Jane Thurmond is a Gearhead through in through. She's a professional performance driving instructor and has logged thousands of hours racing her 1964 Chevrolet Corvette "Scarlett."
Recently Jane has shifted gears a bit and started a new podcast called High Octane Hustle. This podcast is packed with awesome guests from all over the automotive world and Jane does a great job with it. We wanted to do our own interview of Jane, and get to know her a little bit more.
High Octane Hustle Instagram: @highoctancehustleofficial
Jane's Instagram: @fastlanejane_
High Octane Hustle Podcasts/YouTube: High Octane Hustle
1. When did the automotive bug bite you?
I remember seeing a corvette for the first time when I was about ten years old. It was at the corner of Roscoe and Topanga Canyon Blvd. Definitely a C3 in black with t-tops, flames and side pipes! It was loud and the driver was a totally scruffy dude! I loved it! From there I was always up in my dads business with his motorcycle and car friends. Bout that same age I started going to the boat drags with my dad either at Lake Ming in BAkersfield or Long Beach Marine Stadium. He had a lot of friends that were racers. So late seventies and early eighties.
2. Tell us about being a driving instructor?
I have always been a teacher. Started in fitness as an aerobics instructor turned personal trainer. From there I became the Fitness Director of Gold's Gym, Simi Valley and trained my staff. Never bought a gym so shifted into real estate. Same thing, started teaching clients and other agents contracts and basically how to sell real estate. Became a relocation specialist and mentor to new agents that required training. After I started racing as a hobby and did pretty well within my group, I was asked by Trish and Rob Byrd if I'd be willing to help some of the other female autocrossers. From there it was a natural progression to work for Bridgestone, BFG and now BRAKES. It was an easy and natural transition really from fitness to driving. Both areas require teaching your student how to use their body in the safest most effective way. I really love teaching because the end result is so incredibly rewarding. Seeing individuals growth and watching their confidence sky rocket is incredible.
3. Out of the Gearhead Coffee roasts - which one is your favorite? I'm a Dark Roast Gal myself! Big Block is amazing!
4. Do you use cream or sugar? How do you like your coffee? I love my coffee strong with real heavy cream and turbinado sugar. And piping hot. Just one cup for me!
5. What's one of your favorite builds you were a part of?
The SEMA ALL Female Build this year was cool. But honestly, I would have to say my car, Scarlett, the 64 Restomod Corvette built by our shop GTS Customs. Greg, my husband, has encouraged me to help with whatever aspect of the car I want. I've helped with bodywork, color sanding and polishing. With oil change, engine repair, ring and journal bearings, drivetrain and clutch removal and replacement, brakes and suspension and even some interior work. His car too!
6. What's your biggest automotive accomplishment?
I look back on all of the opportunities I have had within the automotive world and it's hard to just pick one thing. Starting my motorsports career at the age of 50 has to be a pretty big deal. But to actually create a career in motorsports that includes teaching, motorsports journalism and now podcasting, I honestly never thought that sliding my little corvette would have morphed into something so huge!
7. Any words of encouragement for up and coming Gearheads? I love this question. And my answer is a resounding yes! First - never say never! If you are gifted an opportunity that sounds even a little interesting - GO FOR IT! You never know where it may lead you. And DO NOT be afraid that you don't have enough experience. WE all start somewhere. Just start. And last but probably most important to me - Regardless of what industry you are in - age is just a number.
I have ALWAYS loved cars. In fact at the age of 17 I dated a guy that had two very cool cars. A badass 78 Ford Bronco, lifted off road, 429 Cobra Jet engine and a 69 Camaro Z28! I was seriously into cars and the car culture. So I chose accordingly. That guy I dated is the man I've been married to for 38 years today! And we have owned and built more than forty personal badass cars over the years.
The point is you never know where your passion will take you. BE open to that idea. And enjoy every part of the journey. I've met some of the most incredible people in this industry that I have learned from and been inspired by. For that I am eternally grateful.
We thank Jane for her time and make sure to follow not only her, but High Octane Hustle for the coolest podcast out there!