Attending College Potentially Saved Me $7k

My 240SX sat in the driveway for a few months before I was able to do any modifications to it and then parked for a year and a half before I decided to register for an automotive class at a nearby junior college. A decision I wish I had made sooner because my car hasn’t seen direct sunlight or a drop of rain since.

Like most, I have an idea of what I want to do with the car, but lack the “perfect” conditions I prefer to work in. Restoring a car can be a very expensive hobby and a discouraging one if you don’t have the time or the necessary tools to perform the work you know you are capable of doing yourself. I lacked the space and the tools to tear the car down and do all the body mods that I wanted to make. That was until I started looking into stepping up my knowledge in all areas of car repair.

I was looking into taking a selection of automotive courses and undecided on which to explore first. My choices were Brake Systems, Small Engine Repair, Automotive HVAC and Painting and Refinishing. Of course, painting and refinishing was going to make the biggest impact on my project at this point, so I called to speak to a counselor to get some insight and was told that it was a hobbyist class where I could bring in a car, a bike and even a boat to do whatever I wanted for 10 weeks.

The class instructor is certified with over 20 years experience and the garage contains every tool necessary to complete the tasks I want to perform on the car. The cherry on top was being offered a second semester for free. So that’s 7 months access to a fully loaded automotive garage for less than $200, hmmm let me think about this for a minute.

The point of this post is to shine light on the opportunities that are possibly within your reach. There maybe local colleges or surrounding universities that offer Automotive Continuing Education Courses that fit directly with what you are trying to accomplish with your build. These courses do not require you to be a student or even a county resident, you simply register for the class, pay the fee and show up.

So did the class save me seven thousand dollars in car parts? No it didn’t. I did save a substantial amount in labor costs which means that the funds needed for bodywork and paint have been reduced dramatically. This allows me to shift my budget to sourcing parts and brings down the cost of my build and I’m all about being frugal.

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