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Episode 145: Student Auto Body Talents Wow Crowd at BHS Classic Car Show

There were classic cars, souped-up lawn mowers and some pretty fancy farm equipment. Students in the Bingham High School Auto Body class worked their magic turning cars and trucks into something special.

On this episode of the Supercast we fire up the engines and head to the annual classic car show at Bingham High School. It is an event that gives students a chance to show off their talents and creativity when it comes to cars and a wide variety of vehicles.


Audio Transcription

Anthony Godfrey:
Hello, and welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent, Anthony Godfrey. There were classic cars, souped up lawn mowers and some pretty fancy farm equipment. Students in the Bingham High School auto body class worked their magic, turning four wheels into something special. On this episode of the Supercast, we fire up the engines and head to the annual classic car show at Bingham High School. It is an event that gives students a chance to show off their talents and creativity when it comes to cars in a wide variety of other vehicles.

We're here at Bingham High School with Travis Lucero, or Lucy as the kids call him. We are at the car show and this is the official beginning of summer in my book.

Travis Lucero:
It's the end of the school year for me. I'm exhausted.

Anthony Godfrey:
We're all exhausted. It's been quite a year.

Travis Lucero:
It sure has. 

Anthony Godfrey:
But I always look forward to this event and it's just got a great vibe, great feel and it gets to highlight some of the kids' work and what's important to them.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah. We love it. It's our 26th year of doing this. Barry Wooten actually started it in 1995. 

Anthony Godfrey:
Wow. 

Travis Lucero:
I've been doing it for 16 years and every year it gets bigger and bigger. This year we have over 80 cars out, three tractors, even a lawnmower.

Anthony Godfrey:
I saw a tractor walking up and I've seen lawn mowers over the years. Tell me about the class that you teach, and why the car show?

Travis Lucero:
Well, I teach two classes. I teach a Collision Repair class, which is the outer skin of the car, like the painting and the body work. And then I also teach Welding. The car show is just, it's just like in my blood. We love hot rods. We love cars. And so it's just, for me, it's kind of like just a fun end of the year. Let the kids show off. We have four cars that have been painted that are here at the car show. And so we just, people can see what we're doing. And a lot of students are still really into cars out here. It gives them a chance to show off their pride and joy.

Anthony Godfrey:
Now there are some really memorable cars over the years that I've seen. One of them was a DeLorean that I really like. That's a picture of me. That's going back to the past though. 

Travis Lucero:
Yeah. That's like five, six years ago.

Anthony Godfrey:
Yeah, that's five or six years ago. Well, wow. Now that Chevy Nova over there. That brings back some memories. We had two Chevy Novas when I was growing up. One white, one blue. And tell me, I look out and I see this wide variety of cars. Tell me, what are the rules? Just that you're interested in showing off your car?

Travis Lucero:
So basically I try to keep 'em street legal, unless, you know, like you got a tractor or something under construction. I have a couple of really cool dirt bikes that aren’t street legal, but for the most part, if the kids can drive it in themselves, and it's street legal, they can bring it out to the car show. Whatever they're proud of, whatever they're into, we'll take. We've got some people that have some really nice classics. We've got some people that have really great tuner imports. Really big truck crowd. If they love it and they wanna show it, they can bring it.

Anthony Godfrey:
Do you have teachers show their cars sometimes?

Travis Lucero:
We do. Graber, the band teacher’s Austin Healy is over there. That was actually built here at Bingham. It's a 56 Austin Healy. We have Mr. Metcalf, who has his Mustang out there. We have Arbogast, who has his Ford truck out there. Dave Peck until he retired, showed a Ford car that had been built out here. So we've had quite a few teachers show their cars.

Anthony Godfrey:
Tell me about the collision repair class and the students that are drawn to that.

Travis Lucero:
So we get a lot of students that maybe struggle in academic classes, but it's kind of like their saving grace. They really love the hands-on, tactile type learning. A lot of kids that are excited by the idea of something that is custom, that they've built or that they can work on. And we just give 'em a chance to learn how to remove dents, do rust repair, all the way up to doing custom paint and flames on panels. Just kind of give 'em the full gamut. So if they wanna go get a job in a body shop, they have the skills to do that. If they wanna do fun, custom stuff on their own cars, or they have the ability to do a little bit of that as well. And it's just great, cuz they get a chance to get a break from that really, you know, hard academic learning in their day. It’s just 90 minutes, they can do something new and give their brain a rest.

Anthony Godfrey:
And hands on learning that can lead to a hobby or career. 

Travis Lucero:
Oh yeah.

Anthony Godfrey:
And feels great in the moment too, just getting a chance to do that.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah, I actually have about a half dozen students that are working right now in collision and repair shops. And I have about a dozen students that are working as welders right now.

Anthony Godfrey:
Wow. 

Travis Lucero:
So there's a high demand in both areas. And most of my kids that are welding are making about $20-$25 an hour as high school students. So you can make a lot more money. There's a lot of demand for it. And it's just fun.

Anthony Godfrey:
Yeah, doing something you love.

Travis Lucero:
Doing something you love, getting your hands on something, and feeling like you accomplish something every day. You can stand back and see something that you accomplished every day in class. I always tell my students like when you're welding, it's instant gratification. If you're having a bad day go in and do some welds, you will automatically feel better about yourself by the end of the day.

Anthony Godfrey:
Light that torch, things feel better. 

Travis Lucero:
Right. You burn some metal, makes you feel better.

Anthony Godfrey:
So well, I'm really grateful that we have those programs, and I'm really grateful we have you.

Travis Lucero:
Well, thank you so much. I'm glad that we can be here and be a part of Jordan District and represent Bingham High School. We love Bingham. It's a great day to be a Miner. 

Anthony Godfrey:
It is always a great day to be a Miner. Let's walk around, let's check 'em out. And of course you can hear the music in the background. And we heard some pretty serious bass out there because cars stereos and cars are inextricably linked. Of course  we've got cars as far as the eye can see. Is this your car?

Travis Lucero:
This is.

Anthony Godfrey:
All right,  how do you describe this to people who are listening?

Travis Lucero:
This is a 1950 Chevy pickup truck that's been converted to a Roadster. And a Roadster by definition is a vehicle that has no roll up side windows. It's what they call a one weather car. So it has no top to it at all. It doesn't have any side glass. It basically just has a windshield in it. So like a 32 Ford is an open top Roadster. We've been working on it at Bingham High with my classes for over a decade. In that time we've done significant metal work to it. It's been painted, all of the suspension work's been done to it. The auto mechanics class rebuilt all the rear end and helped install the engine and the transmission and do all of that this year as well. So we just try and use it as like something fun that the kids can learn on. But yeah, every year a couple inches further to a finished vehicle.

Anthony Godfrey:
It looks fantastic. What, what do you call this color of green?

Travis Lucero:
I don't know what we should call it. My friend, Ronnie actually is a custom painter and he came up with it. It's a custom mixed color. So it's a candy pearl green. A very heavy metallic pearl green.

Anthony Godfrey:
It just shines in the sun.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah. It's got some pop to it for sure.

Anthony Godfrey:
Like it’s from space, I would think. And it's more like a beetle green, like it's this almost insect green.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah. My one friend called it antifreeze. I thought that was kind of fitting.

Anthony Godfrey:
That's pretty close.

Travis Lucero:
It's pretty close to the color of antifreeze.

Anthony Godfrey:
So is this a street legal vehicle?

Travis Lucero:
Absolutely. Yeah.

Anthony Godfrey:
Oh my gosh.

Travis Lucero:
So when it's all done, it's not finished yet, but when it's all done, it'll have headlights. It'll have a bed on it, have blinkers, turn signals, the whole thing. It's completely street legal. 

Anthony Godfrey:
We need to get our picture by this one because this a stand out. Tell me about some of the other cars. Let's just walk around and then we'll talk to a couple of students.

Travis Lucero:
So, this is a vehicle that was done here at Bingham this year. This is just a little Scion that was actually bought as a salvage title. And we brought this in as like a fun student project and they did some body work and stuff on it. And then my friend, who's a good custom painter came in and showed the kids how to do some actual custom airbrushing and paint on it. It's got a matte finish on the top. This is actual lace. Like you go buy at a fabric store.

Anthony Godfrey:
Oh really?

Travis Lucero:
And you paint, it's really old school techniques.

Anthony Godfrey:
So, the lace was laid over the top of the car?

Travis Lucero:
And they spray over the top of it. Okay. Yeah. That's what they do.

Anthony Godfrey:
So that’s a lace pattern on the hood of the car.

Travis Lucero:
Then there's water droplets on here.

Anthony Godfrey:
Those water droplets are actually painted on there. That's part of the design.

Travis Lucero:
They actually spray water down, distilled water, and then paint over the distilled water, wait for it to evaporate and then clear over the top of it.

Anthony Godfrey:
This is so cool.

Travis Lucero:
It’s a really cool old school technique.

Anthony Godfrey:
That's awesome. 

Travis Lucero:
Yeah. That's a 1950 Chevy Bel Air. So this was brought in by a grandparent of one of our students. So it's pretty much what you would call a restoration. It's all original. This might be a 57 actually. But it's a beautiful teal in the off white top. It's just a really neat, all original vehicle.

Anthony Godfrey:
Look at that. Now, talk about a time machine. That does take you back in time. 

Travis Lucero:
Well, especially cuz they haven't really changed anything at all. These are like factory color options. It's got all the factory trim on it. It's got the factory bench seats in it still. So, even like the baby moons and stuff are all options you could have got in the 50s.

Anthony Godfrey:
Wow.

Travis Lucero:
So it's a pretty period, correct car, except for some added in stereo equipment. It's all there. It's a beautiful piece.

Anthony Godfrey:
You know, I'll allow the stereo equipment. I’m a music fan. I think that's the only fair that they have some banging tunes in there.

Travis Lucero:
I have like 12 speakers in my truck so I don't blame you.

Anthony Godfrey:
Okay.

Travis Lucero:
This Ford Bronco's pretty cool. A student and his dad's been working on this one.

Anthony Godfrey:
So a student and his dad have been working on it.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah. He told me they have a couple of 'em and actually, they did all the paint and the body work and stuff on it. It's got all the bed liner done down on the bottom. It's just a really cool, this would be mid 70s Bronco. Full size Bronco.

Anthony Godfrey:
That is a really, really cool looking truck.

Travis Lucero:
I always really like Broncos. You can take the tops off like Jeeps in the summer. But they're like twice the size of a Jeep, so you can get a little more bang for your buck out of 'em, which is kind of fun.
Anthony Godfrey:
This and the fact that it's brown. Yeah. It just really, wow.

Travis Lucero:
You don't see a lot of browns.

Anthony Godfrey:
It takes me back as well. That's really something. 

Travis Lucero:
It's pretty cool.

Anthony Godfrey:
This is great. The kids are having a great time.

Travis Lucero:
Oh yeah, we just love it. Come out, it's  beautiful weather today. You know, we cook up J Dawgs every year. We feed all the faculty and staff for free. We sell the J Dawgs to the kids with a chip and drink for $3. Yeah. So we can pretty much come out and just relax and see a bunch of really cool cars.

Anthony Godfrey:
That's a great lunch and it's a great time.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah. And the FACTS department actually does it. At the school store the teacher, they in her class, all put it together and cook all of it and do all of the stuff for it.

Anthony Godfrey:
And I know you saved me a shirt. You're wearing the shirt from the 26th Annual Car Show.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah. And this was actually designed by our photo teacher this year.

Anthony Godfrey:
With the flames coming behind, what would you call that? Like a hot rod?

Travis Lucero:
Like a ‘34 Ford Roadster. Like a Tin Woody style Roadster. Kind of fun. 

Anthony Godfrey:
I love it. It's fantastic.

Travis Lucero:
This is a 1970ish, we don't know the year for sure, Sears & Roebuck lawn mower that belonged to my grandmother.

Anthony Godfrey:
Oh my gosh.

Travis Lucero:
And in the 90s she couldn't get it to run. She pushed it out on the curb. My dad actually got it started in five minutes and took it home. About a decade ago he wanted to customize it. So I brought it down to the school and the kids helped me and we put flames on it, did a custom paint job on it. He threw away the lawn mower deck. He said, it's never gonna mow lawn ever again. And basically, we drive the little grandkids around in it. It's just for fun.

Anthony Godfrey:
It's so, it looks so cool.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah. I louvered this in college, that's how long ago.

Anthony Godfrey:
Really? Oh man.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah, did that a long, long time ago.

Anthony Godfrey:
I love the flames. There's a ton of, is this a decal?

Travis Lucero:
No, it's all painted. 

Anthony Godfrey:
It's all paint?

Travis Lucero:
That's pin stripe. That's actually put on with a brush and it's called pin striping. You just trace around the graphics with a paint brush. 

Anthony Godfrey:
The flames look incredible. It's glitter flames. And what do you call this right here?

Travis Lucero:
That's a big shifter knob. 

Anthony Godfrey:
The big shifter knob is packed with glitter. Like a bouncy ball from the 70s.

Travis Lucero:
That actually came off of a Peterbilt semi truck. 

Anthony Godfrey:
Did it really? 

Travis Lucero:
It did, yeah.

Anthony Godfrey:
Travis, this is fantastic. Thanks for baking these types of opportunities available to students.

Travis Lucero:
Yeah, for sure.

Anthony Godfrey:
I think it's so incredible that they get to do this and what a great way to feature it.

Travis Lucero:
So it's a lot of fun.

Anthony Godfrey:
Well, I never miss it. I'm never going to miss it. It's a great event. And thanks again.

Travis Lucero:
Thanks for coming. I appreciate it.

Anthony Godfrey:
Stay with us. When we come back more with Travis Lucero and his students at Bingham High School's car show.

Break:
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Anthony Godfrey:
Okay. We're here with Cooper and Vincent at the car show, talking about Skills USA and just the chance to show off their work. So thanks for being here guys, and talking with me. Introduce yourselves.

Cooper:
My name is Cooper. I'm a senior here at Bingham High School. I am helping run the car show. I have my own car here. It's gonna be a great, I'm having a great time.

Vincent:
I'm Vincent and I am the Skills USA President. And this is my senior year at Bingham High School.

Anthony Godfrey:
Tell me about Skills USA for those who don't know.

Vincent:
So Skills USA is mostly involved in the CTE programs of our school. So anything from welding, to woodworking, and auto mechanics. And our main goal is basically to develop a good teamwork environment for all, everybody from seniors to sophomores. And to really just create those bonds that'll go down and get that experience that will help us in the future to do our own things.

Anthony Godfrey:
And which of those areas is your specialty?

Vincent:
So I came into Skills USA last year involved in the woodworking and the welding. This year I came in through the welding program.

Anthony Godfrey:
And have you been working as a welder, or do you plan to work as a welder?

Vincent:
I do work as a welder at a fabrication shop and I do a lot of custom stuff over there.

Anthony Godfrey:
Is that something you want to continue with?

Vincent:
I honestly really love it. I enjoy doing it and I feel like this is something I could go down doing until, really, I die honestly. 

Anthony Godfrey:
Good. That's awesome when you find that. Cooper, tell me about what you've been doing.

Cooper:
Well, I'm also in Skills USA. I helped build the drift trike by just like putting it all together. I'm going to be an auto mechanic. That's what I just found out I love doing, cuz it's just so fun. But when I first came in here, my sophomore year, I had Auto I and I just hated cars for like when I first started. 

Anthony Godfrey:
Really?

Cooper:
Yeah. It's just because I just didn't learn anything and it was just, I just felt like I didn't belong there. But then my mom put me in for Auto II in the second year. Then I got my current teacher, Mr. Metcalf, Aaron Metcalf, and he taught me a whole bunch of stuff that I just thought like, ‘Hey, this is not so bad because it's not as hard as I thought it would be.’

Anthony Godfrey:
Well, moms are good at pushing you into things that you didn't think you were gonna like, but turn out, being life changing.

Cooper:
Yeah, that's so true. I really gotta thank my mom for like, just forcing me into that class cuz I don't know what I'd be doing other than this right now if I didn't do that.

Anthony Godfrey:
Well, I admire that you have these skills and that you've pursued them the way that you have. And I love what you said about Skills USA bringing people together and providing that support. It's really important at this stage in high school to feel like you connect with others and that you get to explore your skills. So I'm really excited that you've been a part of that. 

Let's take a look at your car Cooper. 

Cooper:
Yes.

Anthony Godfrey:
Let's go check it out. Tell us about it as we walk up there.

Cooper:
So, I have this car from my grandpa who passed away in February, just this year. It's a 2005 Ford F-150. There's nothing really that special about it, but I like it. I'm gonna keep it like for a long time cuz it's my my grandpa's car.

Anthony Godfrey:
Tell me what you plan for the car.

Cooper:
Well, I hope to like repaint it, make it like a bright blue or like a nice blue color. I plan to raise it up a little bit. Just make bigger tires, make it sort of an off rotor sort of car. Cuz right now I think this is just a like working or just carrying stuff, car you know, just for work.

Anthony Godfrey:
Okay. And how long did your grandfather own this car?

Anthony Godfrey:
As long as you can remember?

Cooper:
No, I don't know how long he owned this car, but I know he had it for a long time cuz it has like over 200,000 miles on it. And his death was just well, his passing, I should say it was just a little bit of a sudden thing for us. And so like I just got his car and I don't know. I don't know if I wanna change it too much just because like, you know, it reminds me of my grandpa and all that.

Anthony Godfrey:
Yeah. That's very special that you have that and that'll be a great way to help remember him. Tell me, two of you are graduating seniors now. What advice do you have for those who are just starting high school?

Cooper:
Well, my advice is that I would just figure out, like find out something that you don't love, even though you may. Because for me, like I, when I joined Auto, I hated it. Like my first year I did not ever want to do it again. But like my mom just pushed me into there and this is what I want to do now. I love doing it. So I would say listen to your mom and do your very best.

Anthony Godfrey:
Good advice.

Vincent:
The advice I would give to the younger generations out there, if you know what you want to do, you should go for it regardless of what anybody says you can or can't do. If you believe that you can set your mind to it.

Anthony Godfrey:
Awesome. Well, thanks a lot guys. I'm proud of the work that you've done and that you've been able to find some skills and find a passion through these classes. So great work and keep it up. All right, good luck in the future.

Thanks for joining us on another episode of the Supercast. Remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you out there.