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 ‘High Gear,’ Winner of Historic Ford Mustang Build, Puts Spotlight on Women Talent in the World of Customization

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​DEARBORN – The all-women vehicle customization project known as the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women, featuring a 2013 Ford Mustang GT, is on target for the unveiling of the winning design at this year’s SEMA show on Oct. 30 in Las Vegas.
The customized car, known as “High Gear,” was donated by Ford and will be auctioned on eBay immediately following reveal with proceeds slated for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, an organization dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket leaders and innovators.
Click here to listen to an interview with Seely as she discusses the inspiration and design philosophy behind “High Gear.”

Thirty aftermarket manufacturers, retailers and suppliers provided more than 50 high-performance, street-legal components for this historic build. Custom installations and modifications include an E-Force supercharger from Edelbrock, front and rear brakes from Wilwood, lowering springs from H&R, suspension system from Whiteline USA, exhaust from MagnaFlow, stereo from Kicker, P Zero tires from Pirelli and Forgeline GA1R wheels with a custom finish. In addition to the customization of the Mustang GT by a team of all women, many of the products donated came from companies owned by women.
“It was amazing to experience the huge amount of support offered by the SEMA member companies,” said Susan Carpenter, SEMA Businesswomen’s Network product coordinator. “The response was overwhelmingly positive in support of the scholarship fund and to raise awareness of women in the automotive aftermarket.”
“From the beginning, we felt the build would have a lot of great energy,” said Lindy Jewell of H&R Special Springs. “I knew our suspension would be a perfect addition to this amazing project. We encourage and support these unique ideas to broaden aftermarket awareness.”
The SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women, scheduled for completion in late August, involves five primary groups including the powertrain team, paint and body team, undercarriage team, interior and sound system team and the quality inspection team.
“Being a part of this project has been thrilling,” said Coelette Chenier, marketing coordinator, MagnaFlow. “With the help of team member Laurie Paolone, I learned how to successfully install an exhaust system as well as several other products. Now I feel like I can do anything, and some day I’m going to customize a vehicle of my own.” 
“There are many valuable one-of-a-kind Mustangs, yet none of them have ever been customized entirely by a team of women,” said Sherry Kollien, SEMA Project Manager, Ford Motor Company. “It’s worth stating that whoever successfully bids for this car is going to receive a very special piece of Mustang history.”
For a complete list of supporting SEMA member companies as well as a list of SBN team members and their bios, visit Follow the build progress at and



10/25/2012 6:00 AM