In 2019, the world became familiar with the young and promising car mechanic when she joined “All Girls Garage”, and showed incredible talent in repairing and upgrading various vehicles, most particularly Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars, showing great proficiency at customization as well. Her passion for cars and bountiful knowledge is evident to everyone – her name is Faye Hadley.
After her first show, Faye also appeared on screen in 2020 and 2021 in several TV series, along the way establishing herself as an important name in the industry, achieving considerable personal success out of the spotlight. She used this momentum to launch her own ventures following her recent exit from show business, though she could always return.
Faye hasn’t been seen on television since 2021, most likely in order to pursue achievements purely of her own. She now has her own business, through which she delves into various other branches, such as being an influencer and YouTuber, as well as a creative mechanic and even educator, thanks to the financial freedom that allows her to do whatever she wants. Part of that is also providing education in mechanics across her social media, mostly aimed towards women, but meant for everyone.
Born Anya Lewis under the sign of Libra on 25 September 1986, in San Antonio, Texas USA, Faye Hadley is a 36-year old Caucasian automotive technician, qualified psychologist, social media influencer and YouTuber. Although she’d been in the industry for over a decade at that point, her popularity exploded in 2019, when she was featured on the reality TV series “All Girls Garage.” From that point on, her career skyrocketed into what it is today. She has had a great number of successes over the course of her sometimes lucrative career in car mechanics since the early days of the millenium.
She was raised in her birthplace by her mother Cindy Copeland, of an unknown profession, and her father with an unknown name, who was awarded a PhD at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She grew up in a household where the arts were greatly appreciated, and thus stuck out as the only one interested in cars, from very early on. Even as a toddler, she wanted construction vehicle birthday cake toppings.
Her parents divorced when she was fairly young, but this didn’t influence her too badly, as she maintained a solid relationship with both of them, including the step-father when her mother remarried.
She attended an unspecified school in San Antonio, from where she matriculated in 2004, after which Faye was immediately accepted into Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts to study psychology, but soon had a change of heart.
In an interview with sanantoniomag.com, Hadley admitted: ‘After my first term at Harvard, I had an early life crisis. I was walking to my apartment after exams and saw this Volkswagen GTI with a license plate from Alaska. The owner told me he was on a trip around the US, and I knew I wanted to do that too. So I dropped all of my classes on campus for the next semester, and signed up for as many classes as I could online, which was just enough to get the 12 credits I needed to keep my scholarship. I took the money I’d saved, bought a GTI and went on an epic road trip. Instead of Alaska, I ended up in Portland, where I would later live for 10 years.’
In spite of realizing that cars were her true calling, Faye remained focused on finishing her studies, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2008. She did therapy for a while, but soon got the hint that she was in the wrong field, and promptly switched to the automotive industry.
Faye’s big career
Her first job as a mechanic came as an emergency measure she had to undertake, after her engine blew up. Being unable to afford repairs, Faye had to fix the car herself, but didn’t know how. To solve this problem, she got an unpaid internship at a Volkswagen garage, trading floor sweeping and oil drain container emptying for a place of her own to work on the engine, which she was taught how to perform by the lead mechanic.
After finishing college and quitting her job as a therapist, Faye was initially unable to find any employment in the automotive industry, since no garage wanted a inexperienced mechanic, apparently especially a female. Eventually though, she grabbed herself another unpaid internship, which she kept at for a solid year.
Her next gig was finally worth the effort, as she worked at a Toyota dealership on a good salary. She then received a better offer, and moved into another car repair shop. Throughout her early career, Hadley noticed that some of the previous customers followed her to the places she worked at, thanks to the overall pleasant experience she provided while working for them.
This realization led her to eventually hold basic automotive lessons after work, which many of her usual customers attended, to learn how to fix their vehicles without needing a repair shop. She also taught them DIY modifications and upgrades, allowing each and every student to turn their ride into whatever they wanted.
Some years down the line she married and moved to San Antonio with her husband, where she started building various engines for the research purposes of her new employer. She had a great time working here, but missed interacting with customers, and teaching them about cars.
To finally solve this issue, Faye ultimately started her own business – Pistons & PixieDust Automotive Repair & Education – which serves as both a car repair and upgrade shop, as well as an educational enterprise focused on teaching people all about cars. She continues giving automotive lectures to this day, as that is the most fulfilling aspect of her career.
Faye on television
Hadley was first featured on the big screen in 2019, when she became part of the cast of Motor Trend TV Network’s series “All Girls Garage,” which has been running since 2012. The show was perfect for what she wanted to do, being an educational series centered on vehicle repairs, and sometimes modifications. She featured in three seasons of the show, from eight through 10, though the last two are yet to be released.
The eighth installment was more than enough to launch her to stardom, however, which became most apparent when in 2020 she hosted the episode of world-famous “Best of Top Gear” entitled “Death Road.”
In the same year, having garnered enough fame among worldwide audiences of automotive content, she was featured as a panelist in the “Holiday Hooptie Challenge” TV series, in which she judged the repair and modification of old cars.
Faye also participated in the game show entitled “Shift Talkers,” in the 2020 episode “Turbos vs. Superchargers!!! Faye, Bogi, and Ed Race to the Finish!” She was given the panelist position, but also became involved in actual racing, repairs, modifications, and all the other handiwork a car technician could possibly want. She appeared again, with the same responsibilities, in the 2021 episode entitled “Who Rules the World? Girls! Faye, Bogi, and Scherr.”
Check this out! I'm a guest on this week's episode of @HooniverseJeff's show Shift Talkers on @MotorTrendApp! Tons of fun going on here. @Bogisgarage, Faye Hadley, @mikespin, and I had a shift ton of fun here! https://t.co/vltgsS697j #shifttalkers #motortrend pic.twitter.com/zC0CD8Tn27
— Ed Kim (@ekimap) July 21, 2020
In 2021 she made her second big TV appearance, hosting all 13 episodes of the first season of “Motor MythBusters” – an automotive show created by the Motor Trend car magazine. In it, she had the honor of working alongside other names that tower in the automotive industry, such as Bisi Ezerioha, and even Tory Belleci.
This famous TV series was a rather unique approach to vehicle modification, confirming or breaking actual myths that have existed for decades, such as potentially being able to increase the boost pressure of a turbocharger with a soda can’s pop-tab and some wire, as seen performed by Vin Diesel in “Fast and Furious 8.” Faye joined as the certified automotive technician, being in charge of the most technical aspects of their myth-busting.
The show aired between 4 August and 19 October 2021, with the second season still unconfirmed, in which Hadley is expected to make a grand comeback to the TV screen. Her instrumental presence as a cast member of “Motor MythBusters” is guaranteed to propel her into even greater titles in the future.
Lastly, her most recent appearance on television took place in the reboot of the old vehicle repair special, entitled “Holiday Hooptie Challenge II,” in which the cars are even older and harder to manage, setting the expertise bar higher than its predecessor. Faye was this time a guest host, drawing on her massive pool of knowledge to comment on the actions of the participants and explaining everything to the audience, as she normally enjoys doing throughout her private work.
Although Faye has remained off-screen in 2022 to the start of September, it can’t be said for certain that she won’t be back by the end of the year. She will likely be invited to host or be a panelist in another automotive show, or the return of “Motor MythBusters” will feature her yet again.
Faye’s career away from the screen
Hadley’s goal, when not following a show script, has always been to expand her influence and educate as many people as she can, provided that her greatest passion is not just cars, but teaching about cars. Hence, over the years she’s managed to permeate almost every sphere of online influence.
Her aforementioned business Pistons & PixieDust Automotive Repair & Education has now been running for years at this point, which she has successfully used many times over as a way to grab online attention and garner fans along the way, posting pictures and videos from her private enterprise on most social media platforms.
In her posts, she almost always includes educational content, explaining what she is doing if the post is about handiwork, or which car she’s about to alter, helping drive her audience’s motivation to perform DIY work on their own vehicles.
Faye’s Twitter account went a step further in education, following the post she made in on 7 January 2021, which she pinned to her profile, explaining that, from that moment on, she would begin asking random automotive questions throughout each week, the answers to which would come every Sunday.
In September 2022 Faye still posts questions and answers on her Twitter profile every single week. Since she also has the prestigious Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, her questions are often taken from ASE tests, which she uses to bolster anyone willing to take the challenge on their own, and become certified as well. Sometimes she uses the Twitter page of ASE itself for this purpose, answering their questions of her followers, since the organization only asks questions, and offers no help with them.
Faye’s YouTube channel was started on 23 April 2013, on which she has accumulated over 12 million total views, and more than 130,000 subscribers. It initially featured casual DIY videos, but over time became a lot more focused in its content, which eventually attracted a much larger audience.
One example of a focused breakthrough is Faye’s “020 Transmission Fun” six-video series about the various intricacies of the Volkswagen transmission and clutch setup. In September 2022, she uploads multiple times per week, with most of her new content heavily focused on modifying very specific cars, but teaching simple DIY techniques to her fans around the globe.
Her Instagram account is also full of car-related posts, though she uses the page to also give out details about her private life. Her best friend, wood artist, and now husband and colleague, Brandon Hadley, is often included in her Instagram posts.
Faye started dating Brandon in late 2015, and married him on 25 September 2016; they live and work together in San Antonio, Texas. Interestingly, the couple also have chickens for pets, which is outlined in Faye’s YouTube channel description that states ‘Toyota/Lexus/Scion specialist, Supra enthusiast, & Crazy Chicken Lady!`
For now, it seems that the ASE-certified expert is enjoying her life away from the cameras, focusing on her passion to the greatest extent. Her return to the TV screen is quite possible, but not guaranteed, and in her case, probably not even necessary.