One of the great things about the automotive community is that everyone has a different reason for sparking (pun intended) their interest. Some are born into it, some find the chaos calming, some just want to know how things work, and the list could go on and on. Along with the passion comes different levels of involvement. That level of involvement is the determining factor for one’s impact on the automotive community. For Britney Friesen (known as “Britney Automotive”), her passion has led to having an impact on millions of people in the automotive space, and being a voice for women in the community.
Britney had the start many of us wish we had; she was born into a family of car builders and drag racers. Growing up immersed in car culture, she eventually joined in on the fun for herself. She is now known for building and racing her ’93 LT-1-powered (not to be confused with the Gen V LT1) Camaro, “The Ugly Stepchild.”
“I grew up in a family of builders and drag racers, so when I turned 16, I started racing. At first, I wanted nothing to do with the building portion of a car. But at the age of 20, I bought the car, and by the next year, I began building it with my dad as my teacher,” she says of her early days. “It started as a budget build, so the first year all we really did was rewire the entire thing; that’s when Britney Automotive began.” Britney loves to share her history and upbringing in the world of racing. When she first found her online voice, she made a video talking about her humble beginnings.
After rewiring the Camaro, Britney knew it was time to dive deeper into the build. “It was still a budget build, so I rebuilt the Gen 2 LT-1 myself with a few other minor upgrades. I knew I wanted the original LT-1 Camaro to stay an LT-powered car, but I wanted the new-age technology. One night, my dad and I were having a conversation about Direct Injection, how it worked, and how it wasn’t well known yet. It sparked my interest, and I wanted to learn more about it. It was also a good chance to make YouTube videos about something no one else was doing at the time. So, I bought an L87 from a friend and rebuilt it to what it is today.”
Today, The Ugly Stepchild sits as a fully built drag-and-drive car. Britney has greatly upped her game from her starting point. Her 6.2L L87 sits in a UMI K-member, and features milled factory heads that have been upgraded with new springs, locks, retainers, and seals. Point 1 head studs keep the cylinder heads securely in place. Total Seal gas-ported rings, a custom grind camshaft, and 3/8-inch Trend pushrods are some of the other high-performance goodies you can’t see. The things you can see are a Holley low ram intake with a two-stage dry direct port system from Nitrous Outlet, a Holley 105mm throttle body, and Hooker headers. All of these things are working together thanks to a Holley Terminator X System with a GDI direct injection controller, a Painless switch panel, a Holley relay board, and topped off with an MSD solid state relay board.
After hearing about all of the work Britney has done on this Camaro, knowing what changed her mind about the build was important; especially since she initially didn’t want to be involved with the build portion of the car.
“I gravitated toward working on it more when I realized no one was coming to the rescue to build it. I grew up in a family where if you wanted it, you had to work for it. Although my dad was excited to be my teacher, he didn’t want to be stuck just building it for me. My interest in cars started to increase, and I found myself wondering how things worked and why. Thankfully, my dad was willing to teach me as long as I wanted to learn, and he plays a huge role in where I am today.”
Relaying all of that nitrous-fueled power to the rear wheels is a stout TH400 transmission with a transbrake valve body, that features a first- or second-gear launch option, and a Circle D 230mm bolt-together torque converter. A Dana 60 rearend with 4.10:1 gears and Strange Engineering axles transfers power to the ground. The Billet Specialties wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber are kept planted with Menscer double adjustable coil-over shocks all the way around, a TRZ Motorsports pan-hard bar/anti-roll bar combo, BMR lower control arms, and a BMR tunnel-mount torque arm.
Britney’s impact on the automotive community isn’t measured just by the racing or wrench-turning she does, but more by her willingness to learn, teach, and inspire. When doing one-off builds, it’s common for things to be held close to the vest, but Britney started her social media journey based on the idea of helping others do exactly what she’s doing. Her actions in the automotive space not only act as stepping stones for the community as a whole but open the doors for more women to step in and be more involved.
In a realm as diverse and dynamic as the automotive community, individuals like Britney Friesen truly stand out, not merely for their technical prowess but for their commitment to elevating and educating others. Through her tireless endeavors, both behind the wheel and in front of the camera, she has carved out a distinctive niche, setting benchmarks while challenging traditional narratives. “Britney Automotive” isn’t just a moniker; it’s a movement representing dedication, innovation, and inspiration. As the world of automotive racing and building continues to evolve, there’s no doubt that voices like Britney’s will be instrumental in steering its direction. Her story is more than just about cars; it’s about passion, perseverance, and paving the way for the future generation of automotive enthusiasts.