A Wynne family tradition has become a “driving force” in the education of Village Tech High School students.
Mark Wynne loves restoring classic cars, especially Chevrolet Camaros. And each year, he funnels that love into helping seniors at Village Tech with their annual senior project.
The show, held each spring, is called Viper Auto Expo. They recently had the third such show, which was a huge success.
“I’m an old car fanatic since I was a kid. My dad and mom were also car fanatics, so the acorn didn’t fall far from the tree,” Wynne said. “My hobby is restoring old vehicles, and I currently have five Camaros, one Pontiac Firebird, and a Pontiac Fiero.
“I enjoy working with the Viper automotive students teaching them skills in automotive and welding.”
Just like his dad, Wynne’s son Garrett developed that same love. It led to him and some of his fellow seniors being the founding members of the Viper Auto Group three years ago. Of course, who else would they ask to assist with their inaugural show than Garrett’s dad?
Wynne said yes and has been helping ever since. After all, why not share his love of bringing classic cars back to life and vibrancy with youngsters who might do the same throughout their lives?
Also, through the annual car show, the love of classic vehicles is also shared with many others who attend.
“I’m hoping that the Viper auto students continue their annual car show due to the fact that it draws in many contestants, and it has a very loyal public interest,” he said. “Car shows are where local car collectors and enthusiasts bring in their creations and compete in different categories, ie, pre-50’s, most original, best restoration, etc.”
Wynne noted that his work with students is about more than making money. They learn about teamwork, creativity, and the value of bringing something great back to life.
“Besides monetary value that they raise for tools and automotive supplies, it teaches them origination and creative skills since we construct awards made of old car parts with a bit of imagination,” he said.
For himself, Camaros are his favorite. It dates back almost 45 years, when he first fell in love with that particular vehicle.
“I’ve been restoring Camaros and other vehicles for over 20 years now, and my love for Camaros took root since it was my first new car. It was a 1979 Camaro Z-28,” Wynne said.
Wynne said restoring vehicles is his only hobby, “mostly because it is an expensive one and it can be time-consuming.”
But it is time he is happy to spend with the members of the Viper Group. And now he has even more. He recently retired as a sergeant with the Texas Parks and Wildlife, so now he has additional time for his hobby and assisting the students.
And don’t expect him to stop anytime soon.
“As far as continuing my passion in the automotive restoration field, I will most likely be doing it for many, many years,” he said. “I just started a 1939 Ford truck.”