Auto shop T-bucket is cruisin'

Cade Baligad's auto shop class at Douglas High School has been tinkering with a T-bucket, a 1923 Model T they purchased as a kit.

At the beginning of the year they had just the kit - front and rear axle and frame rails - but now, with the help of a local classic car club, they are moving along pretty quickly and hope to have it completed by the end of the school year.

"Valley Cruisers Car Club has donated $1,000 to us so far," said Baligad, standing next to the partially built automobile.

The money has gone for purchasing a $500 kit that included front brakes and a hub assembly, plus the transmission hardware, an air cleaner, a fuse box and a transmission dip stick.

"We bought little odds and ends, nuts and bolts, all the stuff we really need, honestly," said Baligad, adding that next they'll purchase the rear brakes.

"Now that we got the parts from the Cruisers, we can put it all together," he said. "It's been slow going, but I think the kids have had fun with it. I'm hoping we have it finished by June. I know it will be up and running, but I don't know if we'll have all the details down."

Other donations have come from Jerry's Rod & Custom Auto Upholstery, which has offered to donate the upholstery, and Rob Simpson of NAPA Auto Parts, who is donating the paint.

"When we get it up and driving, we'll look around for someone to paint it," said Baligad.

"They'll have a major say in the way it goes," he said, looking at the 20 students in his class. "When you go online, the things people do with these cars are incredible."

Other donations the auto shop class will be seeking are rims and tires and a drive line.

"I think it's awesome people are coming together to help," said senior Steve Dey. "It gives us something to shoot for."

"You don't really realize until you do something how the community will back you up," said senior Patrick Eshelman, who along with classmates Cody Lance, Bill Miles and Joe Dragon, did a presentation on the work they had accomplished so far on the T-bucket at the last Valley Cruisers meeting two weeks ago.

The car will be featured at the Valley Cruisers Rock-a-thon Car Show & Swap Meet at Heritage Park in Gardnerville on May 20, along with a donation box for the auto shop project.

"It's coming together real nice," said Dey. "I hope we have it together by the end of the year."

"It's been fun," said Eshelman.


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