Just like the rest of the country, California’s youth is feeling the negative and often discouraging effects of economic depression and governmental cut-backs. The truth is, going to school just isn’t what it used to be.
No matter how high tech our world gets and how complicated our cars become, auto shop will always be a fundamental part of the high school experience. Nobody knows this better than North Hollywood High School teacher, Al Jimenez, who currently has his auto shop students in the Southern California high school engaged in a project once known as “Beyond The Bell.”
The project in question is a Cherry Red ’58 Chevy pickup, powered by a BDS-blown big block. All of this grunt is transferred via a TH400 transmission, which relies on a Ford, 9-inch rearend to keep the tires moving. “Beyond The Bell” was a school project that was pulled off the shelves a few years back due to a lack in funding. Although East LA’s Garfield High School never did finish their blown, ’58 truck, they did manage to handle most of the project.
At Chevy Hardcore, we have the pleasure of looking at a lot of cool builds, but when the worlds of hot rodding and education collide, that makes us hopeful for the future of the automotive craft. Under the watchful eye of Jimenez, the auto shop class at North Hollywood High hope to have the blown, Chevy truck up and running for the Martin Luther King Jr. parade.
The parade will begin this Monday at 11 AM on the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles. So far, everything looks tight on the “Beyond The Bell” pickup, but from what Jimenez tells us, the truck’s fuel cell still needs to be pulled and flushed. After Jimenez and the group of gearheaded youngsters finish detailing the truck, they plan on topping off the project by installing a new battery and wiring-up a new, MSD ignition.
There is still some work to be done before this Red, ’58 pickup can make its appearance at the parade. So far, the North Hollywood High auto shop has had the experience of a lifetime with this hot rod project. As Jimenez explains, “This is a great project. My students are very excited to work on such a cool truck. They also admire that it was all done at another high school. The looks on their faces when I cranked it over was priceless.”