Town cars, antiques and sports cars, there was a variety of them all. Students gathered at The Elegance, for one the most prestigious events in antique auto motives with the task to take these well-known cars and do the impossible by making them run again.
Toner’s instructor lifted the hood to adjust the choke linkage. A few tense moments later, the 1916 Scripps-Booth Model D roared to life, allowing Toner, a 24-year-old auto restoration student from the Philadelphia suburb of Quakertown, to pull out of his spot and begin a triumphant circuit around the show grounds.
You have to expect some car trouble when your ride is a one-of-a-kind classic like the Scripps, which, after all, hadn’t been driven since 1959 – until students at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport took it out of mothballs this spring and got it back on the road.
I can’t say enough about our students’ passion,” said restoration instructor Roy Klinger.
Passion is what the hobby desperately needs from young people right now.
When Penn College revved up its vintage vehicle restoration major in 2012, it became one of just a handful of degree programs around the country teaching young people how to help refurbish and maintain North America’s fleet of more than 10 million classic cars.
“We have a huge void,” said Earl Mowrey, who heads youth development at the Antique Automobile Club of America. “There’s been a generation or a generation and a half of missed opportunity.”