By Margaret Maccoll
“I never thought I’d be building a car in high school,” Year 11 student Callum Thiess said on Saturday at the Noosa Hill Climb as he and Sunshine Beach State High School VET trainer John Marano chatted to other car enthusiasts about the school’s latest two year build.
Next year Callum and other students in the Formula high school program will begin their new build, complete the course with a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways and as a bonus at the end of the year – race the car.
“The course is about introducing them to the engineering industry and getting them workplace ready,” Mr Marano said.
Cars of all types and ages raced the clock over the weekend at the 21st Noosa Hill Climb summer event.
Among them was Max Stephenson, a first timer to Noosa Hill Climb, who was “having an absolute ball” on the second only outing of his 1933 Austin Martin Le Mans long chassis which he bought in 2010 before restoring it.
There were plenty of regulars as well including Trevor Bassett who has been to the hill climb for the past 15 years. Trevor, of Sunshine Beach, brought along his 1977 Ferrari, one of seven cars he owns “all Italian”.It was the 11th year for Ian Nowell who bought his 1955 Porsche in New Zealand 20 years ago for $25,000 and has “had a lot of fun ever since”.
For Rob Kippen the Noosa Hill Climb has become a family tradition. Both he and brother Steve have Datsun 1600s and each aims to be fastest to the top, though Rob admitted Steve had beaten him more often than not. The race track on Gyndier Drive is very familiar to the Tewantin man who as a boy travelled it to school on the bus every day before the Noosa-Cooroy Road was built.