Name: Gregorio Rivera
School: McPherson College
Location: McPherson, Kansas
Areas of interest :
Body & Paint, Fabrication & Metal Shaping, Frame & Suspension, Historic Vehicle Preservation, Original (Stock) Restoration, Hot Rods, Resto-Mods, Motorcycles
Era of interest:
Pre-War (1900-1939), 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s
What sparked your interest in collector vehicles?
Growing up, my father was a police officer in Puerto Rico and the pay wasn’t enough to support our family so he would do paint and body for family and friends. I remember seeing badly wrecked cars that I didn’t think were fixable, and watching them go out looking like nothing ever happened to them, made my 8-year-old mind think that my father was some sort of car wizard.
What motivates you to pursue a career in vehicle restoration/preservation?
My father has passed away recently, and my motivation is to continue following in his footsteps.
Favorite vehicle-related experience
This summer, my favorite vehicle-related experience was visiting the Revs Institute in Naples, Florida.
Do you have a vehicle you’re working on / have worked on? What is it and what kind of work are you doing?
During my summer internship at Palm Beach Classics in Florida, I helped prepare multiple Mercedes Benz 190 Sl Roadsters for paint. I sanded, body worked, and applied rust treatment. I also helped with a few projects in the trim shop, such as headliner installation and seat cover repair.
What are your short-term/long-term career goals?
My short-term goal is to graduate and work for a private collection or auction company. My long-term goal is to become the best painter I can be.
How has the RPM Foundation impacted your education/career path?
As a non-traditional student who also has to support a family, finances are important. The funds provided to me by the RPM Foundation made it possible for me to accept a summer internship away from home without creating any undue hardship on my family.