One Student’s Rust and Wielding of Building Cars

One student's skill and talent takes him beyond his Auto Shop class.

Nick Abbett, Junior

Raven Seelinger

Nick Abbett, Junior

Tatyana Molina, Contributing Writer

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Rebuilding your own car is certainly not a walk in the park, but Nicholas Abbett, a Junior at Oak Hills High School, makes it seem like it is one!

For quite some time, Abbett has been rebuilding a 1967 Chevy Sidestep that he plans on using as a ride to school once he gets his driver’s licence. So far, Abbett has done a lot of bodywork, which consists of sanding of the rust and wielding new thin sheets of metal over the area where the rust was. After Abbett gets all the rust off, he plans on repainting the Sidestep blue and hopes “to put in a whole new engine when I get the money because it still has its original engine in and that one would need a bigger transmission.”

The engine that he is looking into getting is called a Big Block 454 V8 engine, which is one of the biggest and one of the fast engines for cars. So far he has invested $1,500 into the car, and it certainly is not going to stop there because the engine that he wants is pretty pricey. Since he is determined to get the Big Block 454 V8, he mows his neighbors’ lawns weekly, and helps his friends with their car problems, which gets him a couple hundred dollars here and there to help pay for all of the parts that he needs.

Unfortunately, the Sidestep will not be done anytime soon, due to the money constraints, but he is not going to let that stop him from getting as much done as he can. In the meantime, Abbett has been working on some projects in the Advanced Auto Class with his friends on their cars and on his own. One of the projects that he is most excited about in the Auto Class is a Camaro 71, which they plan on putting into race because of how fast it is, which is 600 horsepower. According to Abbett, the teacher would be the driver, and the students would be able to be the pit crew once they have finished all the minor parts it needs. For the students, this is a great thing because it would be a great way to not only get some more work experiences, but it would also put their skills to the ultimate test.

Other than the Camaro in Auto Class, Abbett has also worked on some of his friend’s cars. “One of them was a Honda Civic 98’ and we put performance parts. For example, we put roller rockers on it and what those do is give more movement to the rocker itself, and the rocker is the part that pushes down the intake and exhaust valves,” he explained as he drew a diagram on a paper to give a visual.

Naturally, it can be assumed that Abbett’s talent with cars stems from his childhood, which is true. “My dad would work on cars in his garage, and he would show me what each part was and what it does. Occasionally, he would let me work on some of the electrical parts.” He said, “I always knew that I liked cars but I never knew how much I liked to work on them until I worked on one of them.” When he was asked if he was interested into turning this into a career, he responded by saying that he would rather work on helicopters and airplanes for the Army or Navy. But he did say that he would want to work on the airplane carriers for sure.

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