Students Help Restore a 1961 Corvette Roadster


Students Help Restore a 1961 Corvette Roadster

A retired California leader put his educational background to work in the restoration of a 1961 Corvette convertible he and his wife bought in 1981 for $7,000.

Jay St. John retired two years ago after serving 12 years as superintendent of the Sahuarita Unified School District and decided it was finally time to restore his collector car.

He decided to ask Sahuarita High School automotive instructor Bryce Bond if he and some of his students would be willing to help in the restoration of the car.

“I’m an educator and thought this would be the ideal teaching car,” St. John said. “I realized what a great educational tool this is.”

St. John paid for all the parts, paint, equipment, and tools to bring the car back to life, and the kids got a chance to work on a car that they can boast about for years.

“This was a great educational experience for them,” Bond said. “They just don’t get to work on cars like this every day, and they really got into it.”

The students wound up doing most of the work, though Bond says he painted the car its classic two-tone red and white and rebuilt the carburetor “but I let them handle it piece by piece to get the feel.”

Their efforts were apparently impressive enough to take the People’s Choice award in the 18th Annual Collector Car Show hosted Jan. 28 by the Santa Cruz Valley Car Nuts.

“This was the first time I’d ever entered the car in a show,” St. John said. “It helps that my wife made a detailed poster explaining why this car was special. The photos showed the process, and students did the work.”

Green Valley News

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