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'Driven to Care' scholarships to benefit students pursuing automotive careers

Friday, April 02, 2021 5:50 PM | Anonymous
The family of renowned automotive enthusiast, racer, and entrepreneur John Weinberger has teamed with the TechForce Foundation to offer a series of scholarships to benefit students who aspire to follow in his footsteps. Applications must be submitted by April 30. 
The John Weinberger Driven to Care Legacy Scholarships support students with awards of up to $10,000 across a broad spectrum of automotive career disciplines: Automotive Engineering; Vintage Automotive Restoration; Automotive Dealership Management, Marketing and Communications; and Automotive Technician. 
The scholarship offerings reflect the interests, experiences, and expertise of the late John F. Weinberger, who lived in Naperville and in Austin, Texas. He was a legendary force in automotive circles who built Continental Motors Group — one of the nation’s largest dealership groups — and enjoyed a lifetime of driving, racing, and tinkering with cars.
Students who meet the following criteria are eligible for awards:
• SAE-Chicago section automotive students enrolled in the engineering program at the University of Illinois-Chicago or Northern Illinois University; 
• McPherson College (McPherson, Kansas) students pursuing historic automotive technology;
• Lyons Township (Illinois) High School automotive students enrolled in a post-secondary school to pursue a career in the automotive industry;
• Illinois or Texas students pursuing a career as an automotive technician and enrolled in any local community college that offers an automotive program or Universal Technical Institute;
• Northwood University students pursuing skills in car dealership management, marketing and communications.
The scholarships are offered in partnership with the TechForce Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to champion students to and through their education and into careers as professional technicians. To apply for one of the scholarships, visit
Recipients will be selected by TechForce representatives and a group of John’s "car buddies" in the Chicago and Austin areas known as the "lunch bunch."
"We want young people to dream what they want to dream," Lisa Weinberger, John’s wife, said about the creation of the scholarships. "John was able to turn his passion into his profession and was just so positive in everything he did. He measured success in smiles. He glowed. 
"I hope to see a glimmer of my husband in each and every one of these students. That would fill my heart with his light."
A respected and influential force in the industry, John Weinberger served several terms on the boards of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association, and the American International Automobile Dealers Association. He also enjoyed racing and earned numerous podium finishes while competing in Sports Car Club of America events during the 1960s. His exploits led to his induction into the Road Racers Drivers Club, where he joined an exclusive group of famed drivers. He also was a board member of the SCCA and an active member of various vintage racing clubs, including the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, the Veloce Racing Association, the Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association, and Historic Sportscar Racing, LLC. 
He continued racing until the age of 84, even taking to the track after he died at age 88 on Sept. 12, 2020, as Lisa Weinberger took the wheel of the hearse to lead a first-of-its-kind, high-speed funeral procession around the Circuit of the Americas race track in Texas.
The scholarships continue John and Lisa’s history of giving back to the community, which began with the Continental Motors Group "Driven to Care" car giveaway program. The program has donated nearly 100 refurbished cars to deserving individuals who have overcome challenges such as homelessness, substance abuse, and physical abuse. 
"John wanted car dealers to be seen in a different light," said Lisa Weinberger. "If every dealer in the country followed his example of reaching out to the community, of mentoring young people, and of providing networking opportunities, we could change a lot of things for the better."
To learn more about John Weinberger and his history, visit

Chicago Automobile Trade Association
18W200 Butterfield Rd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 
(630) 495-2282


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