Remember pop-up headlights? Carburetors? Sleeve- valve engines? You may not remember all of them, but every day, restorers work on classic cars with those features.
As with technicians for today's cars, technicians who perform that specialized work are aging, and it is difficult to recruit and train young talent to replace them.
Enter the RPM Foundation.
The grant-giving organization was started in 2005 as the Collectors' Foundation by McKeel Hagerty, CEO of classic car insurer Hagerty Insurance Agency. Funding for the 501(c)(3) foundation comes in part from Hagerty but also from a large donor base.
The foundation was rebranded in 2015 as the RPM Foundation; the group's logo includes the words "Restoration. Preservation. Mentorship." It provides scholarships to students looking to train as automotive and classic marine restorers via grants to technical schools, restoration shops and other institutions to provide training and apprenticeships. It also acts as a guide for young people considering a career in restoration and helps them connect with the right educational institutions.