The Classic Motor Museum’s education program is running on all cylinders, thanks to the recent St. Michaels Concours d’Elegance. The classic automobile showcase event over the weekend of September 22nd provided a high octane boost to First Gear, the museum’s education program for the young people of Talbot County.
The museum is renovating the old work shed on its property to provide classroom space and a home for its extensive library. That effort has been jump started thanks to the generosity of the exhibitors and supporters of the Concours d’Elegance. They chipped in over $100,000 during a fundraising auction at the Saturday night gala. Bidders pledged money to various elements of the classroom project, including the plumbing, electrical work and dry wall installation.
Museum president Tad duPont says, “That generosity is going to allow us to start immediately on the building renovations. We feel like it’s our responsibility to get it moving as fast as possible.”
Concours Chairman, Luke Phipps, says he’s not surprised at how the donors have opened their hearts to First Gear. He says, “It was great to see the collectors and other supporters prove once again that they are generous and welcoming people. They reached out to those young men to show they really care.”
Phipps and duPont both give credit to four young men who’ve been participating in First Gear for over a year now. High school Juniors Chazier Allen, Matt Dunn, and Noah Fountain and middle schooler Cooper Gowe attended the fundraiser, and impressed the audience with their dedication to learning the fine art of automobile restoration. Over the summer they tackled the job of restoring the chasis of a 1938 Alvis convertible, and proudly displayed it at the Concours.
In June, First Gear and a group of generous donors provided scholarships for the high school boys to attend automobile restoration summer camp at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. The Classic Motor Museum of St. Michaels has also reached out to the Talbot County School District to collaborate on future educational opportunities for any interested high school student.
Classic car collectors took home coveted trophies at the 2017 Concours d’Elegance. But the young people of Talbot County are the big winners.
The privately funded, non-profit Classic Motor Museum, at 102 E. Marengo St., opened its doors to the public on August 11th. You can visit and show your support from 11:00AM to 5:00PM Friday and Saturday, and from 11:00Am to 4:00PM on Sundays. Admission is $10, and free for children under 6. Find out more at Classicmotormuseum.org.