Students rebuild classic Chevy
By Robert Cloud
Tech students at Waupaca High School are building “The Comet Car.”
They have replaced nearly every piece of a 1967 Chevy Camaro RS.
“It was a complete car, but it was structurally horrible,” according to Bill Kroseberg, who teaches automotive technology classes at WHS.
Kroseberg said students have replaced all the sheet metal, welded new parts and made custom parts for the refurbished vehicle.
“There’s nothing that the kids who have been through this project won’t be able to do as far as body work goes,” Kroseberg said. “They’ve learned welding and fabricating.”
This semester’s class is the fourth group of students who have worked on “The Comet Car.”
Kroseberg estimated a total of 60 students have learned automotive technology by helping rebuild the vehicle.
“No high school in the state of Wisconsin has taken on a project this involved,” Kroseberg said.
The project is in its second year. Once completed, the vehicle will be displayed at Neuville Motors.
“Tim and Jeff Neuville have supported the project,” Kroseberg said. “They plan to have it in their showroom.”
The project has also received expert assistance from Keith Riehl, who works in the parts department at Neuville Motors, and Dave Stencil, who specializes in body work.
Jane Carney, who teaches part-time at Fox Valley Technical College, helped the students reupholster the seats.
“Putting the parts together is like a big jigsaw puzzle,” Kroseberg said.
Kroseberg found the car on eBay. A man in Waukesha, who owned it for 20 years, had planned to rebuild it with his son, but the son had other interests.
The car cost about $8,000.
“Most of the cars we looked at were missing a lot of parts,” Kroseberg said. “This car was almost complete and was drivable.”
Kroseberg said he and a friend hauled the car to Waupaca because the breaks needed replacing.
After “The Comet Car” is finished, Kroseberg plans to invite all the students who worked on it to celebrate their success.