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July 22, 2014

Teen auto club enjoys time in the sun at cruise

By Kevin Bunch
C & G Staff Writer

ROSEVILLE — Alumni and current members of the Roseville High School auto shop will gather at the Hot Rod High School Reunion at the Collex Collision on Gratiot, north of 12 Mile Road, during the Roseville Gratiot Cruise July 26.

Currently expanded into DRIVE (Delivering Religion In Vocational Education) One, which meets independently and has members outside of the Roseville High School, the auto club members and alumni going back to the 1960s will be there to showcase classic cars and raise some funds for the club itself.

“It’s almost like an auto shop reunion,” DRIVE One instructor Paul Tregembo Jr. said. “They have a number of people that graduated — that would be alumni from the auto shop — as part of it, and they’re bringing their own vehicles, at this point, to Collex.”

Current members of the auto shop are planning to be out there selling refreshments to raise money for the trips they go on when their cars go on tour, Tregembo said. They also are in the process of getting past project vehicles lined up to have on display, including a 2000 Saleen Mustang Convertible and a 1976 Trans Am.

Tregembo said it can be tricky, as many of those vehicles are privately owned, and if the owners move around or sell the cars, they can be nearly impossible to track down.

“Some we can keep tabs on, and others we don’t know where they end up,” he said. “Some they surprise me; one ended up in Oklahoma at a magazine.”

Last year, the auto shop had a smaller presence at the cruise, with a few cars out as part of the broader Roseville High School location by Marshalls, he added.

Amelia Hinds, marketing manager with the Roseville Gratiot Cruise, was the driving force behind getting the Hot Rod High School Reunion going, Tregembo said, as her son recently graduated from Roseville High School and was a part of the program. He said she has been working on getting alumni together and organizing the location.

Hinds said she really likes what the DRIVE One club has done in the area — teaching kids useful skills and getting them to work on cars throughout the year. Even those who graduate are able to stick around and work as mentors, she said.

“Kids are our heartbeat of our city, and that’s why we want to give them the opportunity,” Hinds said. “It gives them the opportunity to do something more than just flipping burgers.”

Tregembo said that has proven to be the case. Collex Collision approached the auto shop near the end of the semester to see about hiring any interested kids, he said, though at that point, it was so late in the year that a lot of seniors were no longer available. He nevertheless expects them to get in touch again as they seek to fill their ranks across the metro area.

As for how much money the DRIVE One club hopes to raise, Tregembo has no expectations, preferring instead to be happy with whatever they bring in.

“I try to not set much of a goal, so you’re never disappointed. And then whatever happens, you take it as good,” he said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kevin Bunch at kbunch@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1030.