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October 29, 2008

Local deaf students have passion for classic cars

From: News 8 Austin - Austin,TX,USA - Oct 29, 2008

By: Bob Robuck

There is nothing like the noise that comes from refurbishing a car if you're into that sort of a thing. But what if you hear nothing but silence?

That's the audio background for body-mechanics students at the Texas School for the Deaf.

Even though they can't hear the engine in the '63 Corvette they're rebuilding, they can certainly see the progress of their work.

It's very involved, student Hector Garcia said.

"Like sanding, using different grits of paper -- 600 grit to make it a very shiny smooth surface. Then polishing and cleaning it, and also painting. And, when it dries you've got to sand it again," the TSD junior said.

The students plan to enter the Corvette in the Kars & Kids contest this weekend. The event raises money to keep the auto mechanics class at the school charged and revved.

The novice mechanics don't need a contest to gear them up, though. Just working on classic car is all the fuel they need. That's because the Corvette they're working on is a very unique automobile.

It has a split rear window -- 1963 was the only year Chevrolet manufactured corvettes with that kind of back.

That made working on the car a special treat for the TSD auto mechanic students.

"They're fancier. They look more expensive, and a lot of girls like them," TSD senior Jonathan Whitten said.

Car expert Don Twomey heads up the class. Though he is the auto guru, the boys teach him valuable lessons, too -- especially when it comes to teamwork.

"One will start doing something and another will see him not doing it quite right, and they'll come together. These kids, they really seem to bond together and help each other a lot more than other kids do," he said.

The Fourth Annual Kars & Kids is this Saturday.

The location is the football field at the Texas School for the Deaf -- check out for more information.

©2008TWEAN News Channel of Austin, L.P. d.b.a. News 8 Austin