Best school project ever? T Bucket hot rod donated to students
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While some school technology courses see students making small things for the home, Tikipunga High School's automotive students will be spending this year building a hot rod thanks to the generosity of the Whangarei Custom Car Club.
Last week the students, and automotive course tutor Clint McEwen, took delivery of the tub for the hot rod project — to build a T Bucket - many parts and $10,000 from the club to help build the machine.
Mr McEwen said the students were so excited about the project when he told them, but getting delivery of so much machinery last week — and seeing a completed T Bucket the club had taken along - got their excitement levels soaring.
He said the students would spend the year building the T Bucket, under the supervision of himself and club members, and would earn industry unit standards that would help get them into apprenticeships after leaving school.
''It's just such an awesome project and really down to the generosity of the club, who approached us and asked if we'd ben keen to give it a go. We said yeah and here we are, ready to go,'' he said.
The course had previously bought 'old wrecks' for do up projects for the automotive students, but the T Bucket took things to a whole new level.
''This is huge for the school, the students and the club.''
Tikipunga High Principal Alec Solomon was impressed with the project.
''When I did tech at school all I got to make was a wooden soup ladle. These students get
to build a hot rod. How cool is that?''
Barbara Massicks from the Whangarei Rod and Custom Car Club said members were last year discussing how their membership was getting older and how could they get younger people interested in hot rods.
''Our 'young members' were all in their 40s. It appeared to us that the younger generation were all into getting the modified Japanese cars. So we wanted to do something to get them into hot rodding. I think some youngsters may think it's quite expensive to get into, but the T Bucket is really the entry level hot rod.
''We started talking to schools and Tikipunga was the only one doing project cars so we went with them,'' Mrs Massicks said.
The club members were looking forward to imparting their knowledge to the budding hot rodders.
The work in progress had already been booked to go to the Big Boys Toys event in Auckland later this year as a way of showing the youngsters what could be achieved.
The club had donated the tub, chassis, a Chrysler 318 engine and many other parts and hoped to get a gearbox shortly for the students. It was also working to get them discounted parts from suppliers.
All going well the Tiki T Bucket would be finished before November.