LB auto students build truck from scratch

Long Beach High School’s automotive classes have been busy working on a Hot Rod Truck throughout the 2016-17 school year. They spent several months assembling the frame with 2”x4” steel tube, and are now ready to tackle the next phases of their venture. The end result will be a registered, fully functioning 1947 Ford truck.

The students have partly welded the vehicle, which they will now take apart and fully weld and finish with shocks, bodywork, wiring, plumbing and painting. It contains a 1962 Chevrolet truck bed, a grill and Farmall tractor headlights from the 1930s and an engine from a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche. The only new part of the vehicle is the front suspension.

The automotive courses include Automotive Fundamentals, Automotive Systems and Automotive Mechanics. Students learn how cars work and are maintained, diagnose problems and prepare solutions and perform hands-on rebuilding, repair and service tasks. Many were excited for the opportunity to participate in this project.

“I’ve always been interested in cars,” said senior Diana Huie. “It’s been a great class.”    

“I’ve loved cars since I was a kid,” said junior Peter Mieczkowski. “I wanted to be part of making our own truck.”

While auto classes have previously conducted other work on trucks, this is the first time they are constructing a vehicle from scratch that will be registered and equipped for real-world driving. Teacher James Johnsen plans to keep this particular truck, but hopes to have future classes build vehicles that can be auctioned off.
The classes are now gearing up for their annual car show, scheduled for May 13 between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Long Beach High School parking lot. Approximately 20-30 cars will be featured, and the goal is to have the truck completed in time to be showcased at the event.