Young restorers-in-training big part of Amelia Concours win

If you are worried about the future of the old car hobby, you can take heart in the role five high school students played in helping to restore a 1931 Voisin into a Concourse d’Elgeance trophy winner.

The five students from Forest Hills High School in South Florida were taken under the wing of the car’s owner, Lee Munder, of West Palm Beach, Florida, as restorers/students-in-training. They spent nearly two years preparing the rare Voisin C20 Demi-Berline for the Amelia Island show. Their work paid off when the car won the 2009 Best In Show for traditional vehicle.

The students were given the opportunity to work in almost every area of auto restoration while also receiving high school course credits and income. 
 
“This is a wonderful story and the kind I love to hear and tell,” said Bill Warner, founder and co-chairman of Amelia, in a press release following the win.  “It shows how the love of automobiles can bring together individuals from all walks of life and, in some cases, help to turn lives around.  You can see from the presentation of the car that these gentlemen worked incredibly hard to make it as close to perfect as possible and Lee has to be very proud of their achievement.”

The cars owner agreed.  “I was very proud to see the level of dedication from these young men and the work ethic they have developed while not accepting any result except the very best,” Munder said.  “It was a day none of our team will ever forget.  A journey that we are happy to share with others, perhaps as a model for other car enthusiasts to engage young people in our love of the automobile and share our automotive enthusiasm with a broader audience.”

Munder is highly involved in youth initiatives in South Florida and he carries with him a small laminated card that says on one side, “I am trustworthy. I am a positive thinker.  I do more than is asked of me.” The reverse side asks the simple question, “Have I made someone happy today?”  

The 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 12-14 on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.  The show’s foundation has donated nearly $1.6 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. since 1996. For more information about the show visit www.ameliaconcours.org or phone  904-636-0027.

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