She’s obsessed with chickens and motor oil, knows everything there is to know about Smokey Yunick, holds a degree from Harvard, and drove across the United States in a VW Rabbit fueled by used vegetable oil.
We always knew Faye Hadley was beyond rad, but this level of cool is mind blowing. It’s clearly time to get to know The Real Faye Hadley.
Faye Hadley: The Early Years
The Faye you know today is a co-host of Motor Trend’s All Girls Garage, co-founder and teacher within the Woman and Machine trade program, and owner of Pistons & Pixiedust, her Toyota-centric automotive repair shop, located just outside San Antonio, Texas.
But, she wasn’t always up to her elbows in car parts and grease.
In fact, Faye originally pursued a far less mechanical career. Inspired by her father, who holds a Ph.D from MIT, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Harvard University. After receiving her degree in 2010, she worked in Providence, Rhode Island as a full-time therapist…while quietly working an unpaid internship at a Volkswagen garage.
Big Dreams Don’t Die
Faye Hadley fell in love with the automotive world during a middle school shop course, but it wasn’t until several years later that she decided it was time to help people with their cars instead of with their daily issues.
As a young adult, Faye was mesmerized by a license plate from the far off land of Alaska. It just so happened that the license plate in question belonged to a driver who was exploring the country by car. Faye decided she needed to exactly the same thing, dismissing high school for the time being, loading up her VW Rabbit and heading for the open road in 2007.
Allegedly, her internship at the Volkswagen garage was part of her grand plan — while working there, she learned enough to fix the blown out engine she’d limped back to the northeast from her epic road trip.
Though she was armed with a prestigious degree and nothing but compliments from her therapist colleagues, passion became a priority, and Faye ditched psychology for auto repair. She moved to Portland, Oregon, enrolled in the local community college automotive program, and started working evenings at a repair shop.
Why Is Faye Obsessed with Toyotas?
Everyone has their loyalty, and Faye Hadley is clearly a Toyota girl.
It turns out, her first job as an automotive technician was at a Toyota dealership. There, she was able to get some very in-depth training, along with multiple valuable Toyota certifications. She restored her very own 1989 Toyota Supra, and has been employed by several well-known garages to help them learn more about repairing and restoring the brand.
Teaching Is Really Her Game
In fact, it was her tutorials on her YouTube channel that positioned Faye Hadley for the gig on All Girls Garage. Joining Bogi Lateiner on the TV show came as a bit of a surprise move for Faye, who has never been interested in celebrity or fame.
Faye’s number one priority is helping others learn about the automotive industry from a do-it-yourself perspective. Her involvement in establishing the Woman And Machine program has helped women network and find opportunity in the industry. She continues to film online tutorials and teach hands-on workshops for women to learn more about auto repair and the industry as a whole.
Hadley reportedly loathes social media, though she does maintain her pistonsandpixiedust Instagram handle to keep in touch with friends and subscribers, and of course to keep up-to-date on the latest happenings in the wide world of chickens. Her own flock keeps her company at her shop in San Antonio, and often make cameo appearances on her YouTube videos. Those who tune into her videos may also find her going on tangents about NASCAR legend Smokey Yunick, and of course, motor oil, both topics she’s been known to discuss ad nauseam.
Faye is married to her best friend, wood artist Brandon Hadley. While there’s no word on whether he shares her love of Smokey Yunick and chickens, surely Brandon is no stranger to motor oil. And grease. And sludge. And all the other smells and stains that come with the territory as an auto shop owner’s spouse!