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How to attract young people to the crafts and trades: An Interview with Jeff Mason

The recently released episode of The Spectator’s District Podcast asks an important question: How can we interest youths in the classic crafts and trades of the collector car industry? The Piston Foundation’s Jeff Mason sits down with host Teresa Mull to discuss a myriad of solutions that car enthusiasts, new and old, won’t want to miss.

By Christopher PerKowski

January 4, 2023

The History of Car Culture

As Jeff describes, there is a longstanding history in car culture, dating all the way back to the post WWII era of the 1950’s, a time where cars had become more affordable and men returning from war had the passion and technical know-how to forge lasting careers out of them. This so-called “Hotrod Generation” became the foundation upon which car culture was built. However, even this legacy isn’t immune to the challenges time brings. “The biggest threat to the collector car world,” Jeff says, “is the retiring 65-year-old technician who has no successor to pass on their skills to.”

Piston’s Path to Career Awareness

Jeff and Teresa explore the skill trade shortage in greater detail and discuss how the Piston Foundation aims to alleviate the problem through exposure and career pathways. Kids are well aware of the excitement cars have to offer, but what they truly need to see are the paths available to them. Similar to how fans of pop stars will see their idols on stage and wish to be like them, young automotive enthusiasts require a platform for their own set of role models so they can see themselves doing the same thing. Exposure is the first crucial step for young folks to realize their hobby has the potential to become a fulfilling career.

Car Talk, La Carrera Panamericana & More

The conversation doesn’t stop there! Listen to the full episode at to hear more of Jeff and Teresa’s thoughts on cars, including Jeff’s insight into the human nature of hands-on crafts and the full scoop on his participation in the 2022 La Carrera Pan Americana racing event.

Support skilled trade education for future auto restoration technicians.


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