The Northwest Vintage Car and Motorcycle Museum is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and the board of directors decided to start an educational program to benefit the community and help youth develop an interest in vintage cars and motorcycles. To help our organization achieve this goal, the Education Committee came up with a plan to establish a class for selected students to teach them how to build a Model T Speedster from a pile of donated parts.
The Museum provides up to 10 mentors while the Salem-Keizer School District selects a similar number of high school students for the program and they provide the student supervision. During the school year, mentors and students meet one day each week from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. The average student work time is approximately 800 hours each year and the mentors spend about 1200 hours working and planning the sessions. After 25 to 30 sessions, students build a finished roadster and they receive a “Model T Drivers Certificate.”
Many of these students have come from the GED program, a non-traditional educational setting. Mentors teach the students skills in automotive mechanics, metal fabricating, woodworking, spray painting, automotive electrical, metal casting and foundry work, upholstery, safety, teamwork and car show etiquette. Some of our students are home-schooled and this allows them to supplement their education.
Since the program began, we have had over 350 students participate in the Speedster program. Several of our Speedster students have have gone on to Chemeketa Community College’s automotive program.