A ring echo’s throughout the body shop as a hammer slaps down onto a fender panel. In rhythm, it smooth’s out the out the surface onto a once crinkled sheet of metal, like rock-n-roll drummer playing a solo until the panel is ready for primer. For Carolanne her job as a body repairperson was a career she stumbled onto, but now it’s leading her into another high-impact adventure.
“When I was younger my father had a ’79 Trans Am, “Bandit” edition. We always attend old car exhibitions, and that’s how my love for automobiles began.” She says. Finally when she was old enough to dive, her mother helped purchase a 2004 Honda Civic, and although it wasn’t quite like the Trans Am, at least it sported a manual transmission.
Being a young adult living in Montreal Quebec, she noticed all of her friends where beginning careers and leaving off to other places. “I was the only one of my friends who didn’t know what I wanted to do later, so I started to keep up with a friend who’s father who owned a body shop.” She says. “He made me try several things to help him build his car.” It was a lot of fun and I realized this is what I want to eventually do!”
After that experience, she decided to attend South Shore trade school specializing in bodywork and eventually picked up a role at a local body repair shop in St-Hubert; of which she’s been at for the past three years. “I am the person who repairs the bumpers, the quarter panels, the doors, the roofs and all the other parts of a vehicle.” She says. But soon, her knack for fixing cars opened the door for a new adventure.
I’ve always been into racing and for about two years, I started attending to almost every Drift Mania Canadian Championship (DMCC) drift event in the area.” She said. She was so turned on by the motorsport that that in 2017, she purchased a worn out, stock 1993 Nissan, 240SX and began stripping it down to craft into a drift car.
“When I bought the 240 it was all original and since then, I’ve installed a roll cage, reworked the wiring, replaced the OEM seats with Sparco racing seats and five-point harness.” She also custom painted the engine bay and the interior of the car turquoise, and says over the winter will be painting the exterior.
“There’s going to be a lot done not only with the body, but over winter I’ll be installing my new hydraulic handbrake and the coil-over suspension.” She continues to say that her goal is to have the car fully ready for racing in the 2019 CDMM Championship, and to do so not only is there mechanics to prepare for, but also driving.
That’s when she and her best friend began the “Unicorn Drift Team” (Link https://www.facebook.com/UnicornDriftTeam) in an effort to document each others drifting adventures, from Carolanne’s 240SX project build, to practicing and learning the skills it takes to compete in the upcoming CDMM.
She says, “I finally took out my car this summer a few times for road tests. But the first time I tried it on a drift track at Napierville Dragway in Quebec, Canada. Even though the car was not going well, I was in heaven and I finally realized my dream of driving my Drift car!”
Now that she’s got a few driving lessons under her belt, there’s a lot more to come from this girl. All in all, from building her car to drifting, and even showing off in an eventual automotive photo-shoot, Carolanne’s beginning to heat things up in Canada.