The students of Hot Rod U — a car-restoration workshop launched last year by the Jackson Area Manufacturers Association — are giddy with excitement. They just finished showing off their 1935 Dodge project pickup (that they pulled out of a local swamp) at Detroit's annual Autorama, and they couldn't be prouder.
Since October, 13 students from the Jackson area, about 40 miles west of Ann Arbor, Mich., have been working together once a week on a truck restoration project with JAMA to completely re-create the truck.
Annette Norris, director of the Academy for Manufacturing Careers, said all of this hard work will pay off for the students.
"I know it has been a long road for these kids," Norris said. "But in the end, they get to see how far they have come and how they made a truck that was not functional at all into a drivable, good-as-new hot rod, and that will be exciting."
The students reuse as much as possible, Norris said. The truck got a new engine and tires, but most parts are recycled and donated.
Now that Autorama is behind them, the group members still have a few more details to finish up, and they to auction the truck or hold a raffle. "The money that we gain from the sales will be put into next year's fund so we can do it all over again," Norris said.