AUBURN — DeKalb High School junior Kelly Frederick sat in the driver’s seat of a Ford Mustang Brenspeed Friday afternoon and stepped on the gas pedal.
As the engine let out a deafening roar, other students in the group nodded, smiled and offered other gestures of appreciation for the car’s power.
“It’s the coolest car I ever started,” Frederick said as she climbed out from behind the steering wheel.
Frederick was one of about 50 DeKalb High School students who participated in the NextGen Education Summit at the National Auto and Truck Museum. The event was sponsored by Worldwide Auctioneers and featured speakers with a passion for automobiles.
“I’m here today to talk to the kids about pursuing their dreams and being passionate about it,” said Brent White, owner of Brenspeed auto tuning shop in Pierceton. “Not that it has to be the (automotive) world. I’m using cars as an example.”
Panelist Rick Carey spoke to the students about his work as a journalist for automotive-related publications.
“What I do today isn’t at all what I started out to do 50-some years ago when I left college,” Carey said. “I took my interest in cars and turned it into my own career.”
He encouraged the students to take advantage of opportunities given to them.
“Pay attention, even to the things that don’t come easy and don’t appeal to you,” Carey said. “Pay attention. Watch what’s going on around you. Be polite. … You’ll learn something from everyone you meet.”
Automotive artist David Chapple emphasized the importance of striving for perfection.
“Always create something that comes from within,” Chapple said. “You have to be passionate about what you do.”
Bill Emerson, an educator, artist, engineer and author, spoke to the group about the skills involved in judging a car show. Emerson said they are the same skills a person will use when selecting a car for purchase. He said students should judge a car based on styling, its rarity and its condition.
At the conclusion of the event, 15 students were invited to serve as judges for today’s Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club car show.
During a break-out session, students learned the importance of paying attention to detail as Mike McCullough of Worldwide Auctioneers pointed out the features of a 1933 Auburn on display in the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.
McCullough explained the full restoration of a vehicle such as the Auburn would take about two years, or 4,000 hours.
“It’s very, very detailed,” McCullough said. “You do it the right way, or do it over and over and over and over again.”
Article from the Star Newspaper
Written by Kathryn Bassett