There is a common accusation against members of “Generation Y,” perhaps better known as Millennials. Older people charge that Gen Y is entitled, pampered, and worst of all, not very interested in cars. But the problem with blanket statements is that there are always exceptions to the rule, and in the case of not liking cars, there are still a good number of automotive enthusiasts among the younger generation.
Some of those enthusiasts are already deeply involved in the hot rodding hobby, taking part in engine-building competitions like the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Series. The 2012 season is starting to wrap up, and the countdown to the big Showdown at SEMA has begun. Which of these plucky Millennials will rise to the occasion?
The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge gives high school kids from all over the country a chance to compete for scholarships that will allow them to attend a top-notch tech school. The competitions force teams of several students to completely disassemble identical small block Chevy V8s, and then reassemble them in the fastest time possible. Points are detracted for dropped parts, improper assembly, and sportsmanship.
Oh and they can only use hand tools. Also, the engine then has to run for it to count.
Amazingly, these kids can disassemble and reassemble a complete engine often in less than 30 minutes. This year Loara High School from Anaheim, California managed to complete the whole process in just under 20 minutes! They will be among 12 teams selected to compete at this year’s SEMA Showdown, where the teams will disassemble an engine in front of a live audience. The Loara team certainly has an edge, but the competition is far from decided.