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Automotive Instructor Danny Redin Enjoys Restoring Classic Cars

"What I’ve found in my years is that there’s always a car that can beat you. And I don’t like to get beat. So I don’t race it. It gets your adrenaline flowing just to drive it. And that’s what it’s all about."

 

For some, retirement is a time to step back and just enjoy a life of leisure, and for Danny Redin, the plan was no different. He had spent the last 11 years of his career working hard as a technician at a dealership, maintaining his ASE certification for the duration. And that was after running his own shop for years. He was proud of what he had accomplished, but perhaps it was time to close up the toolbox and retire from the automotive industry.

So Danny and his wife traveled to France. They went to London. They did all the things they wanted to experience together, then, one-by-one, Danny finished the projects on the to-do list. Then he ran out of things to do. Until he crossed paths with a 1970 Chevelle.

He knew that he wanted to restore it – but that meant going back to work. So he did. He returned to the automotive industry as an instructor at UTI Houston and rediscovered his passion. What fun is retirement if it means giving up what you love?

Danny purchased the Chevelle as a project car to work on with his son. Its bottom was rusted out and the body was pretty beat up, but they rebuilt it and painted it, transforming the 1970s muscle car from a shell of its former glory into a modern classic.

Danny, beaming with pride, pops the hood, showing off the engine. “This is a 454. We bored it out at 0.060” now it’s at 468. We have a larger camshaft and of course it came from stock, and we have headers that are wrapped to keep the heat from being so much in the compartment. I’ve also purchased a dual quad fuel injection system that’s going to go on it in a number of weeks.”

Just like the students who attend UTI, Danny loves cars. It shows in every word he uses to describe the work that he’s done on the Chevelle and what he’d like to do to it in the future. The Chevelle is a work in progress and Danny admits that it may never be officially done. But that’s just the nature of building and customizing cars. Any true gearhead looks at this type of work as future opportunities to learn rather than burdensome tasks. What’s the fun in “finishing” a car if that means not being able to work on it again and making it even better?

Though his Chevelle could be on the race track, Danny doesn’t feel the need to take it out. For him, it’s the process of the build that he enjoys, and just taking it for a spin on the road is enough to keep him happy. “What I’ve found in my years is that there’s always a car that can beat you. And I don’t like to get beat. So I don’t race it. It gets your adrenaline flowing just to drive it. And that’s what it’s all about.”

Danny is at UTI for the same reasons many of his students are there—because cars excite him and working on them is what he loves to do. He brings his experience and enthusiasm to the classroom in the courses in transmissions, electrical and hybrid technology that he teaches. 

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