INA, Ill. (Nov. 15, 2013) – Most Tuesday nights in the Rend Lake College Auto Shop are bustling with vehicle enthusiasts and street rod buffs working to improve their skills during a hands-on workshop. With a growing interest in street rodding, plans are in the works to bring more classes to area residents in the spring semester.
Students in RLC’s Principles of Street Rodding classes focus on a wide range of topics that revolve around working on a 1939 Chevy Coupe. While learning the fundamentals, the dozen students ranging from high school age to senior citizens, both men and women, gain a broader understanding of what it takes to convert an old car into a one-of-a-kind.
First-time instructor Jody Martin said the first class covers everything from the brake system to the engine, from wheels to the transmission, and everything in between.
“There’s a lot of hands-on work that we learn about and then do later in the class,” said Martin. “It’s more like a mock-up before the real deal.”
In the second part – Principles of Street Rodding II – students touch up what they already know before moving on to metal work, primers, paint and buffing.
“That’s where we get into the fine tuning and fitting parts,” said Martin. “We have to cover the prep work first that leads to the more advanced aspects. We do a lot of metal shaping, fabrication of motor mounts and various brackets then prepare for installation of engine.”
The former RLC student said that his interest in street rods started in 1984 when he bought an old car and started working on it. When he was asked to teach the workshop this fall, he said it was something he was interested in because he wants to share his knowledge.
Nigel Thompson, RLC Automotive Technology Professor, added there may be more classes in the spring semester due to high interest in the workshops. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
For more information on the current classes, contact the RLC Community and Corporate Education Division at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1267, or visit online at www.rlc.edu/com-ed.