You know the feeling when a new show becomes your favorite – suddenly you adapt your schedule to make time for it, talk about it to your friends, and even convince some of them to start watching the show too. However, that’s why it’s so tough when one cast member leaves it, especially when their reasons to leave aren’t that clear.
That’s exactly what the audience of “Garage Squad” felt when Heather Storm surprisingly left the show in 2019. So whatever happened to her? Did she leave “Garage Squad” of her own volition, or was she actually fired from it?
Keep with us to know all the details about Heather’s exit from the show, her current projects and even to discover some juicy details about her personal life nowadays.
Where Is She Now?
Knowing that Heather Storm’s exit from “Garage Squad” is still a sore spot for the show’s fans, many would be happy to know that she’s still active in the entertainment world.
As seen on her social media, she recently started her own online show, Heather Storm Off Road on YouTube. Though the project is still in its early days, the videos have already accumulated thousands of views by people who’re definitely very invested in seeing her touring the US’ most well-known car events in her blue 1965 Ford Mustang. Prior to it, in 2019 she had already started another YouTube series entitled Drive Yourself Local, but which hasn’t been updated in a couple of years.
Another independent project that Heather is involved with is “Man Seeks Adventure”, a podcast she co-hosts alongside the automotive designer Dave Marek and the entrepreneur Brad Fanshaw. As well, in late 2019 Heather and Erica Schrull started the project “2 Car Girls Cruise Cali”, a month-long road trip along California’s most exciting highways.
Nowadays, Heather is focused on growing her career as a travel influencer.
As seen on her Instagram, she’s involved with several tourist projects in Mexico and Costa Rica, but never forgetting to create content for her loyal motor-head audience. All in all, though Heather hasn’t been seen on TV for a while, she’s definitely still making the best out of her career.
Why Did She Leave “Garage Squad”?
Although it’s been a while since Heather Storm left her place as “Garage Squad” host, there are still many people who don’t know exactly why.
As it happens, there are many reasons which point to Heather actually being let go by the show. Back when the news of her exit broke in April 2019, Heather thanked her co-stars, the audience and even all the ‘deserving folks’ who’d had their autos improved by the show: ‘As a car lover and gearhead, I’ve had such an amazing experience working on the show for the past four years, helping make car dreams come’, she wrote on a Facebook post.
Nonetheless, it seems Heather wasn’t exactly pleased with the way MotorTrend initially announced her departure. She admitted to having been ‘aware MotorTrend was going to make that announcement’ that week, not allowing her to tell the news to her fans first.
While her words back then didn’t show any animosity for the network, in August that year one fan expressed disappointment at not seeing her anymore in “Garage Squad”, by commenting on one of her Facebook’s posts: ‘I hope MotorTrend doesn’t lose sight of what made that show so good’, to which she answered that they ‘had lost (sight) a long time ago’.
Even if it’s unlikely that the reasons behind Heather’s firing from the show would be made public, we can only hope a lot of exciting projects are awaiting for her in the future.
Who Replaced Her In The Show?
Right after Heather Storm’s exit from “Garage Squad”, she was replaced by Cristy Lee, an auto enthusiast, experienced TV host and biker who knew her way around cars just like Heather.
As stated on her website, Cristy’s love for everything automotive comes from her father’s influence, who owned an import auto shop and taught her the basics of mechanics from very early in her life. As well, Cristy is an experienced motorhead, biker, a real estate investor, and even a radio host. Her career in the entertainment world began in Detroit, where she started hosting car events, and became a reporter for big names such as NBCSN and ESPN.
Though Cristy’s debut in the entertainment world dates back to the traveling series “Wild On” in 1997, her rise to fame came with 2013’s special “Tunnel Of Fire”, followed by the “Best Of Top Gear”, and the widely popular “All Girls Garage”, which she hosted from 2017 to 2019, when she became “Garage Squad”s host though her stay with the show was short-lived. Cristy left the show after only two seasons, for reasons which are unclear.
Nowadays, Cristy can be seen co-hosting the Discovery+ show “Celebrity IOU: Joyride”.
Who Hosts The Show Now?
Following the departure of Cristy Lee from “Garage Squad”, she was replaced by Bogi Lateiner, an expert mechanic who also has an enviable career in the world of entertainment.
Though Bogi made her debut on TV through the popular “All Girls Garage” in 2012, her career in the automotive world started long before that. Unlike her fellow cast members, Bogi’s interest in cars didn’t start in her childhood as a hobby, but in her adulthood out of necessity. She was tired of not getting the best out of the auto repair shops she visited in her early 20s, which eventually led her to become a self-taught mechanic.
Surprisingly enough, Bogi found her niche in mechanics, pursuing a formal career in the Universal Technical Institute, and following her graduation, working as a dealer technician for the BMW factory.
However, Bogi’s focus was elsewhere and she eventually left her 9 to 5 job to start her own business – 180 Degrees Automotive – which aims to be a welcoming shop for both female customers and technicians.
Besides being the “Garage Squad” host, Bogi’s thriving career in the automotive industry has gained her a place in several TV shows, such as “Best Of Top Gear” and “Shift Talkers”.
Who Is Heather Storm?
Originally a city girl, Heather Storm’s life was turned upside down when her family moved from Philadelphia to Montana, although what was initially an unwelcome experience for her, actually turned out to be the start of the first great adventure of her life.
By living in a small town surrounded by nature, Heather easily learned some life-saving skills, such as shooting guns and doing tapestry in her own house, all of this to become self-sufficient: ‘A lot of my strength comes from my father instilling in me the importance of being independent as a young girl’, she recalled on her personal website.
With enough abilities to take the world by the scruff of the neck, Heather moved far from home to attend Oregon State University, from where she graduated with a major in Environmental Science, passing then to work in touristic projects overseas, and making good use of her free time by unashamedly spending it ‘surfing and exploring the local beaches’. However, that one adventure ended soon enough, when she moved back to the US to pursue a career in the entertainment world.
How Did She Start With Cars?
Sometimes opportunities come in the least expected ways, but mostly it’s just the result of working hard to achieve your goals.
Both phrases could explain well how Heather Strom’s career in the automotive industry started. It all goes back to her eight-year-old self, who never forgot the feeling that her father’s 1979 Chevrolet El Camino had on her.
As a way to be closer to the car, and also follow her parents’ wishes of becoming an independent young woman, Heather and her brother spent a lot of time in their family’s garage, doing whatever they could to support their father: ‘that meant lots of time helping him with various home or garage tasks that involved manual labor. I learned a lot about using tools, for whoich I couldn’t be more grateful.’
Although Heather didn’t have formal education in mechanics or anything automotive-related, cars are simply a subject which comes naturally for her. As stated on her website, just a call for a ‘a female host who loves cars and isn’t shy about getting down and dirty in the garage’ was enough for her to submit a video to MotorTrend, talking about cars. It turned out so well that she immediately got the job without much of a problem.
Career On TV
Heather’s first credited work in reality TV dates back to 2005, when she appeared as a fitness trainer in the documentary “30 Days”, followed by another short appearance in “Street Tuner Challenge” that same year.
She didn’t appear in a reality show until 2013, when she was cast as a drink mixologist in “The Playboy Morning Show”, then getting a similar role in the electronic music-themed online show “The Mixdown” a couple of years later. Though that was a great start for the multi-faceted Heather, her rise to fame didn’t come until 2015, when she debuted in “Garage Squad” as the replacement of Lauren Bohlander, the former host.
Although Heather has appeared in other car-related shows such as “Awesome Autos” and “Car Fanatics”, it’s evident she’s invested the most in “Garage Squad”. As she admitted in a heartful interview with The Celebrity Cafe, she found the show to be very special just because of its simplicity: ‘with our show, people know that they can actually do it, too, and that’s inspiring, and I think that’s why people watch it’.
Actress & Model
Although many people don’t know it, Heather Storm’s career as an actress and model is quite enviable too. Her first acting job was as Melissa in 2003’s “Underbelly”, followed by several small roles in low-budget movies over the next couple of years.
In 2007, she became a regular in the series “MANswers”, then the next year being cast as Alexis in the action film “No Bad Days”. Heather’s other acting roles worth mentioning are as Karen in the “Surviving Disaster” series, as Heidi in the 2010 movie “Arisan Brondong”, and as a regular actress in “1000 Ways to Die”.
Heather’s most recent acting gigs were in the series “The Coroner: I Speak for the Dead” as Linda Arnold Beam in 2016, and in the fitness special “Tae-Bo Evolution”, starring Billy Blanks.
As a model, Heather has appeared in over 50 TV commercials, including those of direct response as a host.
Though she hosts auto exhibitions and events all year long throughout the US, such as the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), she definitely doesn’t limit her career to only the car industry, as she’s a certified fitness trainer, as well as a producer and writer.
As a woman who has so many independent projects, social media platforms evidently play an important role in promoting her content with people who otherwise wouldn’t get to know about it.
Besides her YouTube channel, Heather is active on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, though the latter is arguably the site on which she’s the most successful. With over 200 followers, her Facebook page has everything we love about Heather, such as constant video updates, inspiring text posts and her trademark aesthetic pics, which often show her traveling the world or enjoying a nice day out in her neighborhood.
However, the most popular part of her social media reach is definitely how she promotes her online shop, blog, and public appearances through it.
Heather’s influencer career has been steadily growing too, which is evident from seeing some of the brand sponsorships she posts on her Instagram. It’s also worth mentioning that Heather is available on the Cameo platform, on which personalized videos and calls are available to any of her fans. Last but not least, Heather’s talent as a writer and communicator is easily appreciated through her online blog Road Trips, which feature some of her most interesting personal stories, tours and car-related topics.
Who Paid For “Garage Squads” Renovations?
There’s no way to know how much exactly every car renovation costs in “Garage Squad”, but at least we could get an idea of the show’s finances through their own website.
In their Most Frequently Asked Questions, “Garage Squad” clarified that the fixing, tools and auto parts used in the show are afforded entirely by their sponsors. This means that even if the car owners are the ones who submit their stories to the producers, they pay nothing for it.
However, it’s also worth mentioning that “Garage Squad” actually doesn’t get over the top with whatever they do, something Heather Storm actually acknowledged in 2018: ‘We’re not doing $100,000 builds. We are doing things that real people can do, go out and do in their garage as well’.
All in all, though many people wish that Heather was still in the show, the most important part of “Garage Squad” is the dreams the show continues making a reality, regardless of its many cast changes.