We planned on having Project X at Valencia High School, but we all know about plans. What we did have was our kickoff visit to high school shop classes that is an integral part of the 2003 Super Chevy Road Tour. Even though we were disappointed that Project X wasn't there, it was fairly plain that the car-crazy kids in Woody Greenhill's auto shop classes only cared that we came and brought cool cars. We brought Street Rodder magazine's 2000 McMullen Roadster, SUPER CHEVY Senior Editor Randy Fish's Grand National Roadster Show winning '32 Roadster, SUPER CHEVY photographer/journalist Andrew Schear's 400-plus horsepower street driven Fourth-Gen Camaro, and the coolest cop car in town, a '48 Studebaker built and piloted by Capt. Chuck Babcock (ret.) of the Placentia Police Dept. Don't get critical Chevy fans, all the hot rods are Chevy powered!
Valencia High School is about 2 miles from our Placentia, California, office and is well known for their auto shop. Our connection with the local police stems from starting a law enforcement career with them some years ago, and the fact that the police dept has a School Resource Officer, Andy Dean, on campus. It's a unique community that stresses youth involvement and certainly was appropriate for our kickoff. It didn't matter to the kids that we didn't have imports or front-wheel drive, they just asked questions and poked around everything we had to show. We even found that many of them were into old Camaros, Montes, Impalas, and El Caminos. There's hope for us yet!
The best way to know if something fits is to try it on. We think this guy has found a new kind of car to interest him.
The LS1 in the Camaro drew the most looks, but when the kids discovered the sound system in the SRM 2000 roadster, it got some attention.
These kids obviously had been paying attention in class.
They asked some very astute questions...
...and were quite interested in the bolt-ons used to make lots of ponies in the Camaro.
That's Chief of Police Russ Rice visiting with us and enjoying the day.
Chief Rice even has a vintage Chevy truck he keeps threatening to rebuild. (Maybe after he retires?)
For all of you sharp-eyed readers, who may know something about old Studebakers (guess that's the only kind left), we said this is a '48 but the front end has been replaced with the famous '50 bullet nose. It runs a Chevy small-block, is owned by the Placentia Police Association, and is mostly used in parades and special events. It did race for a while just after it was built, but that takes up lots of time and money, so now it just looks cool.
Senior Editor Randy Fish, center in orange ball cap, chats with a group of kids who probably don't get to see many '32 roadsters, and certainly never get to see one engineered the way this one is.
That's one of those looks that usually precedes a teenaged boy asking about driving the car. It is usually followed by the same answer we always got when we were that age. Keep trying, though.
That sound system in the SRM 2000 really needs some young hands and ears to appreciate it. Whatever it takes to keep them enjoying cars is what we're after.