Degrees and Certifications:
Mr. Wayne Parks
Hello. Although I am not a Florida native,I have always considered this my home.My family moved around alot when I was growing up,which was good in a way because it enabled me to see so much of this country and live in different environments, but it was also having to say goodbye to friends all the time. By the time I was in high school,I had traveled cross country several times. I acquired my love for automobiles from my father,who taught me the basics,back when cars were simple to repair. Points,plugs,carburetors. I was fortunate enough to have a great auto shop teacher in my last two years of high school, in Minden ,Nevada. I then went on to attend automotive training at Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix,Arizona. Upon graduating,I moved back to Nevada where jobs for an apprentice technician were scarce,so I took a job as detailer for a Ford/Subaru dealer,Which happened to be Carroll Shelby Motors in South Lake Tahoe,California. I worked my way up through various positions ,working as a parts specialist and a service advisor,then into the shop where I was at home working on cars.
I continued to work at Ford dealerships through my career,obtaining service advisor certifications with Ford and Subaru, ASE 25 year Master Technicain,Ford Drivetrain Master,Chassis Master,Electrical Master,and Ford Senior Master certifications. My spare time was spent by playing ice and roller hockey ,as a goalie,and that led into coaching youth hockey. By doing that,I knew I wanted to take my knowledge and teach others,and when the opportunity presented itself to teach at MTI, I jumped and ran with it. This will be only my second year teaching at MTI,but this has been easily the most rewarding occupation I have ever done. There is nothing like seeing a student grow and learn and be succesful. I love the small school family atmosphere here,and knowing the faculty actually cares about each and every student. I am honored to be able to do this and actually get paid for it!
My father was an old school hot rodder,as am I. I was lucky enough to grow up when I did when musclecars were cheap and plentiful. I have had several very desirable cars,such as 68-69 Chargers, 70 Challenger R/T, Barracudas, and many others,and usually spent my weekends making them faster or racing them. As a result I have been able to perform every modification on a car myself,from engine and transmission building to body and paint. My current projects include my 1972 Dodge Coronet 4 speed wagon,which is getting a potent 383 ,6 pack with alot of nitrous, and my fiance's 79 Mustang Ghia,factory 302 car,which we just finsihed the engine and interior. I also draw and paint in my spare time,mostly hot rods and musclecars.
One of my favorite projects has been our Rat truck ,which started as a donated Marion County Fire rescue ambulance that didnt run. I had the idea to make a rat rod out of it,and turned the students loose on it. I wanted to keep with the whole rat rod philosophy,by using what you have,thinking outside the norm and fabricating what you need,keeping it low cost. We got it running,lowered it,added a push button start,and removed the heater/a/c box and relocated the batteries to clean up the engine bay. We then sectioned the front fenders,and adapted 70 year old headlights and a semi truck grille shell for a street rod look. We used turbocharger housings for the taillights,and added many more custom touches. Many of the students were able to learn how to weld and cut using this as a project,so it was a great learning experiance as well. This will be a continuing project with the students this year as well.
I look forward to another great year and many more at MTI with your students,and thank you for allowing me to teach them.