May Volunteer Spotlight – Paul Deao
Position(s): Archive, simulator operator, docent
Volunteering since: February 2018
Q: When and how did you become a motorsports enthusiast?
A: When I was young, I watched my dad repair cars in the garage. For him it was a necessity, not a sport. He used to show me how and why things worked as he would repair them. I remember my brothers and my dad doing a complete engine rebuild in the garage for my brother’s 1953 Chevy. They pulled the whole thing apart right down to the bare block. Honed the cylinders and rebuilt the whole thing over one weekend. Then I watched my brothers and their friends get into hot rods and loved watching and leaning about them while I was around them.
Q: What kind of influence has that had on your life?
A: It taught me that I can fix just about anything. I learned how to analyze things better. How things worked and what purpose they performed. This allowed me to have the confidence to tackle things later in life. From cars to household repairs to construction I was never afraid to try to do it. This is a trait that I later passed on to my son. The ability for critical thinking can be applied to anything we do in life.
Q: What makes volunteering at World of Speed meaningful to you?
A: I love to help preserve the history and legacy of motorsport. I have seen firsthand through my son how motorsport bridges all age, sex, ethnic and economic gaps. When my son was young, he liked talking to the older car guys who were eager to share their experiences and knowledge with him. I have observed this also at the WOS. From working at special events, to talking to young people when they come into the archive, I love to pass on what I know and how it has had a positive effect on my life.
Q: What is the most memorable experience of your time volunteering?
A: There have been so many. I love working the high school proms. The enthusiasm and joy in the young people’s eyes bring me great joy. I recently had the privilege of giving a personal tour to college archive students. This truly brought home the fact that this is a sport that bridges all gaps. They were so fascinated to hear about the history of automobiles and everything we do here at the museum for the community.
Q: What do you wish other people knew about World of Speed?
A: That we are much, much more than a car museum. Yes, we are here to entertain and celebrate the sport. Just as importantly we are here to preserve the history and legacy of it. Also, something most people don’t know about us is that we have high school auto shop classes. In today’s age where budget cutbacks are most prevalent, it is extremely important that we carry on with this education process. We strive to have something for all age brackets. From day camps for kids to automotive classes for the more advanced auto enthusiast. There aren’t many other auto museums that do all of this.
Q: If you could choose any vehicle to be displayed in the museum, what would it be?
A: I would love to see a display of F1 cars. I would love the public to see the evolution of these fantastic machines. I would also love to see displayed how the people behind the sport have contributed to it. Not just the drivers but the engineers and all the others that make an F1 team successful.
Q: What is your dream car?
A: This one is tough. I would love to have so many cars. I would probably have to say the 1997 Dodge Viper RT/10. On my 50th birthday my wife rented me one for 24 hours. I loved driving that car. The power, the class. It was really different. I think I only slept for four hours and drove it the rest of the time. Great memories.