Molly Gursky flies to Tampa, Fla., Sunday to join The Valkyrie Project —a team of women rebuilding a car, with a mission of encouraging participation of women in all aspects of the automotive industry.
Gursky and her husband, Steve, own and operate Driven Restorations from their rural Randolph home. Their car restoration business continues to grow with a goal of helping people drive their dreams.
Gursky is already living her dream.
She left her full-time job last summer to work for the family business, specializing in customer service and parts sales, but also helping out in the shop.
“I knew my way around a tool box from growing up,” Gursky said. “If Steve needs me to do something, I pick it right up.”
She said she really liked learning how to weld from Steve, and she has expanded her welding skills on other projects, including yard art and horseshoe art.
“I learn by doing,” Gursky said.
Gursky said one of the perks of working for the family business is that she can be home when her son is home, and work at times that work for her.
“I’m way more efficient when I manage my own time,” Gursky said. “This is what I always wanted to do.”
Gursky said their business is growing, with two to three complete frame-out restorations a year in addition to engine rebuilding, drive train work and fixing or upgrading cars.
Gursky grew up working on cars with her father, and took auto shop twice while in high school. She said her favorite auto shop project was panel repair – making it look like new again.
Gursky, who grew up near downtown Madison, said her parents empowered her and her two sisters to do anything. One sister now works as a mechanic for GM in Indiana. She likes the mission of The Valkyrie Project, and how it will “push the limits to show what females can do in the industry.”
Gursky will return from working on The Valkyrie Project on April 9. She said the project, which started in mid-March, should have reached a point where she can help with refinishing.
“There is probably going to be lots of sanding, maybe some filler work,” Gursky said.
Gursky said she learned about the opportunity after connecting with JoAnn Bortles through social media. Bortles is a well-known automotive and motorcycle airbrush artist.
Gurksy said she wanted to meet other women in the automotive industry and is really looking forward to being part of the team.
“Some of these women are leaders in the automotive industry,” Gursky said.
Gursky also likes the philanthropy side of the project, with money raised to provide support for families with children fighting cancer.
The Valkyrie Project car will debut in Madison on June 6 at the Hot Rod Power Tour at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
To learn more about Driven Restorations visit www.drivenrestorations.com.