Luis Gutierrez from Illinois had love of cars since he was a teenager. An old car he got for his birthday inspired Luis to turn the youthful hobby into a promising career.
Luis’ family moved to Aurora, Illinois from Mexico when he was two. The boy was always fascinated with cars, but the true passion sparked when he turned 16 and got his first ride — a 1986 Buick Regal.
The car was old but beautiful, and Luis dreamed of turning it into a Low-Rider.
The teenager wanted to work with motors, but did not know how:
“When I tried to fix up my Buick, I kept getting ripped off because I didn’t know how to do anything myself,” Luis explained later to Autobody News.
The day after a high school prom, Gutierrez had to face one of the hardest questions: “What do I have to do with my life?”
Luis looked at his good old Regal that was waiting to be turned into a beautiful Low-Rider, and realized that the answer was right in front of him:
“Why not learn how to paint and do body work on my own?”
I love what I do. It doesn’t feel like a job anymore
The graduate’s search for auto schools brought him to Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Illinois. First of all, the young man could afford it. At that time, he could not claim any grants because of the immigrant status.
Luis also knew people in the collision repair program who spoke highly of the course and especially the instructor, Andrew MacDonald.
The teen was a bit afraid to take up the program because he had never been a “book person”:
“I’ve always been more hands on, but regardless, I didn’t have any experience working on cars, so I was a little nervous,” he confessed.
The problem was solved with the help of his teacher, MacDonald, who perfectly understood Louis’ learning style and saw his potential from the start:
“Luis is a prime example to my present students that if you are persistent and wait for the door of opportunity to open, good things will happen,” MacDonald told Autobody News.
Good things did happen, as his student started his first collision repair job at a local body shop. They, however, happened not in the way Luis imagined it.
Shortly after Luis had entered the workforce, MacDonald received a phone call from him. His student sounded disappointed.
Luis stated that the shop he was working at did not do things the way MacDonald taught him, and the results of their work were far from perfect.
“I told him that any start is a good start, to remember what I taught him and to hang in there,” MacDonald recalls.
If you are persistent and wait for the door of opportunity to open, good things will happen
For two years, Gutierrez polished up his skills and preserved his own methods.
Luis’ dedication brought him to the position of a professional painter at White Eagle Auto Body, his current job, which he fully enjoys:
“I love what I do. It doesn’t feel like a job anymore.”
Luis got himself a beautiful Low-Rider he dreamed of. The next dream is his own body shop.
Source: Autobody News
Featured Image: Courtesy of Luis Gutierrez