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Generally, when our readers send in pictures or stories of their cars, it’s one of three things. First, there’s the guys with money to burn who paid for pros to restore their beauty with all the bells, whistles, and original chrome. The chrome strips may have been handcrafted by blind Algerian monks over the course of decades. Second, there’s the guys who do everything themselves. Working on a budget, they’ve lovingly reworked every piece of the car in their garage. It took them years and years, but it’s done and it’s done by them. And finally, we have the guys who just bought a rustbucket off Craigslist, but are inordinately proud anyway. With few exceptions, every car we get photos of falls into one of those categories.

Then we heard from Jay Abitz. Jay is a teacher at Freedom High School in Freedom, Wisconsin, and leads the Freedom Auto Club, a group of students learning practical experience in automotive maintenance through hands-on work. The kids do everything from sanding and painting, to cutting and welding. That kind of story is just too cool to pass up, especially when we got a look at some of the cars his kids have made right. Now a word of warning: These aren’t every one of them Chevys, but we figured we’d cut them a little slack. They’re young. They still have time to embrace the Bowtie wholeheartedly.

Jay not only leads the Auto Club, he founded it, way back in the hoary mists of 2008, a time when dinosaurs and Studebakers roamed the earth, devouring any cars smaller than themselves. The tools and facility weren’t getting a whole lot of use, and Jay saw a need for a quality after school activity. The club was born. Many of the club members are students at Freedom High, often taking regular classes in auto mechanics and auto body. Some don’t take any car classes at all, but join the club to have a place to work on their own cars, as well as helping with club projects.

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