Women and Cars: Mechanic Brandy Goff’s 1970 Oldsmobile F85

Brandy Goff got her love of cars like most of us did: from her family. Brandy said, “There are few memories I can recall that don’t have cars in them. As a child, I remember watching my father and grandfather toiling away at their latest project in my grandfather’s garage. I was always their helper, handing them tools and parts, and pretending I was racing my father’s 1970 Oldsmobile F85 [pictured in this story] with my little brother trying on race helmets in the passenger seat. We were a car family, and I have always been a car girl since I can remember.

“While some children were out playing hide and seek, I would be at the track rooting for my dad to win while eating all of the crappy food my mom would allow. It was my happy place. Watching them roar down the quarter-mile and picking which one would win each round with my brother. Hearing the crackle of the engines and the smell of the exhaust. Loving cars is in my blood!”

Brandy’s first car was a 1971 Nova and a surprise from her grandfather. She told her dad she wanted a classic car as soon as she got her license; he didn’t really take her seriously at first, but luckily, her grandfather did.

“He took me to Carlisle for the first time, and I was in awe of the place. There was a beautiful, garage-kept, stock burnt orange 1971 Chevy nova and I pretty much fell in love. Then all of a sudden, my grandfather tossed me the keys and said, ‘It’s yours.’ Easily one of the coolest, most memorable moments of my life. My father teased me because it was four-door, but I didn’t care. It was mine, and I loved it. It was my daily driver for the next seven years, until I became pregnant with my daughter and had to buy a more practical vehicle: a 2018 Chevy Equinox. I still have the Nova, and while it’s currently out of commission, I plan on restoring it to its former glory as soon as I can.”

Brandy is not just a driver, she likes to turn wrenches as well and became a mechanic.

“There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting your hands dirty and fixing something. The sense of accomplishment I feel when I take something broken, and make it work again with my mind and my hands is unmatched. Some members of my family and friends told me I was crazy when I first became a mechanic. They said it would be too hard and I wouldn’t make it, especially as a woman in a male-dominated industry.

“Naturally, I wanted to do it all the more. There are some days when I throw my hands in the air and wonder what the heck I’m doing, I get so frustrated with a car and just want to give up. But I keep pushing through, and at the end of the day, I’m so happy that I do this for a living, and I doubt anything else will be as fulfilling and rewarding as being a mechanic.”