The RPM Foundation (RPM) has finished its inaugural “Off to the Races with RPM” program. Aimed at inspiring young adults to pursue careers in the automotive restoration industry by exposing them to the world of vintage racecars, the initiative brought students to world-renowned tracks, including Road America Wisconsin and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
At the tracks, students passionate about vintage automobiles met vehicle owners, racers and their teams. Participants also received guided tours of the pit and paddocks, viewed the work of the teams between sessions and connected with sanctioning organizations and track management.
“After touring many shops in Chicago, we observed that there were several ways that vintage vehicle owners use their cars, including racing,” said RPM President Diane Fitzgerald. “By showing our students the value of being able to work on, restore and preserve those automobiles – and actually experience the fruit of their efforts – many walked away feeling inspired to continue chasing their passion as a career.”
Off to the Races with RPM was inspired by the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, and launched by two iconic racing legends: Lyn St. James and Bobby Rahal. Together, they are major proponents of getting young adults to fill the employment void in the automotive restoration/preservation industry being created as existing master craftsmen enter retirement.
“Those that took part in the two track days this year got exposure to a number of different career opportunities in auto restoration,” said Fitzgerald. “Importantly, the program was a big success and one that we look to continue in 2018.”
The RPM Foundation is a member-entity of America’s Automotive Trust (AAT), which is at the center of the movement to secure America’s automotive heritage and to promote the continued enjoyment of the automobile.
“Off to the Races with RPM is yet another great program from the Foundation that’s making a lasting impact on trade employment,” said AAT President and CEO David Madeira. “These students are at the front lines of the movement to secure America’s automotive pastime and will someday be the driving force behind the preservation of vintage vehicle events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.”
For more information on the RPM Foundation, visit rpm.foundation or call 855-537-4579.