Car Girl: Michelle Rickels

Name: Michelle Rickels
Age: 38
Location: Orange County, California (Irvine specifically)
Instagram: Twistedmichelle
Photographer: Mike Satterfield

How did you first get into cars?  Working with my Dad on engines. It was the only time he let me ask all the questions I wanted to without shooing me away. Started at 5 yrs old asking as many questions as I could think of while he was working on his jet boat engine. Those open headers and the amazing sound always fascinated me.

What was your first car? 1991 Full Size lowered Chevy Silverado crewcab.
Cars owned (other than above): 2004 Dodge Neon SXT, 2008 Dodge Charger SXT, 2007 Toyota Tundra long bed crew cab with 4 in" suspension lift and 35 in. tires, 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T and currently 2015 Ford Mustang GT and 2003 Lincoln Navigator ( I miss the outdoors and the Mustang doesn't exactly work well for camping).

What modifications (Or Restorations) are done to your car? Mustang: Eibach Sportline lowering springs (2in drop), Strada 20in. Wheels, Falken Azenis FK510 all around (255x35ZR20 in the front and 295x30ZR20 in the rear), Injen Cold Air Intake, CSF Triple pass high-performance radiator, Andersen Composites Carbon Fiber Wickerbill, MFR Engineering chassis-mounted custom aircraft aluminum side skirts and chin splitter and T-Rex  Formed Mesh Upper-Class Grille and muffler delete. Heat extractors, roof, and rear diffuser painted gloss black. 

Does it have a name? If so how did it come about? TwistedS550. Twisted has been my nickname for 15 years or so. Got the nickname because I was never one to shy away from a challenge no matter how crazy it may have sounded at the time. S550 is the chassis code for the Mustang model that I now have. Just meshed the two together and voila.

Have you attended, or do you attend any type of car events? One of the original members of the 70MileSaturdayElite Team. Local events (regional Cars and Coffee events and car shows), Clean Culture Events, Fabulous Fords as well as being the Co-Founder of Drive Together. Drive Together is my event brand of which we (along with other automotive influencers) put on car events and car cruises/runs.
Future plans: Currently in the middle of filming a directed documentary TV show called Horsepower Girls of which I am the associate producer of. It's about a group of girls that are all involved in the car scene in our own individual ways. Currently on track to premiere in 2018.
Over the past few years, I have taken a few classes/courses in decommissioned NASCAR vehicles. After the last one I did this May, it was then I figured out what my dream was and I have no plans of stopping until I achieve it, I want to drive NASCAR.

If there is anything about yourself or other, please feel free. : There is one motto I drive by. It's all about knowing when, where and how to push your car. No matter how fast I drive I always as safe as possible to the drivers around me. Yes, it's about winning but not at the cost your or another's life. Push yourself to the limits, but at the right time and place and always surround yourself with people you can learn from. The worst thing anyone can ever do is drive with their "ego". This is when you become distracted and when accidents can happen. 

From the time I was 5 yrs old helping my dad work on engines, to being in high school and going to the street races and learning how to drive by my friends that were street racers, going fast has always made me feel alive. It's the one time that I can truly relax. Completely filter out the rest of the world and focus only on being aware of my variables and surroundings at speeds that make me feel at one with the road.

In the end, driving/racing should be like breathing. All one fluid movement, no delays due to thinking on how to react. You just have to react like it is second nature/instinct. That split second that it takes for you to think it through could cost you are someone else's life. To truly develop these skills takes time and above all the aptitude. The best advice I can ever give is to take some sort of racing classes/school. It forces you to learn so much about how the car reacts in different conditions and how to be truly aware of everything around you.

Sponsor List:
Platinum Vinyl
MFR Engineering
MJR Wash