hit the street burning rubber

Olivia’s first love was a car which is single-handedly responsible for an entire generation of car enthusiasts and continues to capture the imagination of young and old even today. We’re not talking about any car, however. Oh no, this car is a movie star, one that debuted 40 years ago in theaters and drive-ins across North America. A starlight Black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Have you guessed? We’re talking about Smokey and the Bandit’s 1977 Pontiac Trans Am.

Ever since Olivia saw the movie and the Trans Am emerge from the back of the Bandit’s truck and hit the street burning rubber in front of Snowman’s house she has had goosebumps that have never left. To say Olivia is a little obsessed with this car is an understatement.

olivia_scaffid photography

The F Doesn't Stop Here

Olivia loves photography, and in particular, she loves automotive photography. She’s been pursuing that passion for three years, and she has no intention of stopping. She was introduced to automotive photography randomly thanks to an interesting turn of events. A photography class she attended in high school required Olivia to photograph and capture just one object, covering all the little details of it. She immediately thought of her friend’s dad’s 1967 Ford Mustang fastback and he rather happily agreed to let her photograph the car.

Automotive photography is an art in and of itself. As Olivia told us, you can be extremely creative when shooting cars, whether that’s your choice of setting, lighting, angle, or ultimately, the car itself. Each of these components considered together complete the entire photograph, making it unique and when done correctly, memorable. It’s also interesting seeing how different people capture the same subject at the same time and place. Naturally, it also helps to love and appreciate the inner mechanical workings of a car and its details, as has Olivia pointed out.

We asked Olivia what her favorite setting to photograph a car is, and after some thought, she gave us the answer. Her favorite time of the day to shoot a car is at sunset or the “golden hour”, simply because of the ease with which you can manipulate the light. She also prefers to shoot in a nature-type setting since the contrast between a natural background and a mechanical subject makes the photo really “pop”.

Olivia’s favorite automotive photo features a 1970 Corvette belonging to a friend of hers named Garret and an undisclosed location in Valley, California. The blend of a gorgeous location, perfect composition and incredible lighting made for a “one in a million” photo. Quite often pictures don’t do cars justice, but that particular photo Olivia showed me really took my breath away.

olivia_scaffid photography

An ES350 and a 350 small block

Olivia’s daily driver is a Lexus ES350, a reliable and dependable workhorse with a stellar reputation. As Olivia herself claims, the Lexus is probably the ideal daily driver, having taken her on some incredibly long road trips throughout the US.

However, that’s not the only car in Olivia’s garage. She, and her boyfriend own and are in the process of restoring a 1971 Chevy El Camino. A project which has been in the works for around 2 years. The El Camino was bought in California and is currently kept at her boyfriend’s house where both of them work on it in their spare time.

The car recently underwent a transmission swap and now houses one of the toughest trannies ever built, the t56. Currently, they are in the process of rebuilding the 350 small block.

It’ll be a real fun drive once it’s finished, I can guarantee you that.

Olivia Scaffidi

So does this take you back? Back to the future?

Most people would love to have a dinner with a celebrity, but Olivia gave us a slightly different answer when we asked her who she’d like to have a one-time dinner with whether that person be living or dead. Olivia told us he’s one of her greatest inspirations, from the very early days when he started out working at GM all the way to his peak, leaving the big corporation and starting his own car company. The fact that he designed her favorite car of all time, the Pontiac Firebird, is really just the cherry on top of the cake. Rather interestingly enough, Olivia would like to have dinner with John DeLorean.

Olivia Scaffidi
Olivia Scaffidi Photography

it was sketchy and it was fast

Olivia’s best car moment in the last couple of months involves a 1969 Chevy Camaro belonging to her friend Danny. With a turbocharged 5.3 and a proper 6-speed, it was as fast as it was sketchy, as Olivia was quick to point out. They went for a drive through the back roads in Camarillo, California, having a great, memorable cruise.

Most of us enjoy twisty, empty roads, and Olivia is no exception to that rule. She enjoys driving along Forks of the Credit, a beautiful, relatively empty road which is both scenic to look at and fun to drive on. She mentioned that the stretch of road expanding to Grand Bend Motorplex is also rather spectacular. Olivia loves driving that road during her regular visits to Motorplex to watch drag racing.

They’re genuine

Olivia looks up to several great guys and girls in the car industry. Her most memorable moment was hanging out with David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan from Motor Trend’s Roadkill in Pontiac, Michigan during one of their infamous Roadkill Nights. She says they’ve been her heroes for years now, so to be able to have dinner with them and chat about cars was simply surreal. According to Olivia, they’re as genuine in person as they seem in the show, much to the surprise of no one really.

Nothing quite like that old car smell.


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