From a California high school comes a touching story of family, dedication, and engineering as a mob of students finished restoring a 1969 Jeep that was very special to a nearby family.
Shane Porter, husband and father of two fine young men, was struggling with two cancers when he bought a 1969 Jeep Commando as a family fixer-upper. He hoped to create fond memories in what he knew could be his last few years.
From 2016 to 2022 the family tinkered away, and then Porter, a 30-year employee at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, passed away at 57. The Jeep wasn’t finished, and neither Tigger—his wife of more than 35 years, nor his sons Michael and Tim, could bring themselves to lay a finger on the car.
The barely-functioning automobile sat there for months, with the family unwilling to either part with it or keep repairing it, until one day a family friend and head of the automotive technician class at Corona High School paid the family a visit and said the Jeep would be a stellar project for his students.
The teacher, Bob Mauger, got a great reception from his advanced class which includes juniors and seniors, as well as from the Porter family.
Once inside the school, Mauger and his class realized that the Jeep needed way more work than they first thought. The class provides free labor on cars—typically those that belong to family members of the students—provided that the owners buy any new parts.
“The kids are learning how to give back,” Mauger told the Washington Post. “They’re not just learning how to fix their own car, but they’re learning how to be a good human. That’s what the world needs.”
MORE UPLIFTING HIGH SCHOOL STORIES: Students Raise $270,000 So 80-Year-Old Janitor Can Retire from Texas High School
The engine needed to be rebuilt with many new parts. There were structural issues as well, and the cooling system needed refurbishing along with the transmission and transfer case. There were also electrical malfunctions and a bad infestation of rust. The rebuild took 15 months, with the class regularly involving other areas of the school’s trades program like metal shop class, and Mauger regularly paying out of pocket for parts.
On July 27th, the class presented the Porter family with the car, sparkling with a new coat of metallic paint.
MORE STORIES LIKE THIS: Architect is Reuniting People With the Photo Memories He Discovered in Shuttered Printing Store
Tim and Michael were getting ready to depart for the Army and Air Force, and were blown away by the opportunity to actually drive the car they spent so many hours working on with their father.
“It was going to help the kids learn, which is what my husband was all about,” said Tigger Porter, who graduated from Corona High School in 1984. They had no idea who we were, but they did it. This was truly a work of love.”
SHARE This Heartwarming Story Of Family Memories Made Whole On Social Media…