Skip to main content

Automate

06/25/2014 12:00AM ● Published by Jon Lewis

By Jon Lewis

Mentoring Program Builds Bonds (And Cars) That Last

Brandon Back, 30, and 76-year-old Jim Walters built a car together, and in the process they put the finishing touches on a relationship that’s as strong as any father-son bond.
   
Their unlikely friendship began in 1999 through the Plus One Mentors program, which was offered at the Shasta Family YMCA. Back was a high school freshman with a troubled home life; Walters was a retired race car driver and used car salesman who had recently relocated to Lakehead from Los Angeles, where he used to sponsor a boys club and mentor kids from time to time.
   
Back was looking for some stability and guidance; Walters wanted to continue helping others. A mutual love of cars proved to be the key to the partnership.
   
“The first time I met Brandon, we talked for two hours. We hit it off right off the bat,” Walters says. “He’d come up and we’d work on cars.”
    
“I’ve got to commend Jim for taking in a teenager and bringing him up,” Back says. “I couldn’t imagine where I could be now if I hadn’t met him. I wasn’t in trouble, and I wasn’t into drugs or drinking, but I had a lack of education and no real male role model in my life. He really pushed me to get out and work and do the home schooling.”
   
With access to Walters’ shop as well as the mentor’s knowledge gathered from years of working on cars, Back soon hatched a plan involving his neighbor’s ’67 Pontiac GTO. Back saw a muscle car in the making; Walters saw a headache on four wheels.
   
“I remember him saying, ‘Please don’t get this car, it’s such a basket case,’” Back recalls. The youngster was undeterred. “That thing was so bad, the guy gave it to him,” Walters says. “He worked on it and worked on it, fixed it up, and drives it to this day.”
   
The two continued to work together over the years as their friendship continued to grow. About three years ago, Walters got the inspiration to build another twin-engine car. (Back in the 1960s, he had built one with his brother-in-law.)
   
Walters had some cash on hand after selling his dragster, and the two began rummaging through the shop to see what they had to work with. There were two nearly intact engines, part of an engine coupler and some vintage wheels Walters had found at an estate sale.
   
It was determined that a car styled after a vintage 1937 Indy 500 racer would best accommodate two engines, and the two got to work, starting with some channel iron from Gerlinger Steel in Redding that became the chassis.
   
A body and paint man by trade, Back is always on the lookout for cars to buy and sell. He came across a woman who was offering five older Oldsmobiles and the two men went to investigate. A truck that had been converted into a tractor was sporting a unique grill and it caught Walters’ eye.
   
“Jim saw that grill and said, ‘That’s the grill we want.’ I bought the whole lot to get that grill. That grill set the tone for the whole build,” Back says. Back spent every available minute of free time on the Indy car project, even though time was a precious commodity with his job taking up to 60 hours a week and helping his wife, Mandy, with the couple’s two children.
   
The Indy car was a collaboration from start to finish, Back says. “I was really honored on how much he asks for my advice, even down to color of car. I pushed for black, he wanted cream. For a year, we went back and forth before we settled on gold and burgundy.”
   
After a flurry of activity earlier this year, the finishing touches were applied and the car was proudly displayed in the prestigious Dreamworks display at Kool April Nites. The two men are already planning their next project.

In Print, Community july 2014 star spangled automate brandon back jim walters plus one mentors program
  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/12/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • 30th Annual Victorian Dinner

    12/12/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    This is musical theater at it's best. It is a Christmas Dinner served Victorian style. The studen...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/14/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/15/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Semi-Annual Sale

    12/15/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Semi-Annual: SALE 50% off the entire store. 12/15/17 10 am – 6 pm 12/16/17 10 am – 5 pm 2961...


  • Come out and support your local NorCal Bears 7th grade traveling AAU basketball team. We are a n...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    12/15/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Cowboy Santa Rides into Ono! Sunday, Dec.17 come out to the ONO GRANGE for a Pancake Breakast fr...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/17/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • B--Monthly Free Concert & Open Mic

    12/17/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Redding - California State Old Time Fiddles Association, District 6 Free Old Time Fiddle, Bluegra...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/18/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/12/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • 30th Annual Victorian Dinner

    12/12/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    This is musical theater at it's best. It is a Christmas Dinner served Victorian style. The studen...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/13/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    12/13/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/14/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/15/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Semi-Annual Sale

    12/15/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Semi-Annual: SALE 50% off the entire store. 12/15/17 10 am – 6 pm 12/16/17 10 am – 5 pm 2961...


  • Come out and support your local NorCal Bears 7th grade traveling AAU basketball team. We are a n...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    12/15/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/16/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Start Up Saturdays | Winter Market

    12/16/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Easily shop local this Holiday season at the Start Up Saturdays Winter Vendor Market where local ...


  • Semi-Annual Sale

    12/16/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Semi-Annual: SALE 50% off the entire store. 12/15/17 10 am – 6 pm 12/16/17 10 am – 5 pm 2961...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    12/16/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • “Scrooge: An Evening with Charles Dickens”

    12/16/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    This one-man show is Bennett Gale’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “The Christmas Carol” Benne...


  • Cowboy Santa Rides into Ono! Sunday, Dec.17 come out to the ONO GRANGE for a Pancake Breakast fr...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/17/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • B--Monthly Free Concert & Open Mic

    12/17/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Redding - California State Old Time Fiddles Association, District 6 Free Old Time Fiddle, Bluegra...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/18/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/19/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/20/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    12/20/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/21/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Vinyl Night

    12/21/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Vinyl Night! Join us downtown the first and third Thursday of every month. We are going to ditch ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/22/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    12/22/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


Enter to Win!

Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living

 

Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors