Automotive women from across the nation have been showing up to work on a female-inspired re-build of a 1969 AMC AMX. The project is called Project Valkyrie, and the group who will be working on the vehicle all live up to (the meaning of) their projects name (which signifies ‘strong heroic women’).
The vehicle arrived to a Tampa, Florida suburb in March, and women from all walks have been working on the car since its arrival. Every week or-so there are a few additions to the team, many need to fill in for counterparts who can only stay for a certain amount of time.
The projects leaders are very well-known within the after-market industry and have years of applied experience under their belts.
Dr. Karen Salvaggio is a veteran of the US Air Force and brings thirty years of racing, team management and car building experience to the project. She assembled the build team by reaching out to women in the industry, and to local learning institutions who assisted her in identifying woman who are participating in the build.
Susan Carpenter is the project’s creator and brings over 25 years experience in project management and leadership. She will tend to the scope, the people, and the everyday details making sure it all comes together as planned.
JoAnn Bortles is a talented and very well known automotive and motorcycle painter. She leads the overall paint design and body preparation. Jo Ann is also working with a team of students in executing the paint and body work.
The re-build has a June 2015 completion and the AMX is getting everything from a new engine, to paint, and everything in between.
Stage 1: March 15, 2015 – June 5, 201 Vehicle rebuild and restoration
Week 1-2: Shop set-up, vehicle prep, and initial assessment, vehicle tear down
Weeks 3-6: Body work and paint
Weeks 7-11: Vehicle rebuild: Rebuild engine, replace transmission, rewire, replace interior, upgrade suspension, etc.
Week 12: Hot Rod Power Tour Preparation
Stage 2: June 6 – 13, 2015 – Hot Rod Power Tour
Stage 3: June 14 – September 15, 2015 – Competitive Events
The focus of the vehicle rebuild will be upon preparing the car for competition and events. The car has a significant road
course and solo competition event history, and as such, will be designed to compete in time trials and high-speed
performance events. Plans are to bring the completed vehicle to venues such as Good Guys, National Auto Sport Association (NASA), SCCA, and Ultimate Street Car-style competition events.
The completed car will also join the Hot Rod Power Tour and serve as the lead car for the “Valkyrie Road Warriors.” The trip will serve as a platform for displaying the car, and perhaps more importantly, will focus on giving back.
The team will drive for the Austin Hatcher Foundation, raising money for each mile driven, and visiting a number of hospitals along the route. Our visits will bring joy into the lives of children fighting illness by building Pinewood Derby cars and then racing them. The children and their families will be invited as honored guests of the Valkyrie’s at these stops.
Much of this boils down to the passion those involved have for the project. As women working in the industry, this project isn’t about “we are women, hear us roar,” but rather, and more importantly, about “here’s what a talented group of professional women can do.” For us, it’s about the journey of this project. The ups and downs, the issues we face (during the build), and how a group of women solve those issues.
Press Release submitted by: Susan Carpenter
Edited by: Diana Merrill Claussen