According to her personal website: “Jessi Combs was born in the Black Hills of Rapid City, SD. With a lifelong desire to become a race car driver, this fearless young lady found a love for speed and its machines at a very young age. Her parents loved to explore everything around them and gave her a solid appreciation for off-roading as well as racing in many forms. In addition to her love for speed, Jessi is artistic and spends as much time as she can creating with her own hands. She loves metal working and leather craft and is skilled in both. Jessi is an independent and adventurous spirit, boasting, “I will try everything at least twice… I wouldn’t want to be jaded by the first attempt!” Her sense of adventure led her to board sports, travel, photography, and sky diving.
Having turned down a full scholarship to a prominent interior design school, she traveled North America before settling in Denver, CO to pursue a career in snowboarding. This proved harder on her physically than she had anticipated and decided on a career that involved her love of everything automotive and showcased her artistic abilities. She moved to Laramie, WY to attend WyoTech where she studied Collision/Refinishing, Chassis Fabrication, Street RodFabrication, and Trim/Upholstery, graduating with a degree in Custom Automotive Fabrication.
Her time and involvement at the trade school led to her first fabrication job when the marketing department hired her and another student to build a car from the ground up in six months to debut at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association’s (SEMA) show. The car was auctioned for charity and Jessi hasn’t looked back since.
While her chosen career path didn’t initially include time on television, she found herself on Overhaulin’ as a guest fabricator and was soon hired as the co-host of Xtreme 4×4, part of the Powerblock on Spike TV, a position she held for four years and 90+ episodes. Together with a co-host, they built everything from race trucks to street trucks and trail rigs to trailers for an audience of millions.
In a widely publicized accident in 2007, while working on Xtreme 4×4, Jessi was folded in two by a large piece of machinery, burst fracturing her spine’s L3. The accident should have left her wheelchair bound; but instead, after surgery, bed rest, therapy, eight months and a little help from God, Jessi was granted full medical release. Appreciative of her health and her time on Xtreme 4×4, Jessi chose to move on with her career and in 2008 she left the show in pursuit of other opportunities.
Jessi spent the next year appearing on shows like 2 Guys Garage, TruckU, SEMA Show Special, DuplicolorTV, Full Throttle TV, Pirate4x4 TV Live, and Bosch 125. Her on-screen personality was beginning to take shape as she honed her skills as a TV host while maintaining her integrity as a metal fabricator, builder and industrial artist. In 2009 she appeared as a host and builder on the 7th season of Mythbusters while Kari Byron was on maternity leave.
Jessi can currently be found on All Girls Garage on Velocity Channel, The List: 1001 Car Things To Do Before You Die on AOL’s autoblog.com, and she joined Overhaulin’ as a host and ‘A-Team’ hybrid member, which returned to Velocity Channel in the fall of 2012.
Jessi is proud of the relationships she has fostered throughout her career and she continues to represent many companies as a spokesperson as well as a product expert. These relationships coupled with her skills and opportunities provided her the chance to race the Ultra4 King of the Hammers in 2010, 2012 and 2013 and the Baja 1000 in 2011 taking home a podium finish. The North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger added Jessi to the team in an attempt to break the Women’s Landspeed Worlds record made in 1976 by Kitty O’neil at 512mph. She maintains a passion for racing in all forms and hopes to further expand her portfolio in this respect in the near future.
Not known for sitting still, this awesome girl is also working on starting her own fab shop: “A place where bad ass hot rods, motorcycles, custom trucks, race vehicles, and anything metal will originate with a feminine touch; where chicks can finally have a place to get dirty, be creative, use their skills, explore talents, go fast, and have fun in a comfortable working environment”.
There is never a pause in her life when it comes to reaching out and showing people, especially women, that they too can get dirty, go fast, and have fun while still being the beautiful, nurturing creatures God created them to be.”