The West

Young car builder needs a helping hand
Youth worker Laurence Mitchell and student John Batchelor are building a 1930s inspired racing car.

A Manjimup Senior High School student is attempting to build a 1930s inspired racing car from parts of old vehicles.

Fifteen-year-old John Batchelor is working on the project with youth worker Laurence Mitchell at The Big Picture Training Centre on Rose Street.

The enthusiastic teenager is asking mechanically-minded people in Manjimup with spare time on their hands to pitch in and help him complete it.

‘‘I enjoy working on cars, I’ve fixed up a couple before as well as a motorbike,’’ John said.

‘‘What I like about this project is that we have to come up with the solution ourselves. There’s no manual; we have to come up with a way to make everything fit.

‘‘Working with Laurence is good fun. It’s satisfying to think we’ve come all this way from the start but there’s still a long way to go.’’

Once completed, John hopes to get the car licensed and maybe even learn to drive in the Type 59 Bugatti inspired vehicle.

The ultimate goal was to one day race it in Albany, Laurence said.

The Big Picture Training Centre is part of Manjimup Senior High School and runs programs for students who benefit more from learning outside the classroom.

Mr Mitchell said it was good to see youngsters such as John pursue their passions in a way they could not do in a conventional high school setting.

‘‘We aim to bridge the gap between school and work at The Big Picture,’’ Mr Laurence said.

‘‘The project is challenging and John has been learning a lot as well as having fun.

‘‘I’m hoping he will be work ready when he leaves us as a direct result of this real-life challenge.’’

Mr Mitchell said he was keen to hear from anyone who would like to help John and him complete the car.

‘‘I’m not a skilled welder and we could do with one to help us out, as well as someone who knows how to do body work and work with fibreglass.

‘‘Basically if you’ve got some spare time and you like the idea of passing on some skills to the youth of today, get in touch on 9772 4515.’’

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