Location: Garden Grove, CA, USA
Joined: 01/10/2008
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Race only, H.A.M.B., Build-It, Drive-It, Custom Rodder, Old-School, Restorer, Builder
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The Youth Crew

July 29, 2008

One of my favorite things about building a car or taking on any project of that size is the community that is created around the construction of it. When you work on a project of this magnitude and with as many high school kids that have stepped foot into the garage, every step along the way and stage of the project has significant and specific memories of conversations and people. Many of you probably do not know, but I have bilateral nerve damage in my arms, and lost the use of both my arms for about five years. During this time, I could do nothing, so I ended up helping my wife with the youth group at our church. What a cool experience to get to know other people's teenagers :-). Most of them actually listen when they're not yours. However, it was sad to see so much potential in those kids, and not a whole lot of output.

I am not a fan of sitting around in a room, going over curriculum in a book, and I don't think many of the kids are either. Building a car is one of those things that can bring out the best and worst in you. ( any wrench throwers out there?) The problems you run into...and the solutions end up employing, mirror many of those problems you will find in life later. Building a car is a source of endless object lessons. So, why not? I threw the invitation out there, and people started showing up. We meet once a week for four hours and work on everything from design, parts cleaning, welding and fabrication, engine swaps and pretty much everything you can run into. Most of the kids had never touched a power tool before. It is really awesome to see them get the hang of it and gain confidence in themselves...and really enjoy the rewards of doing a good job on long term project.

We have been going strong for one year and eight months:

Here are a few highlights


You got to love the face he's making on this one...


One of the many things we had to do was a complete roof swap. The original one was completely rusted out...


Let's learn about clean welding!


Many chefs in the kitchen, attempting to solve the mounting issue...and sharpening analytical thinking skills along the way.


The more experienced, instructing the new recruits on the idea of paper templates. See what I mean?, they totally pay attention:-)


How do you know, the new roof is going to fit and line up? Because the gauge you made off of the original roof, lines up with the new trim holes...


The motor will absolutely not fit!


Just enough danger and pain to intrigue the more adventurous...

Everyone who shows up works... no favorites, no exceptions. If you're new, you will likely be degreasing or sandblasting (See below), not welding, or working on the intake manifold.


It has been really awesome to watch these kids learn and grow. Some of them have gotten their own cars and projects, and others are making all kinds of crazy stuff. ( medieval armor and the like).

It's not that they all have to end up being into cars, or Fords or what ever, it's more about showing others that most things are doable, if you're just not afraid to try.

That applies to all areas of life :-)




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