The SpeedGirls Magazine


Stiff, Solid and Fast!

Cristal H is building a wicked '77 Chevy Camaro
Cristal Hernandez Feature on The SpeedGirls Magazine

Glowing sparks. Small bits of molten metal perform a synchronized dance across a concrete floor.  Like a subtle glowing rain, that would easily burn tiny holes into your clothes and singe your skin.  It sprays, falls, then dances to a forceful rhythm of a high speed disk – grinding and tearing away the once solid metal, that lay in it’s path.

If you approached a garage into this scene of flashing sparks, grinding metal and the piercing sounds of sheetmetal work – most likely, you’d be surprised to see a young woman stand up, set down the grinder and break your heart with a smile. But here we are, in Cristal’s garage.

Her passion for cars began like most of us —  long ago in our youth.  For some of us it was a movie or a ride in an old muscle car. But Cristal’s love began with her family.  Between her brother’s massive collection of Hot Wheels and the longs hours of standing along side her father, holding wrenches and learning the trade. It became a lust.

Her lust leads us to present day, back in the garage working on her 1977 Chevy Camaro.  But getting the car in her garage was no easy task.  Cristal had her heart set on this ride the day she saw it.  Unfortunately, her parents weren’t too hip about having it sitting around, rusting away in the humidity of North Carolina.  But Cristal had a plan. She decided to take a trip to South Carolina and purchase the car, despite of her parents consent.

She then hid the car as if it were “Bumble Bee” from a scene in Transformers . . .  and for quite awhile it sat, until finally her birthday arrived. So guess what mom and dad?  “I bought myself a present.” Cristal said.  This was the moment her ’77 joined the family.

Since then, it’s been over six years and there’s been a lot going on. “I’ve torn it down to it’s shell for a complete restoration. I’ve done a lot of body work right now, straightening all the dents, cutting out all the rust, and the subframe has been sandblasted, and will soon be ready for paint.”  Cristal said.

Talk about a full restoration. This car is gets a lot massaging by Cristal, – what a lucky car. She’s a hands on girl, but we guess that’s how they’re raised in the south. She continued to tell us about the other projects taking place.

“I’m upgrading the suspension with all polyurethane bushings and switching to a Hotchis four-link in the rear.  Also installing subframe connectors and a roll cage to really make is solid.”

She continued, “Right now I’m rolling the fenders to accommodate larger wheels and tires in the front and back.”  Well – that’s interesting because usually when that happens to a muscle car, it’s to support drag racing or pro-touring modifications.  So we had to indulge about her favorite driving habits and she confirmed that yes, the car will soon have an LS1 swap for drag racing habits backed by a pro touring driveline.

Wow.  Are you speechless?  Are you curious as to what the hell we just talked about in the past two paragraphs? Either way – we agree.  Cristal is one bad ass chick that like many — wants her ride to be stiff, solid and fast!