Davis drives creativity through reconstructing cars (with video)


Sreehitha Moravaneni

Coppell High School senior Matthew Davis works on a Kawasaki ZZR600 motorcycle in his backyard on Saturday. Davis has had a zeal for mechanics ever since he was 8, from bicycles to motorcycles. Photo by Sreehitha Moravaneni

Drishti Gupta, Staff Writer

With parts strewn across the garage and the engine out of place, he did not know where to start. Eventually, he managed to push the negative thoughts out of his mind and acquired a new drive to do what he really loves: fixing cars. 

For the past three years, Coppell High School senior Matthew Davis has engaged in mechanical jobs, involving vehicles in which he swapped tires and replaced engines and he took on personal projects at home. 

“I’ve always been a tinkerer,” Davis said. “I’d just take stuff apart and put it back together. It wasn’t until I turned 15 when I started working two jobs to afford a car [that he can then reconstruct].”

Inspired by The Fast and the Furious along with NASCAR races, Davis wanted to be able to race against other people as well, so he created a small, fast car in order to compete with other people who had nicer cars that he, at the time, could not afford.

Sreehitha Moravaneni

“[I bought] a Chrysler back in March, [and] I was planning to make that a race car to take to the [racing] track,” Davis said. “I had all kinds of plans to put turbos in it, boost it with nitrogen oxide and just totally rebuild that car and put a new engine in it too. I took out the engine, rebuilt it in my garage, sold the engine and I was hoping to buy an LS7 engine to put in it.”

Unfortunately, Davis had to sell the car to a junkyard because he was not able to purchase an engine and move the car from the street. However, the Chrysler project remains his favorite because of all the dedication and hard work put into the repairs.

“These things are expensive, and I’ve put in a lot of work,” Davis said. “I didn’t take out any loans, and I put myself under a lot of stress to get that car and keep it running.”

Not only is Davis proud of the hard work he put into the Chrysler, but he also found the experience to be incredibly rewarding. 

“Being able to take something broken and have it working by the end of the day using only what you know and your resources is something that is really cool to me,” Davis said.

Being able to take something broken and have it working by the end of the day using only what you know and your resources is something that is really cool to me.”

— CHS senior Matthew Davis

His experience working with cars has also helped him develop a work ethic and taught him several life lessons. 

“When stuff doesn’t work out your way, you’re going to have to find another way around it,” Davis said. “[Also], If something breaks down before you expect it to, you’ve got to fix that one part. [You cannot] be frustrated and give up on yourself because one thing keeps getting in the way.”

Currently, Davis is working on repairing a motorcycle which he bought in pieces back in October when selling his Chrysler. He is planning to turbo the motorcycle and turn it into a stunt bike and take it to a few stunt competitions. 

Through his journey, CHS honors precalculus teacher Suzzane Black has helped support and motivate him. Black taught Davis his junior year.

I had Matthew in honors precalculus, not a subject everyone enjoys,” Black said. “He never gave up and pushed through because he would not accept failure. I know he worked jobs to pay his own bills and sometimes there just wasn’t enough time in the day for both, but he figured out a way to make it work. I enjoyed getting to know him other than just a math student. [I am] so glad he shared his love for working on cars, trucks and motorcycles with me.”

In addition to receiving support, Davis has also provided support and a helping hand to his friends. 

“I really don’t know anybody who is more passionate and more willing to take on a challenge than Matthew,” 2020 CHS graduate Leonard Castillo said. “I’m not saying that because he’s a really good friend of mine. I had a few instances where my car was messed up, and the guy dropped everything that was going on to come help give me a hand.”

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