Kristin Cline

1955 Studebaker

1960 Ford Falcon

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Since taking the leap into owning and working on her own hot rod, Kristin hasn’t been able to get enough of cars. Her career path leaped from medicine to marketing within the automotive world. If it’s got wheels and guzzles gasoline, she’s interested. In her day job, Kristin dabbles in the import & tuning world. For most of the other time, she can be found with good ‘ol American steel. She chronicles her hot rodding and wrenching adventures on her GREASE GIRL blog as well as the online magazine My Ride is Me.

Kristin's 1955 Studebaker

Long term, Kristin has a vision of creating a program/business to teach women in jeopardy mechanical skills that can translate into possible careers, thus combining both of her passions: automotive mechanics and social justice.

Kristin is lucky to have paired up with her dream car as her first vintage car project. Stude, a ’55 Studebaker Champion, is a work in progress and a labor of love. Over the years, Kristin has learned varied skills from general mechanics (such as changing a transmission, brakes, and lashing valves) to upholstery and pinstripping.  For those down times with Stude, she has Davey, her 1960 Ford Falcon to fill in the gaps.

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My 1955 Studebaker, more affectionately known as “Studie”, has been my daily driver around traffic-laden Los Angeles for a few years (I now have a modern back-up…but I drive Studie as much as possible!) I bought her before I knew anything about cars! Knowing it was a risk buying a 50-plus-year-old car that I’d have to depend on – I figured if it didn’t work out, I could sell her without a loss.

Well…worked out it has…better then I would have ever imagined! I love my Studie and the adventures and friends she brings along with her. Driving an old car is much more fun then just looking at one!

THE TO DO LIST:

CURRENT PROJECT:

  • Davey (my 1960 Ford Falcon) has been off the road for awhile. I’m now diving into my first engine rebuild – deciding to keep the straight-six versus switching it out. I’m not quite sure where this project will lead, but I’m excited to be working without a time constraint for once!
  • Studie needs a fuel system overhaul – which I’m in the middle of right now.

UPCOMING PROJECTS:

  • Replace rubber seals around doors and rear windows… before the rain comes!
  • Interior! I knew my fabric choices weren’t long-lasting ones when I rebuilt my interior 3 years ago. Driver’s seat-back is falling apart and it’s time to dream up what I’d like her to look like next! So much fun… almost like getting a new outfit!

COMPLETED PROJECTS:

  • Metal flaked the roof of Studie, with help from Pati the professional and the Gasoline Girls of course!
  • Brake System upgrade: dual-resevoir master cylinder with power boost and braided lines!
  • Replaced rubber brake-line at rear-end after losing 100% of brakes! Thank God no person or car was harmed!
  • Rebuilt front suspension. Adding new control arm bushings and shocks. Cleaned and inspected all other components.
  • Painted inside of rear emblem so “Studebaker Champion” is easier to read.
  • Gave her some new shoes! Changed out her vintage hub caps for Moon discs while at my brother’s shop in Las Vegas. While I was at work doing drilling my rims to fit the discs, my brother noticed that the alternator bracket was broken so he welded it back together for me. Lucky for me this was taken care of before I got on the road to Bonneville to attend Speedweek!
  • Replaced transmission, along with the help of Lori and Bart, up at Gene Winfield’s place where she’d been stranded.
  • Changed spark plugs, valve cover brackets & gaskets, distributor wire loom, lashed valves and did some engine tuning!
  • Much more…I’ve had her for a while now and am learning more and more about her and cars as things need fixing! What a thrill! See more of my past adventures over on my website, GreaseGirl.com.



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