A Back-Road Route to Encourage More Women into Automotive Industry

Two drivers following their passion for cars hope to encourage other young women to get involved in the automotive industry. As the only all-woman team taking on 1,000 miles of back roads in the Pacific Northwest, they will also be raising awareness for a scholarship for women with similar passions when they participate in the SCM1000 tour, July 14-19.

Amanda Gutierrez and Abigayle Morgan will drive in a 1965 Porsche 356 C, a car that is part of the McPherson College collection of historic vehicles used by its automotive restoration program. Gutierrez is the vice president of the program and Morgan, a 2019 graduate, is coordinator of automotive restoration events. This will be Morgan’s first-ever event of this kind.

The event, hosted by Keith Martin of Sports Car Market Magazine, covers 1,000 miles of Oregon and Washington back roads and features a select group of vehicles participating. Although it’s Morgan’s first tour, Gutierrez participated in the Colorado Grand last year.

“It’s very exciting. As a student, I worked on this car, so I look forward to seeing how it performs on the road over time,” she said. “I’m also thrilled to be participating in something I love with other people that are just as passionate about cars as I am.”

Morgan also hopes to share information about a scholarship that she helped develop for her senior project at the college. The Denise McCluggage Scholarship for women at McPherson College honors McCluggage’s pioneer spirit in her areas of interest, including automobiles, journalism, photography, communications, media arts, and writing. Morgan introduced the scholarship and its first recipient at the Amelia Island Concours in March.

“McCluggage paved the way for women like me,” she said. “I felt an instant connection to her and her life story. I am so grateful I could help establish a scholarship that helps other women pursue their dreams. I hope others will be inspired as well and want to honor and support her scholarship.”

“It’s great to be able to share a car and experience like this with Abigayle,” Gutierrez said. “We’ll be posting about the trip on social media to highlight the importance of engaging younger people in the hobby as well as lift up educational and career opportunities for women in the field. Those topics are important to both of us.”

The McPherson College team will chronicle their experiences on the road at: @MCautorestoration on Facebook, mcautoresto on Instagram, and @MCAutoResto on Twitter.

More information about the Denise McCluggage Scholarship for women is available at:

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