Kendra Sommer
May 11, 2018

[Ed note: We’ve been preaching this gospel for a while, but the time is now to get the younger generation into cars and mechanical things, and a great starting point is high school shop classes. Unfortunately, many of them are drying up around the country, losing the battle against budget cuts and other problems within our school system. Occasional contributor Kendra Sommer from Cruisin’ With Kendra sent us this story she did last weekend at a high school in Wisconsin that holds a car show in the school parking lot, with all proceeds going to fund the schools auto program. More high schools and clubs should be doing this, we think.]

Freedom High School in Kaukauna, WI knows how to fill their parking lot with some fierce Fords and plenty of vintage sheet metal. The small Wisconsin high school has been presenting the classics for 10 years with their annual Freedom High School Car Show.

All of the money raised at this car show goes to help the school’s auto club. The Freedom High School Automotive Club is far from an average auto program. The students involved with the club get hands on experience and last year students were even able to take a vehicle they built to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo: Jason Schultz of JS Designs High above Freedom High School’s car show.

"This is a fantastic fundraiser for us and it is a great community outreach. The money raised here helps us to be able to buy tools, take the kids on field trips to other car shows, and maybe fund a trip to the SEMA Show," Freedom High School automotive instructor and club advisor, Jay Abitz said.

Aside from being a fantastic fundraiser for Freedom's Automotive Program the event also draws a large attendance including several early Ford Mustangs.

This 1968 Ford Mustang turned heads at the Freedom High School Auto Club Car Show with a red paint job, automatic transmission and a 302 Engine under the hood.

Mustang enthusiast Tom Mangert is a firm believer in passing down the love of cars to our youth. Mangert spent years working hard to get his high school dream car, a 1966 Mustang fastback. Now he enjoys sharing stories about the journey to get his Mustang with young people. Mangert couldn't afford the Ford when he was in high school but he never stopped working hard to get his high school dream car. "This was my dream car. The price of this car was $3,900 which is the equivalent of an expensive riding lawn mower today," Mangert said.

Annually the show averages 150 trucks and cars each year. All proceeds of the event go directly to Freedom High School Auto Club and automotive activities. Donations for the Freedom High School Auto Club are still being accepted at or to e-mail Instructor Jay Abitz

Owner Tom Mangert gives his car the once over at the FHS car show. This 1966 GT fastback was Mangert's dream car when he was in high school.
The Freedom High School Automotive Club at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.