It's not often that a high school class project gets displayed on a national stage, especially before it is completed.

But that's exactly what will take place this weekend during the 13th annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway as students of Northwest Cabarrus High School in Concord, N.C., show off a 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle station wagon they are restoring.

The '65 Chevelle will be among more than 3,000 pre-1972 hot rods, street rods, customs and classics featured at the Oct. 27-29 automotive spectacular.

Provided by automotive instructor Tommy Gray, the Chevelle project is Gray's way of rewarding his students for completing their assigned curriculum. Gray purchased the two-door wagon in March and is using it to develop the students' mechanical and interpersonal skills.

"The Goodguys show is an excellent opportunity for the students to see cars of all types and in various stages of completion," Gray said. "Most of the students can get into a lot of the area NASCAR shops and see the race cars, but working on the Chevelle is a more fundamental approach.

"It is something they can hone their skills on. They are learning how to do basic sheet metal and chassis fabrication," he continued. "They are not just learning mechanical abilities, but how to work together and work through problems. Whether they go into an automotive career or something else, these are skills they are going to have to use."

Even though all of his automotive classes are participating in the restoration project, the seniors have played the biggest role in bringing the Chevelle back to life. They have already installed new floor pans and replaced the camshaft in the Chevrolet V-8 engine.

"To put the new cam in it, I had to take the intake off and the whole top end of the motor," said Northwest Cabarrus senior Joey Weeder. "It was the first time I was able to do a camshaft on my own."

After showing the partially completed wagon at the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals, the students will continue to work on the car.

"Brakes are a project that the junior class does every second semester," Gray said. "They have to take the brakes off of a car, rebuild everything they can and then put it back together. They are going to do the Chevelle this year. We will still leave the drum brakes on it, but we'll go with a different lining and wheel cylinder to give it more stopping power."

Although the Chevelle wagon is not yet complete, Gray anxiously awaits the day he can climb behind the wheel and cruise down the road.

"This car is going to be fun to drive," he said. "It's just something to have fun with."

In addition to a huge car show, the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals includes a manufacturer's midway; swap meet; car corral area with vehicles for sale; model car and pedal car show plus a chance to ride around the famous Charlotte Motor Speedway oval at 130-plus miles per hour in the passenger seat of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race car.

Saturday night will see the return of the popular Cruise Under the Lights, where hundreds of hot rods and customs take to the 1.5-mile superspeedway for several laps.

Tickets for the Oct. 27-29 Goodguys Southeastern Nationals will be available on event days. General admission is $15 for adults with children ages 7 to 12 admitted for $6. Children 6 and under are admitted free.

For information, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at 704-455-3205 or visit or