Courtney Hansen: Friend and Advocate of the Auto Hobby

By Colby Martin

Warnings often surround the act of meeting one’s heroes, as the odds favor great disappointment. However, Courtney Hansen’s fans know this risk pays off. Her personable demeanor and genuine passion for the four-wheeled community is quickly apparent. Success in modeling and acting during her youth had planted solid roots for later pursuits in front of the camera. She first burst onto the automotive entertainment scene in 2004 as co-host of the hit car-makeover TV show “Overhaulin’.” Since then, Hansen has earned herself a unique niche as a spokesperson for car and truck enthusiasts in a variety of outlets. Additionally, she has fulfilled personal goals as a published author and philanthropist.

Courtney now counts five years of collaboration with the SEMA Action Network (SAN) among her credits. It all began in 2012 as she hosted an industry event on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as shown above.

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Remembering Steve McDonald

Steve McDonald, a valued member of the SEMA executive team, passed away unexpectedly on September 26. He was 56. Among his co-workers and throughout the industry he was known as a loyal friend with a wry sense of humor and a fierce dedication to his work. As vice president of government affairs for SEMA, Steve was the chief association advocate on legislative and regulatory issues that impact the $41.2 billion specialty automotive industry. Over the past 20 years, he played a primary role in promoting and expanding SEMA’s government affairs missions at both state and federal levels.

Steve helped create the SEMA Action Network (SAN), with outreach to auto enthusiasts nationwide, along with the State Automotive Enthusiasts Leadership Caucus, a nonpartisan group of more than 750 lawmakers who share a common love for automobiles.

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Legislative Front Lines

Click here for the complete list of Legislative Action Alerts.


SEMA SAN Strike Force

Members of the Azalea City Cruisers proudly display their rides (left to right): John Gibson with his 1932 Ford, Jim Wellborn with his 1965 Mustang and Charlie Wellborn with his 1949 Plymouth.

The Azalea City Cruisers honor the iconic American Hot Rod, which they agree is among the “most popular and enduring activities ever to come out of the nation.” Based in Palatka, Florida, the group encourages the preservation, restoration, and enjoyment of these vehicles. The club is a very active, family-oriented non-profit organization. Each year, the Cruisers give away three technical scholarships to Putman County students, host sixteen cruise-in events, four quarterly luncheons and a Christmas Party. They also donate to various charities and attend many cruise-ins and car shows throughout Florida and surrounding states. Find them on Facebook for more information, including event details and photos.

Ten individuals formed the Azalea City Cruisers in March 1988. They were chartered that year in the state of Florida on June 13. At the time, the Lion’s Club was giving up the annual Palatka Car Show—a popular event that had been going on for ten years. Sadly, there were no clubs in the area to carry it onward. Thus, the Cruisers were established and the annual show is alive and well. Notably, 2018 marks the event’s 40th anniversary in addition to the club’s 30th birthday! The group currently counts 88 members, with Charlie Wellborn being the sole original charter member left. He served as president for four years and has been treasurer for 22.

“As members of the SEMA Action Network (SAN), our club stays informed on what our government is doing,” says Charlie. “We have backed many efforts of the SAN, including sponsoring the Collector Car Appreciation Day (CCAD) celebration since its conception. We are grateful to be associated with such an organization representing our great hobby!”

Help give thanks to the Azalea City Cruisers by wishing them a happy anniversary next year. Here’s to another three decades!


Stay Up-to-Date on the RPM Act: Get the latest information on the motorsports bill at www.sema.org/epa-news.


Driving Force Online Archives

SEMA SAN Driving Force, Winter 2017