Growing up a ‘pit kid’ sparked Hansen’s interest in automobiles
By Bert Lehman
Courtney Hansen’s love for automobiles began to develop when she was a child.
“I grew up the daughter of a race car driver,” Hansen said while at an appearance at Klein Automotive in Clintonville Wednesday, July 6. “We used to own Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota. I grew up as a pit kid and would go from one race track to the next following my dad and supporting him.”
She added, “It’s in my blood. Over the years I became an enthusiast and I was fortunate to start working in automotive TV and I have been ever since.”
With appearances in Clintonville and Iola on her schedule, Hanson visited Road America in Elkhart Lake the prior day.
“My dad raced at Road America a lot,” she said. “He reportedly won 33 races at Road America. He’s definitely in the [record] book because we bought a book at the gift shop and he’s on like 20 different pages — pictures of his cars and his racing stats.”
While at Klein Automotive, Hansen said her reception was “awesome.”
“We’ve had a lot of people out here today and I’ve been going outside to take pictures with their cars and trucks and we’ve been in here checking out this Corvette and the other cars at Klein. I’ve been signing free posters and have cool giveaway things as well.”
Some attendees had their photo taken with Hansen by their car. Her favorite car to have here picture taken with at the event was a 1967 Cutlass.
“The ’67 Cutlass is going on my Facebook page and all my social media pages,” Hansen said.
A close second was a 1980 Trans Am.
“Everyone has been super friendly because it’s the Midwest and I wouldn’t expect anything else,” she said.
John Klein, executive manager at Klein Automotive, said Hansen’s appearance was possible because the company partners with the Iola Car Show.
“Courtney was kind enough to come out and do some autograph signings and photos for us,” Klein said.
Klein said those in attendance provided Hansen with a great reception.
“Courtney is very friendly and very gracious with the guests,” Klein said. “She’s done a lot of signings and photos. She does a lot of television shows. It’s great for our customers. She’s great for the automotive field. She’s well followed among automotive enthusiasts.”
Hansen has lived in Los Angeles for the past 16 years and has been involved in several automotive TV shows.
“I never imagined it was going to lead to this,” Hansen said. “It took a really cool turn and it’s been such a fun ride. It’s been challenging at times, but a lot of fun and extremely gratifying. I love everything about the car world and the people in the car world and the projects I’m lucky enough to work on. I can’t wait for what lies ahead because there are some exciting things in store.”
She said she is working on a new hot rod build TV show.
“I’ll be on both sides of the camera for this one,” she said. “I’m also going to be working on cars and joining a build team. … I will be hosting it and working on the cars back in the garage.”
Her many appearances across the country have her traveling “nonstop.” Her 2 year old daughter usually travels with her. Hansen said she was excited to attend the Iola Old Car Show for the first time.
“I’ve heard so much about it over the years,” she said. “I’m really excited to finally be here and hang with the automotive enthusiasts and check out what they’re driving and hear what they’re working on.”
When asked what she looked forward to the most about attending the Iola Old Car show, Hansen replied, “All the cars. I heard the cars are unbelievable. And I love hanging out with Midwestern people. I’m a Midwestern girl so I feel right at home.”