Member Spotlight: Maria De Angelo

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Maria de Angelo would call herself a true “Lady Car Guy” at heart. Her enthusiasm for automobiles is endless and her passion for great cars and car people runs deep. Her outgoing personality makes her hard to miss, as she lives life to the fullest at the many events put on by the Checkered Flag 200. Since joining the CF200 de Angelo has become a champion of the museum’s cause and has been loud and proud in her support of women in motoring.

De Angelo has a background in fashion and costume design primarily for groups like The Jackson 5, The Commodores, and Earth, Wind & Fire. So it’s no wonder that design and aesthetics are as important to her as a car’s performance. She also pulled stints as an Entertainment Business Management Bookkeeper for a dozen big Hollywood and recording industry names. While many celebrities remain, friends, her real heroes are the movers and shakers in the autosphere. During Monterey car week, the person she most wanted to meet was Lamborghini’s longtime, legendary test and development driver Valentino Balboni. When she finally met him, she couldn’t have been more excited, asking for photos and autographs which Mr. Balboni was happy to provide. While others may idolize musicians, actors, and actresses, de Angelo looks up to engineers, designers, and drivers. 

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De Angelo’s passion for automobiles began when she was young. Her first car was a 1973 Mustang Grande, but lately, she has grown fond of European luxury sport roadsters, such as the Mercedes SL500. She recently acquired this one as well as the triple black Jaguar F-Type in her garage (with a shout out to CF200 member Beau Boeckmann for helping make that happen). While her garage contains a Jaguar, she hasn’t forgotten her Italian roots, with a passion for marques like Ferrari and Lamborghini.   

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If you’ve met her, you can’t help but be taken in by her gregarious nature and outgoing personality. While she enjoys the places that the CF200 has gone and the events that the group hosts, she says “it’s the people” that drew her to the group and the reason she remains a longtime member. These days de Angelo is semi-retired and gives much of her free time as an active and participating supporter of The Feminist Majority Foundation. She joined the foundation at the suggestion of Mavis Leno, another fabulous, accomplished woman with some “car guy” credentials in the family.  For a woman like de Angelo, driven so much by fashion, style, and the automobile, it’s “all about the heels, and all about the wheels.”

Written by Matt Stone