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Discussion Starter #1
There have been many posts that describe the benefits of attending the build school but I didn't find a comprehensive review of the logistics of how it works. I attended the Roadster class in November with my two teenage sons so I am hoping some of this info will be helpful to anyone considering attending.

My goals were to experience first-hand the work that is involved in building this car, assess my ability to build it and to have the opportunity to ask questions to those that have experience building these cars. I was also excited to have a fun weekend away with my sons.

Travel/Accommodations/Cost:
The course is held at Mott Community College which is located at 1240 Packard Dr., Howell, MI. Howell is roughly 50 miles NW from Detroit Metro Airport which is where we flew to. You can also fly into Flint which is similar distance from Howell but less traffic, hassle, etc. There are several hotels within a 5 minute drive to the school and several offer discounts for students. We stayed at the Holiday Inn which was fine and reasonably priced. The course is $799/person and FFR will give you a credit of $250 if you order a kit within 1 year. Although I paid for 3 people, I believe FFR will only give my one discount.

Instructors/Content:
There is a max of 16 students and 2 instructors are assigned to each class. Our class worked with 3 of the instructors (Todd, Scott and Jim) and each were excellent. They consistently demonstrated mastery of the subject and they each had deep personal experience building the car. As important, they put safety first, were patient with the participants and while I know they have conducted these classes dozens of times, the energy and enthusiasm that they show for the subject would lead you to believe this was their first class.

The class starts on Friday at 8 am where you are presented with the complete kit exactly as you would receive it off the Stewart Transport truck - body on frame with some aluminum panels lightly installed. From there, you basically follow the build manual (a hard copy of which you are given as part of the course). At each stage of the build, the instructors provide you tips and suggestions about how to conduct the build, many of which are not in the manual. You also have the chance to ask all those burning questions you might have before ordering like is the frame powder coating a good price, do I need the Wilwood rear brake upgrades, how much engine do I need, what are the benefits of IRS vs. 3-link, what gear ratios work best with a given transmission, what tools do I need to buy, etc. Since they don't work for FFR, they can freely tell you their opinions without conflict. You can take as many notes and pictures as you like. One person in our class recorded the audio of all 3 days on his phone.

At the end of the class, they will provide you their contact info and can serve as another great resource for questions after the class. I can't say enough how the instructors made the class so worthwhile. They even joined us for dinner each night which was very nice.

At 5 pm on Sunday, the side pipes and tires will go on the car and one of the instructors will drive the car out of the garage and demonstrate the power of what you built. Very rewarding. As others have mentioned, the students can't drive the car which I assume is a liability issue. The class then concludes and these poor guys have to remove a ton of rivets to break it down again so the next class gets the same great experience.

The highest compliment I can give to the class and especially the instructors is that my 2 sons, who would never be confused for gear heads, were so engaged in the class that they rarely were distracted by their cell phones. There are few things that can draw a teenager’s attention away from their technology. Their reaction to the class makes me even more excited about the intangible benefits of undertaking this project with them.

Even though I have spent a lot of time reading these forums and I have also read the FFR manual, I would highly recommend the class as another useful piece of research before you buy a kit. If you have a question that I have left out, please post and I will be happy to answer and I am sure others will as well.
Glenn
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks and one more thought. When you register for the class, the material they send you will tell you that you have to bring safety glasses. I went out and bought 3 pairs for us but they have them there for your use if you don't want to or forget to bring them.
Glenn
 

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Here's another good reason

It was a lot of bloody fun.

Mario
 

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I attended the Mott build school back in May of 2011. I was very pleased with the instructors and the presentation. However, IMHO 16 students are too many and it gets quite crowded around the car. I found I took most of my pictures before, during lunch, and after class. I would suggest a max class size of 10 to 12 would be better, however I understand it is likely driven more by economics. The class did for me exactly what I wanted and that was determine if I had or could acquire the skills necessary to finish the project. 33 months after receiving the kit, my car was registered and on the road.

Alan
 
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