Cherishing Time with Dad in the Garage - Jess Gasper | Episode 23
Jess grew up helping her dad’s crew build a Streamliner. After the build and upgrades were complete, the whole family would road trip out to the Salt Flats to crew. In the final year, on its final run, the MacKichan/Schulz Streamliner set a new land speed record. Streamliners make for an incredible childhood, but it wasn’t until later that Jess realized her family was pretty special. Not many people grow up with a parental figure as passionate about getting their kids in the garage as John MacKichan. It was important to John that the kids were involved however they could.
After a few close calls and some health scares, Jess began to prioritize time in the garage with her father. Together, they built her shop and a 1933 5-Window Coupe which John had purchased the year Jess was born. John squirreled it away and when Jess was 10, he promised they would build it together. When it was time to build, Jess would work full time then head out to the farm and work in the shop until 10 pm. Over time, it all came together.
In 2016, a tangle with a ‘32 prompted him to sort through a mountain of magazines and boxes of photos to decide what was important to keep. Finally, he filled a box with photos from the 1960s and gave it to Jess, each photo painstakingly documented with parts, colors, and locations. She began cataloging the photos on her Instagram account, Photos_From_My_Dad.
Jess has worked at Speedway Motors for 23 years. In her time, she has won a number of awards, including recognition from Rod Authority’s Lindsey Fisher in 2014 as one of the automotive industry’s Leading Ladies, marking Jess as an up-and-coming leader in automotives. She participated in Speedway Motors’ Bucket Beauties T-Bucket build. In 2016, SEMA recognized Jess as one of 35 under 35 industry leaders.
Now more than ever, Jess emphasizes how important it is to get in the garage with family. When a family builds a car together, they don’t just get hours of time spent. They get a living, breathing machine that represents all the tough moments, hard work and shared experience that goes into getting a car onto four wheels. This Father’s Day, we hope you feel inspired to start the project you’ve always talked about!
There’s nothing like time in the garage with people you love.