1968 Camaro
Not Any Girl's Car
Michelle Welch is not your typical woman. She doesn't spend her days sitting on the couch passing the time watching QVC. She's the kind of girl who would ditch all of that to wrench on her latest project in the garage.

Michelle was born with hot rodding in her blood. She grew up with her dad and brothers who were into cars, and they had her helping since before she can remember. Growing up in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, there weren't the wine country classics we have out in California, there were tractor pulls. It was a family event. Michelle's dad taught her to love Chevy cars and trucks as much as her family members, and she would cheer them on at the tractor pulls and local drag races until her throat was raw and her voice was gone.

When she was 10 years old, Michelle and her father dropped a big-block Chevy into their 1980 Chevy pickup; that would become her first car. She loved the truck and drove it everywhere. It didn't have a speedometer, but all she needed to know was that she was ahead of everyone else.

When her love of speed couldn't be fulfilled by a truck anymore, she needed something that could pull its weight more efficiently. She set out looking for a Camaro, and when she found this one painted in the color she had dreamed about, she knew it was meant to be. It had a 400 small-block in it and a leaky transmission that nearly exploded the first time she got on it. The lady who was selling the car felt comfortable with Michelle because she didn't think the car would see any abuse at the track. She was wrong! In less than a month, the Camaro was powered by a big-block. The night it first fired, she had tears of joy running down her cheeks. She took the Camaro out for a spin, eager to light up the tires without the assistance of the brake. That's when she realized this car was a one-legger. The next weekend, she installed a posi, and everything was right with the world.

Michelle loves this Camaro more than most guys love their cars, and she's always improving it. She has been frequenting the dragstrip, collecting plenty of 8.8-second eighth-mile timeslips. Michelle tried her hand at autocross in a friend's Camaro, and is looking to rebuild her suspension for that kind of driving.