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The story behind the “Hot Rod High Program”

Hot Rod High was developed in 2000 by Fred Beyer. He started restoring cars at the age of 14 (1929 Model A Ford town sedan).  His love of machining, and auto repair lead him to a degree from U.W. Stout in Industrial Education in 1972.  For 28 years he taught Engineering, Machine Tool, Foundry, Welding, and Automotive technology at Shawano High School in Shawano Wisconsin.  He was aware  that some of the private technical schools attracted students by offering specialty courses in “Street Rods” or “High Performance engine building”, for an additional fee, to students who completed their basic programs.  Believed he could create a highly motivated high school program, that used the training of these courses in the building of a “Street Rod” from scratch.  Another important goal was to give students an opportunity to build pride in their work and develop a high level of craftsmanship.  Students from these courses volunteer to be a part of building a custom car, to customer’s specifications. The cars are pre-paid by the owner and no school or taxpayer money goes into the build.   Parts are paid for by the owner and there is no charge for labor.  Some parts for the cars are engineered and fabricated in w
DSC03905-240.jpgelding class.  Others are machined or cast as part of the machine tool / foundry program.  Fitting of body parts, forming brake lines and assembling components are done in the automotive program.  Because we do not have our own body shop, body work is “farmed out” to a local body shop.  Students who are interested in this component spend some of their time sanding, and working on the paint preparation and buffing. The same thing is done with the engine building.  Students follow the engine to a local rebuilding shop where they are involved in the disassembly, machining, blueprinting, and assembly.


This “Hot Rod High Program” is a program within the classes and takes place concurrently while students are working on their regular manufacturing and automotive service curriculum competencies.  Students who are involved in this take pride in seeing “their shop work or project” used as a component in a trophy class show car. Each of the cars have received several trophies as well as featured at Green Bay Wisconsin’s “World or Wheels”   Since 2000 hotrod-01-300.jpgwe have completed 6 vehicles.  In additions several exsisting rods were modified or completed for their owners.  Some of the vehicles are here on display. The program has also been featured in several magazines and on television on the Time Warner Broadcasting program “WHEELS”.  Each spring the latest car is featured at a “baby shower” known as the Classic VICA  Rock & Roll car show, and brat fry.  “Hot Rod High” is a registered trademark which Mr. Beyer plans to promote with inservice workshops and seminars to other schools and technology education teachers to incorporate into their programs.  Fred Beyer retired at the end of the 2008 school year with 36 years of wonderful teaching experiences at Shawano High School. 

Over the past five years he has been instrumental in the development of the "Teamed to Learn" educational tent at the IOLA Old Car Show Inc. held each July in Iola Wisconsin.  Freedom High School Auto Club also adopted the Hot Rod High concept and teamed with Shawano High School in the restoration of the Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan.  This one of a kind vehicle was featured at the Iola show and is now on display at the Wisconsin Automobile Museum in Hartford Wisconsin.  Freedom High School received recognition in Hot Rod Magazine for the "hands-on" auto body skills used in the completion of this unique project.  Fred is always eager to share experiences and  explain the program details. 
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