The women racing with the INKED logo in this year’s Bullrun Rally from Montreal to New Orleans moved rapide.
In a very specific type of Road Trip Bingo along Eastern byways this June, it took a light blue, vintage Mustang, a Styx soundtrack, a beautiful tattooed driver, and an INKED logo to get lucky. It was the Bullrun—a Cannonball Run-like automotive rally from Montreal to New Orleans— and the Mustang Girls drove for 10 days with the radio cranked and the INKED logo smacked on their quarter panels.
Meet Courtney Barber (left) and Gina Ko, our own Mustang Girls who embody the INKED lifestyle. “We like tattoos and we’re cool—not too cool, but cool enough,” says Barber.
You know your friend who is too serious about fantasy sports/hoops/pool/kickball/bowling/video games? INKED isn’t like that and neither are these ladies, who treated the rally more like an adventure than a race. “I like doing the Bullrun as a road trip,” says Barber, who switched out her “Flintstone’s brakes” and put a magenta 351 Windsor engine into her ’65 Mustang, the only vintage car in the rally. “Two years ago, we did the rally with a cameraman and he was shocked because we stop at random shit—we did a swamp tour, we stopped at Dinosaur World—while other teams are so serious they pee in bottles.”
For Barber and Ko, rallies like this are just an excuse to see a country and cut loose with motorheads.
“Sometimes, even if you’ve just driven eight to 10 hours and you’re tired, you still want to go have fun,” Ko says. “You have, like, 40 different cars and even though you’re rallying next to each other, when you get out of the car you really get to play until wheels are up the next day.”
That can backfire. “On my first Bullrun I didn’t know what people really meant when they said, ‘Tomorrow is a long leg,’” Barber says. “We had partied all night and we ended up having to drive up a desert mountain without air conditioning the next day. We drove from 9:30 in the morning and didn’t get to the hotel until a quarter to 4 a.m. We overheated a couple times, and between that and the wild desert animals I thought we were going to die at least three times.”
When they reached the hotel it was like the pair had reached an oasis filled with their friends, happy to have made the trip and happy to be surrounded by like-minded people. “Tattoos and cars coincide—it’s a community of people who appreciate both as different forms of art,” says Ko.
Barber fits right in with a garden of 11 beautifully colored flowers across her body. “They’re all completely different,” she says. “I got my first one when I was 16. Now anytime something happens, or the spirit moves me for a tattoo, I just get another one and remember where each one happened in my life.” Brian Warnekros at Black Orchid in Savannah, GA, did most of her work, but she’s also been to Blu Gorilla in Charleston, SC, where she currently lives. Barber is thinking about getting an automotive piece, if she can sit still long enough. As her Bullrun strategy proves, she moves at her own pace—and always in style.