Project Frankenstein brings shop class back to Snyder

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SNYDER, Texas (KTAB) – Doctor Frankenstein may have created life, but Project Frankenstein needs more than a brain and a bolt of lightning to get up and running. Project Frankenstein brings new life to shop classes, something missing from Snyder schools.

Robbie Jamison owns The Auto Clinic, and he’s also leading the team of students in auto restoration. Three years ago, he started Project Frankenstein to fill a void. “We have kids that like to be hands on”, Jamison says. “They think better with their hands than they do with their mind. That’s what sparked this whole thing.”

The first project was a 1962 Ford F100. Being the first attempt, this was less involved than the current build, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. It’s also an impressive ride. The team brought “Frank” to the Goodguys auto show in Fort Worth. “It was overwhelming”, says Jamison. He says that throughout the whole show, “There was no program there that even came close to this.”

In spite of that success, the current project is even more ambitious. It’s a complete restoration of a 1963 Ford Falcon four-door wagon. A suspension, paint and body work, and thoroughly overhauled interior make this a far different car than the way it first rolled into the shop.

Ninth grade student Nathan Loper explains just some of the work done. “On the back tailgate, I helped work on that, and I helped work on the doors.”

Eighth grader Johnny Jamison says he’s had a hand in quite a few different projects: “I’ve done the welding, doing some tires, and a lot of the engine compartment work and painting.” Brailynn Garcia adds, “We’re kind of everywhere. We’re hands-on. If this needs work, we’ll work on it.”

The kids are passionate about learning the wide spread of skills, and honing the ones that seem to stand out. Nicolas Benavidez is heading into his junior year of high school, and says, “Welding, griding, all this other stuff. Making actual parts for the car, and that just really came to me, like that’s what I was meant to do.”

Benavidez says he’ll carry those skills into the future, and for good reason: “You’re actually learning something that can get you big money in the actual world.”

“Frank 2” is close to completion. Jamison estimates another two weeks of work before everything is finished up. The car starts and drives, but a few finishing details are needed before this new monster can take on the world. And when it’s all finished, don’t be surprised to see more creations from the team of students in Snyder.

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