When a group organizes an inaugural event, one is never sure how it will turn out. It can be a bust, just okay, or a success.

Last year, Dos Palos High vocational instructor Jason Warren and the students in his auto body class decided to host a car show at the school to not only host beautiful cars, but also to showcase the school’s state-of-the-art auto department.

The result was grand.

“Last year was better than we could have hoped for,” said Warren. “Cars started showing up early in the morning and kept coming. We had about 80 cars from all over the valley — from Merced, Atwater, Fresno, Los Banos, Firebaugh, and Dos Palos.”

The teacher and his students are hoping for an even bigger event this year. The second annual Rods & Mods Car Show will be this Saturday at the high school. It will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the entry fee is $25 per car.

Last year there was also a silent auction that raised money for the SkillsUSA auto club, cheerleading, and the school prom. There was food prepared, and the school’s cafeteria was open for people to relax. A total of 22 plaques and four custom-painted bowling pins were given out in different car classes.

Warren said that there will be some changes this year.

“We are starting earlier in the day, and we will have live music,” he explained. “The Jac Row Band will be playing from 11 am to 2 pm. The car show winners will be announced at 2 pm.”

He will also use the show as a “teaching moment” for his students, as they will serve as judges for the entries.

“Students will be paired with an adult and have a detailed judging sheet,” he explained. “They will be looking for the condition of the body of the car, the interior, engine compartment, paint, tires, wheels, and hubcaps. The students will be encouraged to ask the owner questions about their car and the build.”

They will also be responsible for registration, setting up the show, and tearing it down at the end.

There will be t-shirts available for purchase with the artwork designed by Caleb Jelen.

“The students are excited about the show, and they are looking to put on an even better event than last year,” said Warren.

Equally excited about the show is DPHS principal Doreen Castillo.

“This year, we are hoping for more than 100 entries and have added more categories based on feedback from last year’s participants,” said Castillo. “We would like to see Mods & Rods continue for years to come. It gives students in our Auto Classes a chance to see the different types of vehicles that are out there, show off the skills they are learning, and provide a fun-filled day for the community.”

The principal added that DPHS currently offers four periods of Auto Collision and one block period of Auto Refinishing in a state-of-the-art shop and paint booth. Students in all grade levels can take these classes to learn the skills needed to work in a body shop anywhere in California. Along with classes, students take trips to industry-standard companies to see first-hand how the skills they are learning are put into practice in the real world.

David Borboa