Car Girl: Toni Avery

Car Girl: Toni Avery from

Not many car enthusiasts can claim to have pictures from Monterey Car Week when they were a toddler, but Toni Avery has been immersed in car culture since her earliest memories. It's no wonder that she would go on to have a career in the automotive industry including being the first driver hired at Porsche Experience Center LA, writing for major car magazines, and founding her own automotive website I was able to interview her about her passion for cars, her site, and what's next.

Toni Avery Girls Drive Fast Too
Toni's earliest Monterey Car Week photo

TGR: Most car enthusiasts have a person that sparked their interest in cars, who was that for you?

Toni: My dad sparked my interest in cars from a very young age. He immersed me into vintage car culture taking me to concourse car shows where we'd have our vintage Alfa Romeo's judged. Our collection later moved primarily to British cars, but I grew up around Italian. Monterey Car Week was a huge part of our car culture life as was watching Formula 1 and going to smaller local shows. Later my dad took me to my first racing school and that's when the driving part of my interest started. 

TGR: A lot of people are into cars as a hobby, but what drove your passion to pursue a career in the automotive industry?

Toni: This is an interesting story. I actually never intended to go into the industry professionally, I more or less fell into it. I was still in college at the time and finally decided that I wanted to write. I went up to Car Week and that year we had our 1965 Jaguar E-Type being displayed and moved around by Jaguar USA for the 50th Anniversary of the E-Type. A local small Jaguar magazine asked me to write up a story about my experience that year and I did. From there the articles kept flowing and I eventually landed a paid staff writing position at a large automotive magazine company. 

TGR: What was your first car and what is currently in your garage?

Toni: My first car was a Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport Coupe 6-speed manual. I now have a 2017 Toyota 86 6-speed manual. 

TGR: Any cars you sold you wish you still had?

Toni: My 2005 Lotus Elise

Toni Avery Girls Drive Fast Too
Toni visiting with Jacky Ickx at Car Week

TGR: What inspired you to launch and what would you say its mission is?

Toni: I launched GirlsDriveFastToo originally as a fun blog to talk about my car adventures. It eventually became a proper website where I review cars loaned to me from OEMs and I cover events, interview significant people and write about my various track days, etc. 

The mission is to relate to anyone who loves cars and has a passion for them. Maybe a car guy/girl that isn't a mechanic but understands the basics and loves driving wants to learn about the new Supra. My review caters to that person. Or someone who wants to learn about driving dynamics in a way that's not so over your head but does want to get technical, my track day stories are for them. 

Toni Avery Girls Drive Fast Too
Off-road with the Jackson Racing Honda Talon Turbo

TGR: You have done more racing schools than most car enthusiasts, what school do you recommend for beginners interested in motorsports?

Toni: Great question. I love a lot of the schools I've been to. But for a beginner that wants the full school experience, I'd recommend Bondurant. They have been the most consistent in their teaching and have a wide variety of class levels and experiences. 

TGR: What was it like being the first hire at Porsche Experience Center LA for their driving team? 

Toni: It was amazing. I really enjoyed my time there as a full-time employee. I learned extremely valuable skills as a driver, coach, and product specialist. 

Toni Avery Girls Drive Fast Too

TGR: You get to review a lot of amazing cars, the new Supra, Shelby GT500, Aston Martin, etc... what car company do you think is getting it right as we go into 2021? 

Toni: Ford has exciting things happing it seems. As does Toyota and Honda/Acura. 

TGR: The best road trip you've ever been on?

Toni: The most memorable trip for me has always been going up to Monterey Car Week. We take the 101 the whole way and it's a pretty drive. 

TGR: What's next?

Toni: I'm currently working a few part-time gigs including my website. I'm also planning my wedding coming up this summer. 

Toni Avery Girls Drive Fast Too

TGR: Where is the best place for people to follow you?

Toni: I'm on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube under GirlsDriveFastToo.