Why creator of car club Misha Rogers kept her identity secret

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Motor enthusiast Misha Rogers was undaunted when she got the cold shoulder at car clubs.

She figured she was young, female and keen to learn more about modified cars but that did not fit in with this male dominated car scene.

After going to events where it seemed people did not want to speak to her or include her she decided she would devise her own route to share her passion for cars.

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The 26 year old Chorley mother of two set about creating a more inclusive and welcoming free car club open to all.

Misha Rogers pictured at the wheel of her  adapted Toyota Celica T-sport Photo: Kelvin StuttardMisha Rogers pictured at the wheel of her  adapted Toyota Celica T-sport Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Misha Rogers pictured at the wheel of her adapted Toyota Celica T-sport Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Initially it was set up anonymously, with posts on social media, especially Instagram, but as its fame spread and membership grew Misha realised it was time to step out of the shadows and acknowledge what she had created and why.

Misha, whose pride and joy is a 21 year old modified Toyota Celica T-Sport said: “I set it up around July 2020...I started it up for people like me really. We’re a members’ community for car enthusiasts to come together, to share their passion for cars, to make new friends, to ask any questions they want.”

Recalling her early experience of the car enthusiasts’ scene she said: “There are a lot of people with a passion for cars and automotors. When I started to express that interest publicly I used to go to car meet ups. I had a Vauxhall Corsa I was trying to modify. I was trying to be a part of that community. Being a female and not having a very powerful car, I was there to learn about cars and I had very little knowledge around cars. That was what I was there for - to learn.”

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Membership ranges from 18 year olds who have just passed their test and are keen to get into the car scene to the 50 plus. Most of the 900 or so members are from the Chorley, Leyland and Preston areas, but some are from as far afield as the Peak District, the Lakes and Lancaster and even Luton. The club arranges meets and convoys and membership is open to all, not just those who wish to modify their vehicles.

Misha explained what modifying a car can mean: “There’s lots of different things...there’s really no limit to where you take it.”

She continued: “People modify them according to their own creativity. People get body kits and really change the look of the car, they change the front bumper, get custom exhausts, people can do engine swaps to get more power. A lot of people completely change the look of the car to get wraps or resprays, to get a different colour, not a factory colour. Some people do really subtle modifications like tinting windows a bit darker, putting stickers on.”

As for her own car Misha said: “My current car has a custom exhaust system, upgraded alloys (wheels), it’s been lowered to be closer to the ground for better manoeuvring. It’s also got a body kit on it – the front and back bumper and side skirts are different. It’s also got a big spoiler on it, a wing on the back for appearance and aerodynamics. I’ve got a K& N air filter for performance. It’s got tinted windows and bits and bobs.”

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Now her fame has spread to such an extent she featured in a special film and article for online motoring magazine Influx in an edition focusing on cars and culture.

Apart from its regular meets the club also organises one-off larger events, including a memorial fund raiser which was organised recently at Paul’s Farm in Leyland in memory of young member Jack Moran of Leyland who had died in an accident near Runshaw College. It raised just over £1,000 for charity and Misha said: “We did a dove release ceremony. We had his family release the doves. It was very emotional.”

Misha, who was brought up in Lytham St Annes, traces her love of cars back to her dad. She said: “I have always been very into cars because my dad was always modifying cars and going to car meets. He taught me to drive.”

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Her dad Adam Brown comes to the meets too.

Korey Bradley from Leyland was one of the first people to join the club and said as a gay man he found the welcome accepting. He is a club administrator and said: “It was one of the only places that ever accepted me for the way I was. It makes me feel I’ve joined something good for once rather than being pushed away.”

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Korey had the wraps on his car custom printed. He said: “I had a clear vision in my head – I knew what I wanted.”

Misha fits her club work in between juggling jobs as a qualifications coordinator for a private health company, a delivery driver and helping at a vinyl graphics company and looking after her family. She said: “I’m a very busy lady.”

She acknowledges there are more male than female members but said the welcome is for all: "The feedback we’ve got is really positive and fantastic. Don’t be afraid to come along and meet new people and share your pride and joy with others and make some new friends...There are members who come to our meetings because they feel very included. They really enjoy that we park up and talk. If you’ve got a passion for cars you should be able to express it.”