Rebuilt truck takes Freedom students to major car show

Freedom students' rebuilt 4Runner on October 12, 2017 (WLUK/Alex Ronallo)

FREEDOM (WLUK) -- ) A 30-year-old truck will take a group of area high school students on a big adventure soon.

Members of the Freedom High School Automotive club have rebuilt and refurbished a 1985 Toyota 4Runner.

It's gotten them into one of the world's biggest car shows.

In two weeks the SEMA Show in Las Vegas begins. Freedom High School Junior Trevor Hintz will be there.

"It's really hard to get into, so I'm really surprised that I get to go. It's kind of mind-blowing for me," Hintz told FOX 11 News.

SEMA is billed as the world's largest automotive trade show, featuring a lot of aftermarket work. To get there, the students rebuilt the 4Runner.

"And the kids are doing it all so they're physically working had, emotionally it's stressful and we're on a deadline," explained Jay Abitz, the automotive instructor for Freedom High School.

It's been a non-stop summer project.

The students have worked on all aspects of the truck: mechanical, paint, fabrication, you name it.

"Pretty much since school let out we've been here at least once a day," said Hintz.

The 4Runner has been almost completely rebuilt and the students have also put in a lot of aftermarket work.

"It's lifted, it's got roof rack going on, brush guard, the rear bumper is all custom," described Hintz.

Donors helped the work along by offering up $20,000-worth of materials.

Rick Paulick donated the truck itself.

"Oh this is the coolest thing I've ever done in my life, by far! I've been here every week helping out too," he told us.

Hintz told FOX 11 he's thankful to have done this work.

"It's been fun! It's really been an adventure. There's some stuff on this project that I've never done before," he said.

(Jay Abitz, Automotive Instructor, Freedom High School): "I really, it says a lot of their character and their commitment to be able to do something like this and see it through to the end," Abitz added.

But for Hintz, this is only the beginning.

"I plan on going into the Marines for diesel mechanics and everything relates. So, this'll, this'll probably help out quite a bit," he explained.

The truck will be auctioned off sometime in March and the money raised will go back into the automotive club.

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