On The Lighter Side: Young People Find Purpose In Classic Car Restorations
Written by: Steven Symes, Motorious
Published July 14, 2023
It’s good to work with your hands…
Far too often these days kids fantasize about becoming a TikTok star instead of dreaming up things they can make with their own two hands. That’s a real shame because there’s a value in hard work, something far too few are learning until they’re backed into a corner. When they hit rock bottom, it’s people like Alex Levesque who are helping them to get back up.
CBS News recently profile Levesque’s efforts to help troubled youth in the Chicago area. The man runs a nonprofit called Automotive Mentoring Group. As the name suggests, it allows young people to learn how to restore classic cars, building valuable skills and keeping them away from old, bad habits.
That report profiles a 19-year-old man named Jeff Battles who was shot last year. The kid almost died and at least realized the lifestyle he was leading would go nowhere good. To his credit, he’s turning things around, along with others who want to learn how to fix up cars instead of trashing their community.
We’ve always thought the car hobby is a wholesome one. That’s why we really resent the portrayal of street racers and these street takeover goofballs as gearheads. Those guys don’t care about the cars or other people, which is why they engage in such dangerous behavior. Real gearheads like to fix cars and build relationships in their community.
Levesque admits he seeks out some of the worst of the worst for his program. "Nobody else wants to deal with those guys," Levesque said. "So I want to deal with those guys. Because those are the guys that I see are the real problem."
We wish more kids who lack a positive influence in their life would pick up a welding torch and put together an ailing classic car instead of picking up a heater to “defend their territory.” Same thing goes for the TikTok obsessed suburban kids who only fantasize of unearned celebrity status.
We thank Motorious for reprint permission