RENO, NV—Teresa Aquila has been a car enthusiast all her life.

A mechanic by trade, Aquila wanted to find ways to shine the spotlight on other, like-minded female enthusiasts. More importantly, she was looking to create a way for other women hot rod owners and builders to get together, compare notes, and enjoy each other’s company.

Hot August Nights was the perfect opportunity.

She created Women with Wheels about ten years ago and then worked hard to get Hot August Nights to make it a part of its show—a sort of show within the show.

“Several years ago I saw that the ladies would sit behind the cars and I thought we need to bring them from the back of the car to the front of the car,” Aquila said. “So I thought I would start a show just for the ladies (which) I started about 10 years ago with the very first show. About 12 cars showed up and then it blossomed from there.”

Aquila said the first year for Women with Wheels at Hot August Nights drew about 55 cars, and they’ve had upwards of 90 cars attend the past couple of years. This year’s iteration took place at the Nugget Resort and Casino on the Thursday of Hot August Nights.

The event draws women with a variety of skill sets, stories, and backgrounds.


“We have co-owners with their husbands. Some of the women do all the work on their own, like me,” Aquila said. “I’m a mechanic by trade so I do all my own work. We have some ladies who are learning to work on their own cars, and we some who have lost a loved one, and the car is theirs and now they’re learning. It’s a pretty broad spectrum, but it’s all about getting together. It’s all for the love (of cars) and camaraderie.”

Aquila enjoys the creativity of the participants, both in terms of their cars and their approach to the event.

“We give different types of awards,” she said. “We try to get creative. Women like to do fun things and they’re often more decorative type individuals, so our awards include things like the best classic chassis and best twinsie because we have a lot of ladies who like to dress up like their cars. We have ten or 11 awards—we have People’s Choice, like most car shows do, but we also have the ‘best drive-in back seat,’ and ‘best shoes,’ which depends on the wheels on the car.”

Aquila hopes to continue to grow the event and says anyone interested in Women with Wheels can go to or Teresa’s Garage on Facebook.

“It’s about camaraderie, coming together, having similar interests, and just hanging out with other ladies who love to drive their cars,” she said. “I always like to say: ‘If you love to drive it, show it!'”

Here were a few of our favorite Hot August Nights vehicles “created by Women with Wheels.”

All Images/OnAllCylinders
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Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.