Some students at a Coconut Groove high school are giving back to their school’s organization with the donation of an antique vehicle they completely restored.
The vintage 1968 VW bus was completely restored by a group of boys at Ransom Everglades School and will be sold next month at the private school’s annual auction to raise money for its financial-aid program.
The van recently was on display for the community at the annual VolksBlast Miami, a vintage VW car show, in South Miami.
“It’s making something out of nothing,” said Claudio Miro. “It’s just the accomplishment you get from bringing something back to life.”
Caludio, 17, helped to form the club REstore with his friend Geoffrey “Skye” Cole.
Skye, 16, has been one of many students who have been able to attend Ransom Everglades thanks its financial-aid program. Tuition to attend Ransom Everglades is about $30,000.
“We didn’t just build this for ourselves, we did this for something greater,” said Skye. “It’s going to hurt to let it go, but at the same time it is going to feel much better that we put it into something that means more.”
Skye and Claudio are among the group of twelve boys that worked on the restoration. They found the vehicle on Craigslist and paid $1,500 of their own money, using savings and allowances.
The vintage bus was towed back to Miro’s home where it remained until the car show. They boys willingly worked night, weekends and holidays to get the job done.
Throughout the experience they were under the supervision of one of their fathers, Dr. Claudio Miro. Both father and son had previously restored two vintage Volkswagens before.
“With so many bad things that you hear at least I know that we are making a difference in a few kids,” said Dr. Miro.
The elder Miro learned to fix cars at the age of 17. He didn’t want to study, so his father sent him to work at a garage. While he did learn to fix cars he also realized he didn’t want to do that for the rest of his life, and he decided to go back to school, eventually becoming a dentist.
“I have always wanted to do this. Without being able to start the club I would have never been able to restore a car,” said Skye. “It’s been amazing. I’m out there every weekend building a car with my best friends. It feels amazing.”
Students also reached out to the community for assistance or donations to help get the bus fully restored. Prestige Auto Body donated the paint and Rivero Complete Interiors donated on the interior.
“It’s the community we are helping out, our own community,” said Claudio.
Other parents approached Dr. Miro at the car show wanting to duplicate what they did.
“Parents of these kids came today and saw what they did and they want to do it next year. They want to make it a father and son project,” said Dr. Miro. “That’s what you need to give your kids, instead of guns and knives. Let’s keep their minds busy.”