At fourteen years of age, Kathryn DiMaria has already done what many self-proclaimed gearheads won't even attempt in their lifetimes. The Dearborn, Michigan teen is rebuilding a car from the ground up.

The intrepid youngster asked her parents when she was just twelve to start a Pontiac Fiero project, even offering to pony up all the funds herself. Father, Jerry DiMaria only expected the project to last a few months, but two years later, Kathryn is still at it. In this CNN video, the two are at Maker Faire (a DIY festival) rebuilding a 3.4-liter V6 engine out of a Chevrolet Camaro to replace the 2.8-liter mill found in the Fiero.

The whole family hast pitched in, with Kathryn's mother teaching her how to sew in order to complete the interior, father Jerry providing much of the technical know-how, and even her sister is chronicling Kathryn's progress through photos. Jerry even started a thread in a Fiero forum which has been live for two years and is now 22 pages long. Of the project, one forum member wrote, "welcome to the madness."

Apparently math and science lessons are coming into play in her project, hopefully putting an end to the "Why do I need to learn this?" argument, at least among her classmates. The lessons will hopefully allow Kathryn to follow her dream to become an engineer. The target date for the project's completion is Kathryn's sweet 16. You can check out her progress in the video below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      SteveM
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh yeah, well my daughter can text over 4000 times a month... OK, I'm jealous.
      yargnits
      • 2 Years Ago
      I need to show this to my 8 and 4 year old girls.
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dad's final comment is right on. I hope my daughter has the drive, commitment, and interest to do a long term, significant project like this, even if not in the automotive realm.
      GreaseMonkeySRT
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is great. When I was 13 my Dad bought an older Jeep Wrangler that we rebuilt together and was paid for by my landscaping job at thetime. It was my first car. My Dad and I got really close after that. To see someone else doing that with their kids is absolutely fantastic.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GreaseMonkeySRT
        That's great! Do you still have the Jeep?
          GreaseMonkeySRT
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          No, unfortunately I don't. It did follow me to college where I found the owner after me. A couple of months ago I did see it still cruising around a mile from my house. I have the VIN and would love to track it down and buy it back if I could.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why are adults in the comments section criticizing a 14 year old girl? Sad, honestly. This is what more parents should be doing with their children. Supporting their dreams, goals and ideas. I hope this young girl becomes the engineer she wants to be. You older guys with BS comments were not doing this at her age. Unbelievable. I give her a thumbs up and hope that all children (both boys and girls) can achieve when they can put their minds to it. Having positive adult influences in thei lives can make a huge difference.
      GasMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      This story restored my hope for the future.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was gonna saying something snide about the Fiero.... but seeing how talented this girl is- I have no doubt she is going to build her Fiero into something awesome!
      NL
      • 2 Years Ago
      Outstanding!
      The Angry Intern
      • 2 Years Ago
      I saw this the other day on CNN, really cool story. Especially how the self-titled "Fieroheads" have come together to help out. I browsed through the forum thread as well, lots of good pictures of the progress. She really does appear to be doing the vast majority of the work herself, which is hugely commendable.
      ssbjohn
      • 2 Years Ago
      thats the kind of story i like to read about kids kicking some positive butt in this world--go get'em girl
      car-a-holic
      • 2 Years Ago
      And that's a person who either wins big in life or does something that you will somewhere benefit from! Nice job kiddo! More kids should talk to you!
      chirowolf
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, you go girl. I'm Jealous
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