A gaggle of oil-spattered students stood beneath a raised Acura Integra in the auto shop at Burbank High School Tuesday, reaching their hands into its undercarriage.
“The old transmission had a hole in it, so we are replacing it with another one from a scrapped car,” 16-year-old Thomas Wee said.
Across the way, another group of students focused on a Cobra kit car that was delivered in pieces and is being assembled bit by bit. Minutes later, automotive technology teacher Manolo Lopez pulled into the garage behind the wheel of a blue Hudson Commodore 8, owned by the actress Patricia Arquette and in need of some electrical work.
“It is one of the few careers you can’t outsource,” Lopez said of auto mechanics. “In Los Angeles, especially, everyone has a car or two. It is a necessary service that has to be provided.”
On Saturday, the student mechanics will put their work on display when the Burbank High School auto shop hosts its first car show, meant to give owners a chance to show off their rides while also raising money for the program.