Enthusiast Spotlights

Enthusiast Spotlight: Offroader Jenn Garcia

Introduce Yourself

I moved to Atlanta 7 years ago from Elizabeth, New Jersey – a place where horn honking is a natural as breathing. I used to love driving down the NJ parkway with my music blasting letting go of all the days troubles. Atlanta traffic can make that a little harder to do. I am a proud Latina (my parents are from El Salvador) and a huge animal advocate.

Going off-roading in NC and SC. It was en expert level course. I had to leave the vehicle I was in….

How did you get into cars?

When I was younger my cousin would work on modding his car. We had a street racing place in Newark NJ, where you could go and watch races for fun, money, and pinks. We had to park far away enough to get away from the cops. It was fun. Now I primarily look for car shows and opportunities to take my Toyota offroad.

(ShiftAtlanta does not endorse street racing of any kind.)

It was easier to meet other females into the same things in the same area.

What is your favorite thing you’ve ever done behind the wheel?

Going off-roading in NC and SC. It was en expert level course. I had to leave the vehicle I was in and ride with some friends who modded their Toyota FJ Cruiser. I thought we were surely going to tip over a few times, it was a blast. 

What’s the biggest regret you have regarding a car you’ve owned?

Aside from being in a wreck in a previous car, this is the first time I’ve owned a vehicle I’m proud of. My Toyota RAV4 Adventure is my absolute favorite. 

What do you wish was different about car culture?

It was easier to meet other females into the same things in the same area. I can find other females upgrading their Rav4’s, but they’re usually always in a totally different part of the country or world.

Definitely driving through Blue Ridge whenever I have some extra time… I like riding that most of the way whenever possible. The scenery and peacefulness is breathtaking,

What’s your favorite car thing to geek out about?

Body kits and interiors. I love watching all the car shows where they completely redo the car, to a point where it almost doesn’t look like the same car. 

Tell us about some of your favorite driving experiences?

I wasn’t driving, but I was in the passenger seat when we drove through The Tail Of The Dragon twice. And definitely driving through Blue Ridge whenever I have some extra time on my way to or from NJ, I like riding that way whenever possible. The scenery and peacefulness is breathtaking, the option to always pull over on the side to appreciate the view is my favorite. 

How does your family feel about your love of cars?

My mom doesn’t get it. All she wants is for the car to be reliable but it’s more about the abilities, looks, and possibilities that it can be turned into a different vehicle. 

What are your other hobbies? 

I read a lot, side hustle as a pet-sitter, and produce music. 

Everyone has car stories, tell us one that your friends already know but love hearing about anyway. 

It’s car related but not in a car. It was my first time driving to NYC so as soon as my friend got off from work we went through the tunnel and arrived. We were so excited that we parked and headed to our cafe destination. Well time went on and it was getting closer to having to go but we didn’t pay attention to where we parked the minivan. We also were NOT supposed to have driven into the city. At about 4am after many phone calls to our parents, explaining how we messed up and sorry that we’re 17 and in NYC, after running up and down every street in 10 blocks we found my mint green Nissan Quest minivan. I miss that thing, her name was Big Bertha. 

If you had unlimited money and 5 garage bays- what would you buy to fill them up? 

OOOOOOOH yes I would have:

  • 4Runner TRD-OFF Road package
  • Tesla S or X
  • Vdub bus
  • 1965 Black Shelby Mustang
  • Tarform bike

If you are not familiar with what a Tarform bike is, here you go. (Editors note: We didn’t know either!)

Courtesy of the NY Times

Where do you go when you want to just go for a quiet drive? 

Well here in GA I don’t really go anywhere, too much traffic. But in NJ I use to go to the beach all the time, I would pick up my friend, and we would drive down 1&9 until it became 9 and would follow that through all the beach towns. It was my absolute favorite and very therapeutic for my teenage and young adult angst.

What advice do you have for someone who’s just moved to Atlanta and is into cars? 

Lot’s of random parking lot car shows! Keep your eyes open you’ll never know what gem you’ll see driving down 400 racing around you. There are plenty of spots to go driving within a few hours of ATL. Make it a great weekend getaway by turning your drive into a camping trip or go off-roading.

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