Autobody class offers real-life experiences

Grayson Parker, Managing Editor

Over 23 years ago, Lindell Perry came to Wake Forest and took over the collision repair class from his teacher when he went here. The program itself has been at the school for over 45 years.

Collision Repair is a class where students get to work on actual vehicles and get real-world experience in the automotive field.

In Collision Repair one, students are taught the basics of repairing crashed vehicles in an in-depth, multiple week system of notes and visual demonstrations of tools used.

In Collision two, students are asked to work on actual customers’ cars. People can bring their car in and the students will fix it for the price of materials.

The price for labor for collision repair mechanics is usually around $40 an hour, so this not only gives students valuable experience, but also gives people who bring their car in a deal.

Collision three is the final step of high school collision repair, and while students do the same thing as collision two, the tests are harder and students are given more responsibility and more difficult jobs.

The difficulty of collision two and three is higher than collision one, because while in collision one, you have an entire quarter to fix one fender, in collision two and three, you’ve got about that amount of time to repair a car.

Many of the collision repair students who are in collision repair really enjoy what they’re doing.

“I like this class and working on cars is what I want to do with my life. It’s better than core classes like math or English,” junior Andrew Calixto said.

Once a year, for the past 12 years, the collision repair class takes students on a field trip to the Dale Earnhardt Institute and to Universal Technical institute in Charlotte.

On this field trip, students get to learn about UTI and how it could be a good school to go to for both collision repair and anything automotive. Students get to see the NASCAR aspect of UTI, also.

UTI has an engine class and a transmission class, and students can learn about NASCAR suspension. They even have an engine dynamometer to test the horsepower of the engines students build.

The Dale Earnhardt Institute, or DEI, is a museum dedicated to Dale Earnhardt of NASCAR fame. They have many of his cars and even some of Dale Junior’s more famous cars.

Collison repair provides students an escape from the classroom. Students would say that they learn lessons that are applicable in real life situations.