To design and construct the viewer-selected High Gear concept for the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women, some 20 female volunteers will spend six months creating a one-of-a-kind Mustang for a charity auction benefitting SEMA’s Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Sherry Kollien, the SEMA project manager for Ford, earns her living by helping the aftermarket make Ford products go faster and handle better. Kollien comes from a car-centric family, where tuning and racing cars was just part of growing up.
Still, even Kollien admits that her position in the industry is unusual, and many are taken by surprise to find a woman in what is still perceived to be a man’s role. That out-of-date perception, according to Kollien, is what makes this project so important.
Ford designer Jennifer Seely, who penned the High Gear concept, admits that she’s relatively new to to the world of automotive design. Her goal with the High Gear design was fusing luxury (represented by the satin Rosegold trim and stitched suede seats) with power (represented, of course, by the satin black Mustang GT).
Seely admits to getting inspiration from current design trends, not just in the automotive industry. Rosegold is a hot trend in jewelry design, explaining why Seely chose it for the Mustang’s accents. Gloss is out, while satin is in, explaining the dull finish on both the car and the wheels.
Even the car’s “angel eye” headlights were inspired by high-end automakers, and are used to give the High Gear Mustang an upscale touch.
Is the design a hit or a miss? That will be determined by the amount of money raised for SEMA’s Memorial Scholarship Fund, but this much is clearly demonstrated by the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women: it’s not just men who can restyle and tune cars.