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The auto customizer: Off the clock with Kristina Doyle

Kristina Doyle's 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck

Kristina Doyle, Marketing &
Online Communications Coordinator,
Strategic Communications & Marketing


Kristina has worked at the University of Toronto (U of T) for almost two years.


What do you do off the clock?

Kristina Doyle weldingA lot of my free time is spent on some aspect of custom cars and trucks. That can involve building them (I can weld), going to shows, or even detailing.

I also do car photography and videography. My most popular video, The Taylor’d ’57: classic Chevy on air ride just passed 50,000 views on YouTube, which is pretty cool.

I own a pickup truck — a 2001 Ford Ranger. I use it only for shows and summer driving.

I built most of it in my parent’s garage over many hundreds of hours. It has a custom frame on air ride suspension (it can raise and lower to different heights or ‘hop’), big chrome wheels, an updated front end (it looks like a 2011 model now) and a whole bunch of other modifications.

How, and when, did you first become interested in custom cars?

I think I have always liked cars. I used to get upset as a child when McDonald’s referred to Hot Wheels as ‘boy toys’ and Barbie’s as ‘girl toys.’ I wanted the Hot Wheels.

I started going to car shows with friends in high school and have been participating in the custom car world ever since.

The traditional role of women in the car culture — as models or promotional tools — didn’t appeal to me, so I built my own vehicle and here I am.

Do you show your cars? If so, where and have you won any awards?

Going to car shows is a major component of the summer for me. There’s something going on every weekend.

It’s a great excuse to visit places. I’ve been all around Ontario, Montreal, Las Vegas, Mississippi, Ohio — all in the name of cars!

I’ve won quite a few awards for my truck, but I get the most fun from meeting interesting people, going to new places, and doing other stuff I love like driving, photography and videography.

What (or who) inspires or influences your work?

I love seeing new developments and designs in the car world and how that can be incorporated into classic vehicles in terms of safety, appearance, convenience or visual appeal. The trends that come and go in the car community are fun to watch and predict.

In the future, I’d like to get more into the motorsports side of things — like tracking or racing. I’d love to get some formal driving training.

Photos: (top) Kristina’s 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck and (middle) Kristina welding / Nominated by Hayley Fuller, communications coordinator in the Division of HR & Equity