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a public charity
serving the
car community

our mission

Helping To Build a New Generation of Automotive Tradespeople

The Piston Foundation’s mission is to bring more young people into the collector car industry. By funding skilled trades programs in collector cars, we’re working to help today’s craftspeople transfer their skills to a new generation and help young technicians build rewarding careers in the trades and services of the collector car industry.

What we do

We direct the charitable giving from car enthusiasts back into the car community, helping to build awareness and respect for automotive skilled trade career choices.

Our goal is to fund skilled trade education for automotive students and to develop and establish vehicle restoration apprentices. We’re creating career opportunities for people who want to take a different path and we’re helping to build a new generation of automotive tradespeople.

Who We Serve

We support students seeking skilled trade education as an alternative path to a rewarding career, different from the “college-at-all-costs” approach and help working auto technicians find apprenticeship placement and achieve a career in collector car restoration and services.

We serve restoration shops and auto industry businesses who need skilled technicians and specialists ready to learn the craft and trade, and we serve the car enthusiast community who want to continue to enjoy their hobby, share their passion, and keep their beloved cars on the road.

we’re car enthusiasts, too

Everyone in our organization has a passion and a drive for keeping vintage, classic, and collector cars on the road.

Our founder, Robert P. Minnick, has always been a car guy and sees the Piston Foundation as the way in which he, and others like him, can give back and affect real positive change in the car community.


Young or old, we all love classic cars. A generation of craftspeople built rewarding careers keeping these cars on the road. Now they’re retiring and the collector car industry needs new technicians. Young people are interested in learning the trade, but they need help from the car community to get the education and hands-on training they need.

The high cost of education and limited access to hands-on training makes it difficult for young car enthusiasts to enter the auto restoration industry. Together, we can help aspiring technicians overcome these barriers and put them on a career path into the collector car industry.

From the Piston Blog

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