in on the two-tone three-valve that I drive now. I am undecided on keeping the ’06 and throwing some money at it or whether to start looking into that fourth Mustang. Those S550 Mustangs are looking more and more appealing.
Well, that’s me summed up as much as I could scrunch. Thanks for reading my ramblings, and I can’t wait to bring you more from Amie’s Agenda!