Courtesy of Ford
Sydney Sweeney never planned on being the TikTok car girl. But her 1.7 million followers on the platform can’t get enough of her adventures under the hood. And today she’s revealing another notch in her mechanic’s belt: a one-of-a-kind Mustang GT she designed with an all-women team, for Ford’s 60th anniversary.
“My entire partnership with Ford has been the biggest achievement of my life, to be honest,” she says. “I love it so much.”
Sweeney is legitimately giddy when she delivers this line. The word gushing should be used sparingly, but it’s the word that comes to mind. In her personal hierarchy of triumphs, starring roles in critically acclaimed shows like The White Lotus and Euphoria are sprinkles on the proverbial sundae of being enshrined in car history.
It started when she was filming the second season of Euphoria in 2021, and needed a hobby to ground herself. “I just wanted something that would bring me home in a way, and I always felt the most ‘Syd’ when I was in the shop,” she says. “I’m a very creative hands-on type of person. Like in school growing up, I couldn’t just read something and learn it. I had to somehow make it an interactive activity for myself.”
Sweeney comes from a family of mechanics in a small town near Spokane, Washington, and she learned to drive on her grandfather’s F-100 farm truck, which she still owns today. During the pandemic, she bought an original 1969 Bronco, which needed some heavy restoration. Her best friend’s dad owns an auto shop in the North Hollywood Valley, and said he’d give her some space to work on the Bronco.
“I never actually had the intention of, Oh, I’m going to share this with everybody,” she says. “But my mom and dad would ask, ‘What was the latest thing you did this week?’ or, ‘How’s the car looking?’ They wanted me to send them videos of me working on the car. Then I saw that everyone was editing their videos with TikTok, and they were cool, easy videos. I’m like, Oh, this could be fun.”
She created an account called @syds_garage, and used a cartoon image of herself in the Rosie the Riveter pose, holding a wrench. She didn’t put her name on the account, but it didn’t take long for the TikTok prowlers to sniff her out. “All of a sudden I was seeing comments like, ‘You look a lot like Sydney Sweeney!’” she says. “Then I started showing up on people’s Euphoria pages.”
Once word got around about her car hobby, Ford approached her about collaborating on a workwear collection, which sold out within 24 hours of launching. Then they asked if she wanted to create a custom car to celebrate the company’s upcoming anniversary. It would be a modern take on her robin’s-egg blue 1965 Mustang, which she’d nicknamed “Britney.” Her 2024 Mustang GT is the same iconic color, but with a racing stripe, Sweeney’s signature engraved on the engine, a heart-shaped emblem made out of two curving bolts, and an LED starlight ceiling.
“The ceiling reminds me of when I’m back home on the lake, and you can see all the stars in the sky, and I’m laying out trying to find all the constellations,” Sweeney says. “That makes me happy.”
So happy, in fact, that she wants to share her excitement with someone else. Ford is making two of the Mustangs: one for Sweeney, and one for the winner of a contest she’s hosting on Ford’s Instagram and TikTok. Participants are asked to share their personal stories of breaking boundaries, and Sweeney will choose the one that means the most to her.
Then, perhaps she and the winner will take their twin dream cars out for a spin. “I just want to go on a joy ride with them as we freak out and have a happy dance in our cars,” she says. The contest launches today and closes February 7, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
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