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Piston Partners with the Automotive Restoration Academy

Communities are made up of many relationships and partnerships. Today, the Piston Foundation announces a partnership with the newly created Automotive Restoration Academy (ARA).

By jeff mason

August 15, 2020

Kent Bain, who founded Automotive Restorations Inc. and Vintage Racing Services Inc. 40 years ago, is behind the ARA effort. “I couldn’t retire from this industry knowing that factors such as high education costs and diminished respect for the trade are keeping us from replenishing the already eroded the number of qualified restoration specialists. Furthermore, I believe a key part of the solution is the institution of proper earn-and-learn-as-you-go apprenticeship programs and schooling.”

The task Kent has selected to be a big part of his legacy to the car community is significant: preparing apprentices for careers in specialized automobile-related disciplines, matching them with the most suitable employers, and heightening the public’s perception of these invaluable crafts. The resources required to make ARA a reality are just as significant.

An alliance between ARA and the Piston Foundation will only serve to address the challenges ahead of Kent as he starts his new enterprise and creates a world-class curriculum. Robert P. Minnick, founder and CEO of the Foundation explained, “It is important to point out our unique fund-raising strategy. We’re redefining the charitable landscape for the automobile industry by soliciting donations directly from car enthusiasts using a series of innovative social media campaigns. Soon, we will kick off our first consumer campaign to raise the necessary funds to start the ARA.”

Linda Zukauskas, Chief Communications Officer with the Foundation, said, “I see the Piston Foundation’s work as more than funding efforts that will keep museums open, support apprentices as they learn skills that might otherwise (and tragically) be forgotten, and share stories that future generations can enjoy. Car people are cool people. They want to share their world with everyone interested in it, which means the Foundation can create a grassroots effort that will make it easy for others to discover.”

Support skilled trade education for future auto restoration technicians.


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