Announcing the Piston Foundation Founders Club
The Piston Foundation announced the launch of its Founders Club. The Foundation is seeking 25 philanthropic car enthusiasts with a deep interest in the future of car culture to provide leadership support for the Foundation’s mission and future.
Robert P. Minnick, CEO and founder of the Piston Foundation, explained that he had grown tired of wondering how new generations would become engaged with the automotive pastime or where car enthusiasts would find skilled restoration specialists.
He said, “For years, car folks have been talking about the diminishing number of auto restoration specialists and technicians and what to do about it. Enough talk. Let’s create something that will help us build a sustainable future for collector cars. We called it the Piston Foundation because not only is it the platform we need but also lets people know what we are: an independent non-profit organization dedicated to car culture.”
The mission of the Foundation is to fund scholarships and apprenticeships to support skilled trade education in the collector car industry.
COO Jeff Mason said, “Our priority is to help people who want a rewarding career with cars. The good news is that we can also help the millions of car enthusiasts that want to keep enjoying the machines that need more TLC every year that passes.”
He noted, “For two generations, America has under-funded vocational education and stigmatized skilled-trades, like car restoration, as the consolation prize for students who didn’t take the college-at-all-cost approach. Until the Foundation came along, an aspiring collector car technician has not had a clear path and little financial support to overcome tuition cost barriers.”
Now is the time to promote collector car career opportunities and channel the charitable giving of car enthusiasts into education and apprenticeship programs that will create the next generation of technicians.
In recognition for their significant and enduring commitment to skilled-trade career opportunities and the collector car community, founders will be listed on a limited-edition Founders Club poster created by renowned automotive artist Chuck Queener. The original poster art will be auctioned to raise additional funds for the Foundation.
Founders Club members will serve on the Foundation’s advisory board and help guide the development of our programs.
One of the first members of the Founders Club is Harvey Siegel, the real estate developer, financier, and amateur road racer behind the resurrection of VIRginia International Raceway. “These manmade motorsport devices are cars of so many different ilks: race, classic, truck, even motorcycles. They’re so varied in character that they need to be preserved, revered, driven, shown, and enjoyed for years to come. To allow all this to fall away out of the lexicon of our culture would be a crime. By funding skilled-trade education, we are making a significant move in the right direction.”
Mr. Mason added, “Now is the time to promote collector car career opportunities and channel the charitable giving of car enthusiasts into education and apprenticeship programs that will create the next generation of technicians. Doing this while interest in skilled trades is growing and before car-craft skills are lost means we can attract more young people into rewarding automotive careers and support the collector car industry that we enthusiasts depend on.”