C.A.R.S. is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Education and Training Center for Automobile Restoration. C.A.R.S. has been conceived as a two-year hands-on training program in automotive restoration that trains participants in the best of vintage automobile design and construction and modern automotive technologies. Unlike conventional commercial training programs, which are focused heavily on theory as it applies to new cars, our program is grounded on the philosophy that students must gain knowledge of the cars of the past. We teach extensive hands-on practice with old and new technologies in order to become accomplished at auto restoration.
Rather than sitting in a classroom, trainees accepted into the C.A.R.S. program will learn exclusively on the job training. Working on vintage cars as apprentices under the close supervision of a team of master mechanics and technicians. Not only will they restore the cars to pristine cosmetic condition, but also will overhaul the electrical systems and upgrade the engines and drive-trains to modem fuel-efficiency and emission standards.
For example, students will learn why the new gearbox being installed is rack and pinion and why it is superior to what it is replacing. They will know what all the sensors in modern engines do because they will have installed them all in the cars they are restoring. They will learn what a choke is and what technology has replaced it and why carbonation gave way to fuel injection. They will learn how each U.S. manufacturer made the design decisions it did and how to work on cars from GM, Ford and Chrysler.
Our students don’t work for free, we pay them to learn! The idea is to have enough donated cars to sell to invest back into the school. Every car donated will either be repaired and sold or restored and sold. All funds going back into the school. Funds will be used to pay the students a small wage while on the job learning, keeping equipment up to date and safe, and enhancing the program as it grows. The goal is to teach the students enough to get them ready for a career in automotive restoration.
During their first year, trainees will be introduced to all aspects of automotive restoration and gain hands-on experience in each area. In the second year, they can choose to concentrate on one or more areas that interest them the most as they prepare for their future careers.
Drawing on the decades of experience of the participating mechanics and technicians, C.A.R.S. will ensure that a vast store of automotive knowledge is preserved and passed on to the next generation, which will put it to use ensuring that these vintage, highly collectible cars are returned to the road as fully functional vehicles that meet modem fuel efficiency and emission standards. Apprentices will leave the program fully qualified for jobs in garages, paint shops, body shops, upholstery shops, etc. When each car is restored, it will be sold at auction and the proceeds reinvested in the C.A.R.S. program, thus sustaining it and allowing it to grow to meet the demand for practical training in these skills.