Q &A interview: Courtney Hansen
Drive!|September 2020
Celebrity, Spokesperson, Producer, Philanthropist, Author, Car Gal, and more...
Michael Eckerson

You would have had to be living under a rock, in a cave, on a deserted island on another planet to not have seen Courtney Hansen at work. She is a very talented and hard-working woman.

Courtney first achieved popularity as the co-host of TLC’s mega hit car-makeover show “Overhaulin’” where she helped teams led by auto design legend Chip Foose, transform a viewer’s dilapidated ride into an updated reinterpretation of its former self - in just one week . During her time on Overhaulin’, the assiduous Courtney also co-hosted the specials “Rides: Biggest Spenders” and “Million Dollar Motors” for the TLC channel.

​After several seasons of Overhaulin’, Hansen went on to host 10 seasons of Powerblock/PowerNation for Spike TV. In later years she worked with NBC Sports and CBS Sports on a two-hour block of 4 popular automotive shows. Each week she showed off million-dollar rides, rare classics and tricked vehicles and brought her enthusiasm and knowledge to interviews with famous collectors, race car drivers and celebrity guests like Jay Leno, UFC founder Dana White and actor Dax Shepard.

In addition to her work in television, Courtney is an accomplished author: her book, The Garage Girls Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Your Car, which is written to inform inexperienced women and first-time car owners. She also writes a bi-weekly syndicated newspaper column found throughout the US and Canada titled “Courtney Hansen: Full Throttle,” and formerly penned the “Garage Girl” column for FHM Magazine.

In 2005, Courtney was honored as the recipient of Ford’s “Life in Drive” Award. This prestigious award recognizes women who combine talent with that little something extra that allows them to break free from convention to live life with style and attitude.

The aforementioned is but a small drop in the big bucket of Courtney’s achievements. If you would like more details of the life of this incredible woman, be sure to visit her website, courtneyhansen.com to learn more. Frankly, we’d likely run out of ink if we tried to publish everything she’s accomplished to date.

D: You have been called the Leading Lady of Automotive TV. You grew up a “pit kid” at Brainerd International Raceway, north of your hometown of Orono, Minnesota. Tell our readers a little about how your childhood was shaped by those experiences.

CH My childhood made me have an appreciation for family and racing. I grew up immersed in the automotive world traveling from race track to race track with my family, so I naturally became an automotive enthusiast, and everything I remember about my childhood was a blast. I’m so grateful for all of it.

D! Your father, Jerry Hansen, who is the winningest driver in SCCA history(27 national titles) forged an impressive career. How did his career inspire yours?

CH He inspired me to want to be a winner in whatever I have attempted to do along life’s path. He instilled in me a very strong work ethic and taught me honor and integrity, as did my mom. My favorite quote in life comes from my dad and talks about winning at your craft, sport, career or endeavor. He was asked on a talk show at the peak of his career what the difference is between winning and losing. He said, the difference is when you think you have given all there is left to give, dig deeper and find more. That has always resonated. As tough as this road has been for me in entertainment, and there have been many, many challenges, I remember that quote and always find ways to get creative, surmount obstacles, dig deeper, find more and achieve my goals.

D! Your work ethic is remarkable. Please share what has made you so determined to succeed?

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