More women joining street rod, muscle car culture - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

More women joining street rod, muscle car culture

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Sherry Burkhead Sherry Burkhead
Curtis Burkhead Curtis Burkhead
Debbie Collini Debbie Collini

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The polished chrome and candy paint on the thousands of hot rods in town isn't just a hobby for the guys, but car buffs say there are still some misconceptions about women and cars.

Muscle car owner Sherry Burkhead says some people still think that women don’t know much about cars, or “that we’re just along for the ride with our husbands.” Burkhead grew up around cars. “My brother had a mom-and-pop gas station. I hung out over there.”

When Burkhead met her husband, Curtis, she noticed he had a sharp car, and he was impressed by her Mustang. She says he told her, “You’re the first girl I’ve ever met who liked cars.” Almost four decades later, her Mustang is at home while they show off his 1968 Camaro.

A car also brought Debbie Collini and her husband together. “A 1966 Mustang that belonged to him,” she said. “He sold it to go to college. My Dad bought it for me. A few months later we moved in, and he happened to be my next-door neighbor.” Now they have six cars stacked inside a three-car garage.

Of the 10,000 cars and trucks at the Street Rod Nationals, 1,000 belong to women – a growing minority.

Despite their mutual admiration for mechanical beauty, the Burkheads say they sometimes get competitive. “One year we caught a red light side-by-side on Preston Highway,” Curtis said. “She hollers at me, ‘I need to change lanes,’ and I said, ‘I don't think you're going to get over here.’” In the end, Curtis decided it wouldn’t look good in the news “having a husband and wife getting locked up for drag racing.”

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