Nothing is more valued than a prized possession. That’s why students in Auto Technology have been spending countless hours working on a 1958 Chevrolet Impala that belongs to beloved school custodian, Gus Jamarillo. Auto Technology teacher Jay Butz has been on top of the project for over a year now putting forth efforts to finish “Baby Doll”.
Jamarillo first received the Impala back in 1978 as a gift when he had graduated from basic training in the National Guard. “One day me and my brother Paco were cruising, he told me how proud he was of me and gave me the car,” said Jamarillo. “I’ve had so many people ask me to sell it but I can’t, my brother gave it to me and it has a lot of memories.”
In 1986, he drove the car from Los Angeles to Portland. Along the way, the Impala was rear ended. The impact smashed the entire back left corner of the Jamarillo’s vehicle.
The Impala now sits in the Tigard High School auto shop. “I think it’s important to fix this car for Gus, because it means a lot to him and his family. It gives the students an opportunity to experience hands on learning that they may never get. But the most important thing is that we are saving a piece of art for Gus, ” said Butz. “We saved a ’58 for Gus, that’s what we did.”
Their efforts have shown through tremendous ways. Jamarillo’s health has been a downside to the project, but makes the rebuilding of this vehicle very personal with the students.
As student awareness builds, more and more interest is being shown as the car reaches near completion. “I think it’s really awesome that we get to work on the car considering it’s for a good cause,” said senior Jake Austin. “I can’t wait to finally see this thing when it’s all finished up.” The projected date is arriving soon and Jamarillo’s family is very excited.