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Thinking about starting a Hot Rod School as part of my shop

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by SakowskiMotors, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    I am thinking about starting a hot rod school as part of my shop.
    I love to teach and to learn. Some of the best times I have had at my shop was in the early years learning so much so fast, though I still learn a lot every single day.

    I also equally enjoy passing on what I have learned. This is something I have really enjoyed, and do enjoy.

    I am not trying to compete with Whyotech or other auto trade schools. This is something different.

    So... Have a small school and keep it that way. As a supplement to a real working shop. Never get very large on purpose. Maybe 10 to 20 guys total max. Have some great guest teachers come in also.
    Build some traditional hot rods and customs as the focus. But bolts, metal, and wiring is the same on all. The foundation is the key, then you can do anything. If people want Honda fuel injection, they can go to that trade afterwards with real shop experience and a sound foundation.

    A school where you learn to work in a real shop. Not just how to put on wheel bearings, but how you open and close a shop everyday. What is working at a real shop REALLY like. Learn safety. How to be an asset to any shop you go to, or to any business for that matter.

    I know I could train people to be a huge asset to any shop in the future.

    It is really training in how to be a man, not a boy. How to be that person that is one in a hundred that a shop tries and is so so happy they gave you a shot. How to be an asset, not liability with any job in any field you tackle in the future. As well as how to do things in a real shop under real shop conditions and real shop life.
    There would be a curriculum also of course.

    I will teach people how to learn, which is the most important thing.
    I don't claim to know it all, but I do know how to make it in the car world on my own for about 20 years. From a one man shop, to about a 10 man shop at times with painters, bodymen, mechanics, and office people all running around as a team and somehow making payrole at the end of the week. I know how to get it done.

    No I am not some high dollar fancy school / operation. I am like a real shop you would be actually working at. You will have to think, improvise, etc.. You will have to make it happen, not just have it handed to you.

    Okay. First class starts February 1, 2010. If contact me, we will do this. A leap of faith, I will see what happens. If it is just one guy it is fine, if it is 20 that is fine also. If 0, well we will just keep building our hot rods.

    We will also be offering weekend, 3 and 5 day classes for guys that have a full time job.
    Like Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues so you only miss 2 days of work.
    The weekend guest seminars will also be open to everyone.

    Sometimes these ideas that cultivate over years, are actually a great fit.

    I think it would be great future training for anyone, plus a great opportunity to see if this is really something you would want to do with your life. You would know at the end of the first session. Or just have a great time and experience that will benefit no matter what you do with your life in the future.

    I could do different sessions through the year. Maybe 4 month normal sessions, but people could just do a two week to 2 year if they wanted, or taylor fit to what they were interested in. Really, just tell me you want to learn and when you want to be at the shop, and I will teach you. Really I am teaching you how to teach yourself.

    I would probably do the first school in Wilmington, NC. Inexpensive housing and I own a warehouse / shop there now. But might do one in LA also if the response is enough. Maybe alternate sessions. One on each coast.

    There is plentiful short term rentals and places to stay in Wilmington. I will also probably have a bunch of vintage Airstreams that people can stay in.
    You can also fly right into the ILM / Wilington, NC airport.


    If anyone is interested, feel free to contact me. A dream has to start somewhere, so why not right here with my fellow HAMBers.
    Wil Sakowski
    www.sakowskimotors.com
    910 399 5939

    I wanted to add the following:

    The plan is to get Gene Winfield, and other guys like him to come out for a couple days to do guest seminars. I could also get some other HAMBers who are masters in specific fields to come out to give a couple day class.

    We could also build a Bonneville car from scratch, and the school could race it. With a big HAMB sticker on it of course. The Maxton Mile is only just over an hour from the shop for land speed racing, then we can do a yearly pilgrimage to Bonneville that anyone who has gone to the school can be a part of ( or anyone else who wants ).
    Not only will we learn how to work on hot rods, but we will also take them to the dragstrip and land speed courses on a regular basis to test what we have accomplished.

    We will do general daily repair, small custom jobs, and a complete start to finish job.
    Just like a real shop, because we are a real working shop also.

    We will work on some of my cars so people have something to work on, customer's cars IF they agree under my intense supervision, and people can bring their own car to work on. I can even help people get the right car for them to build, since that is what I do.

    You should drive out with a running car if you want to stay long enough, that just you built with my help. Or I am sure there will be a couple of guy I could put on your team. Or you can be part of the start to finish hot rod or custom for that session.

    Everyone will learn to plan, order parts, build and repair hot rods.

    Also, the opportunity to learn to surf. The shop is about 15 minutes from Wrightsville Beach, a great beginner beach.

    This sounds like fun. I am in for sure. I stayed up about all night thinking and planning this. I have thought a little about it for years, but I think the timing is right now.

    I loved shop class in high school, and always thought being a shop teacher would be a great job.

    Wil
    www.sakowskimotors.com
    and Sakowski Motors Hot Rod School
    910 399 5939
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  2. I wish I could have had this chance when I started in the trade. As it is in the six years I've been working on cars the closest I've gotten to working on Hot Rods is old Land Rovers. Good luck with the school.
     
  3. old wood 51
    Joined: Aug 26, 2007
    Posts: 368

    old wood 51
    Member
    from NAPA CA.

    Good luck ..I took auto shop in high school and the teacher did his best to prepare us kids who were really interested in the field, kinda got the basics of what I needed to work in a real shop. wish this opporitunity was available way back then.
    Brian.
     
  4. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    Thanks. I am getting responses already. This could be a great thing. I have a incredible feeling about it. Old Rovers are pretty cool.
    Wil
    www.sakowskimotors.com
     

  5. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    You can check out the facility at my website shop tour.
    www.sakowskimotors.com
    The cars on the tour and the classics I have for sale are cars ready for us to work on.
    Wil
     
  6. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,336

    ironandsteele
    Member

    do it man. just go for it.
    good luck.
     
  7. poofus1929
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 897

    poofus1929
    Member
    from So Cal

    If your gonna have one here in So Cal let me know. I would like to check it out.
     
  8. sixpac
    Joined: Dec 15, 2002
    Posts: 553

    sixpac
    Member
    from Courtenay

    Go for it sounds great. You just might change a few lives.
     
  9. Sounds pretty cool.. I had to hang around shops that would put up with my little smart ass to learn things.. High school auto shop was kind of slow. I don't think the teacher was a "car guy". A whole afternoon on gapping spark plugs.
     
  10. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    Hi Tumbleweed!

    The plan is to get Gene Winfield, and other guys like him to come out for a couple days to do guest seminars. I could also get some other HAMBers who are masters in specific fields to come out to give a couple day class.

    We could also build a Bonneville car from scratch, and the school could race it.

    We will do general daily repair, small custom jobs, and a complete start to finish job.
    Just like a real shop, because we are a real working shop also.

    We will work on some of my cars so people have something to work on, customer's cars IF they agree under my intense supervision, and people can bring their own car to work on. I can even help people get the right car for them to build, since that is what I do.

    You should drive out with a running car if you want to stay long enough, that just you built with my help. Or I am sure there will be a couple of guy I could put on your team. Or you can be part of the start to finish hot rod or custom for that session.

    Everyone will learn to plan, order parts, build and repair hot rods.

    Also, the opportunity to learn to surf.

    This sounds like fun. I am in for sure. I stayed up about all night thinking and planning this. I have thought a little about it for years, but I think the timing is right now.
    Wil
    www.sakowskimotors.com
    and Sakowski Motors Hot Rod School
    910 399 5939
     
  11. "Whitey Ford" 62 Uni
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 534

    "Whitey Ford" 62 Uni
    Member

    Wish there was a place in MS or Atlanta, GA like this cause I would go in a heart beat. Hell Ive emailed guys on craigslist that offer welding services and told them I would pay for classes, go to their shop AND bring beer and no response. I mean shit what does a guy to do to learn.....
     
  12. Will

    How about focused weekend seminars for those of us that already have day jobs and are way too "into another career" to jump ship?

    I'd be game for something like this on a 3-day weekend.
     
  13. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    I loved my shop class in high school. Our teacher was a great guy who looked after some of us misfits. I always thought that would be a great job. I appreciated his time then, and even more so as I look back on it all the time teachers spent. The little extra effort teachers make, I think really made a difference in many kids lives.
     
  14. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    Brett
    I just added that to my 1st post. That would be a great thing.
    Wil
    www.sakowskimotors.com
    910 399 5939
    310 978 9558
    The home of the new Sakowski Motors Hot Rod School
     
  15. f1 fred
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 514

    f1 fred
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from mn

    there was a big post on here earlier from a guy complaining about the kids coming out of tech. school without a clue about being punctual and wanting to learn and understanding the fact that you are gonna start at the bottom and have to work your way up. I think what you are doing is setting up an apprenticeship and it is in dire need in the industry. kids are told they are gonna leave school make big money and be the next jesse james and that is just not the case. I tried to search for the post but I can't remember the title hopefully he sees this post and he can tell you what he expects from new employees. You could get aligned with a network of shop owners get a curriculum together and you could make this a program where they have direct placement after your program if they pass. This would be valuable to the shop owners because they can not charge their customers to train these guys.You just might have something here if done correctly, good luck!
     
  16. eddytheb
    Joined: Sep 2, 2008
    Posts: 125

    eddytheb
    Member

    This would be huge and a really cool thing to offer, hell I would even come if you were to bring in some of the big names. I bet 90 % of your takers will be the older guys not the youth they want to get paid to learn today.

    Stop by and see the new shop @ www.eddytheb.com
     
  17. A.P. Photography
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 285

    A.P. Photography
    Member

    [QUOTE="Whitey Ford" 62 Uni;4653766]Wish there was a place in MS or Atlanta, GA like this cause I would go in a heart beat. Hell Ive emailed guys on craigslist that offer welding services and told them I would pay for classes, go to their shop AND bring beer and no response. I mean shit what does a guy to do to learn.....[/QUOTE]

    You and me both. I would give anything if there was something like this in Atlanta.
     
  18. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    Hi
    I saw that post last night. It inspired me to go ahead and do this.
    I have been that guy who did that post over and over again.
    I just can't afford to train people on the job. No one can. But, training people is one of my favorite things I do at our shop. So.....
    This would be a win win for everyone. Sounds funny, but only 1 in 200 guys that come by our shop know how to mop a floor right, and clean a car right.
    Sounds crazy, but true.

    I always say that if I can find a guy who can mop the floor right and clean a car right, I can teach them anything.
    While we will have a curriculum and skill will be taught and honed, it is more about leaving everything back home of how you thought things are "supposed to be", and get them thinking like the guys who are over 60 thought when they were starting out.

    If you are late at my school, you go home for the day even 1 minute. We start at 8 sharp = you need to get to work/school by 7ish to drink your coffee, hang out and talk, organize your day, get ready, because at 8am sharp it is on.
    Wil
    www.sakowskimotors.com
    and Sakowski Motors Hot Rod School

    extremely inexpensive lodging available
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  19. eddytheb
    Joined: Sep 2, 2008
    Posts: 125

    eddytheb
    Member

    I was very saddened and very troubled by the position the schools put me, real shop owners and the students in, I felt like a big ass that I had to tell this kid the truth about his knowledge and what he was told by the school. I never heard from him again and often think about him and wonder what he's doing he was so pumped up and full of life. Here is the post it still a hot button to. I have made major changes in my shop and will do a big update on that post today on how I feel about the hole mess.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=335667


     
  20. Tinman
    Joined: Mar 6, 2001
    Posts: 963

    Tinman
    Member
    from Orange, CA

    Sargeant Sakowski... has a nice ring to it! Haha! Man, you've got a hell of a scheme here. Hopefully some youngsters will take advantage of this.

    Truth on watching how someone cleans a car and a shop! It's all about the details...
     
  21. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    Your Chrysler is looking great these days. Nice pics over the mountains!
    I could get Jerry to bark at them one day.
     
  22. This is a great idea. Once you're done with the education part, rememeber to encourage your students about hot rod entrepreneurship. We need more innovative and honest shops who are interested in serving the customer.

    I wrote and self-published a book ten years ago called, "How to Start and Run a Hot Rod and Custom Shop". Although it wasn't up to NY publishing conglomerate standards, it was reveiwed in a few rod mags and I sold over 500 copies. Keeping the industry going in a positive direction, whether you work for someone or start your own business, should be our goal for this great hobby we love.

    I will be putting this book back in print in 2010, so if anyone wants a copy send me PM and I'll get more details to you.

    Mikey
     
  23. Tinman
    Joined: Mar 6, 2001
    Posts: 963

    Tinman
    Member
    from Orange, CA

    Thanks man... some old pics, heading over the grapevine to the March Meet back on '04 or '05?

    You should totally get Jerry on board to break some balls... and teach people how to get cigar ash out of German square-weave carpet! "It is what it is!" :D
     
  24. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,595

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    Please please Will. Make this work. I could use a couple good guys right now. I have two that view this as an apprenticeship. That's been working out pretty good.
     
  25. Wil,
    I wish you the best of luck with this. I really mean that. I've been an automotive teacher for 11 years now, and I'm pretty good at it. You made one statement in your original post that I hope you're not too disappointed about down the road. You said you would teach students how to learn. I think this will be the most challenging and frustrating part of the process...

    It's taken me a long time to understand that most young people only want the result, not the knowledge and experience. If you ask what their goals are, most will say something like "start my own shop and get featured in a magazine", etc. Those are the ones who are the most difficult to teach.

    What you need to find are those students who want to know why that piece of metal makes that shape when you hit it with that hammer, or why that TIG puddle doesn't always flow straight ahead. Our students sometimes go through 100s of weld coupons because they aren't really interested in why the weld didn't come out right, only in getting my initials on their paper so they can get on to their own project.

    THAT is why tech schools fail some students, we can't teach them to care. I hate hearing the phrase "shit'll buff out", because it means that the process isn't important, only the finished product. How much does that attitude really allow someone to learn?
     
  26. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    I like your idea, but you better consult with your insurance carrier and you should have enrollment forms that contain strong liability waivers. Our hobby is inherently dangerous with flammable and noxious materials, heavy things, and lots of things that go "bang". You never know what may happen especially if one student injures another.

    You also need to check out your zoning to be sure it's allowed before some code enforcement official shuts you down.
     
  27. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    I hear you. I am zoned for anything where I am. I can even put up a smoke stack if I wanted to.
    The insurance / liability is the big question to ponder.

    I was just told by a guy that I don't have all the facilities and equipment and classroooms etc etc... No, I have a real shop. Things might grow over time, but I think having all these things all set up spoon fed is the worst thing for someone to have.
    People need to learn to pick up bolts and nuts on the floor because that is cash.

    This is a small grass roots school where no one can slip through the cracks.

    I am for people who want to work at a small hot rod shop, not the Izuzu Dealer. And, if they want to do a more specialized field afterwords in another field, they will have a great base to go from.


    I think the whole problem is people's attitude and concept/reality.

    I am not trying to compete with Wyotech, or train people to be Mercedes Techs or Diesel Mechanics. I am giving basics of traditional hot rods and customs and working in a shop like that. Which will give people a step into more specific modern fields, more knowledge for their hobby/side garage, or to make a career in the classic car industry.


    Wil
    www.sakowskimotors.com
     
  28. Kerry67
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 2,606

    Kerry67
    Member

    I wish there was something like this when I was able to go to school. Hell, I wish there was something like this now where I could take night classes a couple nights a week.
     
  29. CAL DAVIS
    Joined: Jul 31, 2007
    Posts: 18

    CAL DAVIS
    Member

    I have a licensed school here in Tn if your serious. If you plan on opening in Feb you better get busy on the state paperwork to have a tech type school. We opened our first program in 1988 in Mooresville,NC and it took six months to get a letter of occupancy from the State. Since 1988 NC has not dismissed any chance to tax or charge on anything they possibly can. We moved our program to Tn in 2004, after training over 1000 technicians that work in professional motorsports from our NC programs. We have been private, associated with the NC Community College System, than back private again, and currently have a Tn Higher Education Licensed program. The industry needs fabricators, but endorses automotive programs like WYO, NTI, and NAD. These programs spend 30% of their tuition recruiting students, one WYO recruiter told me that in 2009 that it cost $9000 a student average to promote their programs.With the economy issues Sallie Mae has dropped all school fiancing for schools with less than 20 per semister, we currently have 10 or more kids that can't get funding for classes, and the heart breaking part is the kids with the most talent don't have the resources to attend. I can truefully say that my Father Cal Davis started the metal shaping programs in NC in 1988, with hope that the industry would step up and help these kids restore the one off car builders with fabricators, with even as many as we touched I would have to say 10 times that many have fell through the cracks.Good luck! NC has very strict fines for training without a license.


    Mark Davis
    www.metalcrafttoolsskillcenter.com
     
  30. eddytheb
    Joined: Sep 2, 2008
    Posts: 125

    eddytheb
    Member

    Could you imagine taking some kids under your arm and showing them a trade for nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing you did something good and getting fined. WTF
    Stop by and see what we are working on @ www.eddytheb.com
     

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