Working in the back of a Billerica auto body shop, the 17-year-old standout student has her hands on a 1967 Corvette.
"The cars are pretty cool," she said, admiring the classic Corvette that's stripped to the fiberglass.
"Not many 17-year-olds get to do this," she adds.
For her co-op, Williams is restoring Corvettes at The Bowtie Shop on Dunham Road in Billerica. The Shawsheen Tech senior, from Tewksbury, has been employed there for almost a year.
It has been an exceptional match, said Joseph Scafidi, shop owner.
"Many people who've done this for a long time don't get what she gets," he said about Williams.
"Today, a lot of kids don't understand how to work, but she does a great job," Scafidi added. "She may be an exception."
Growing up with a father who's a "big car guy," Williams knew from a young age that she wanted to work on cars.
Her father has a 1973 Dodge Charger, yellow and black, and she's been bugging him to let her restore it.
"His excuse is there's no garage for it, but it's because he's too protective of it," Williams said.
While her father won't let her do it, she does get to restore cars every day at the Billerica shop.
With the 1967 Corvette, she has retouched a fiberglass area, straightened out waves in the panels, cleaned the back edge and more.
Maren Williams looks over the 1967 Corvette she is helping to restore. (LOWELL SUN / JOHN LOVE)
"You want to make sure all the panels don't have huge waves in them," Williams said. "A lot of it is by feel.
"My friends at other shops don't do a lot of body work," she said. "They just paint and replace new panels and put them on. Here, you actually get to recreate the panel that's already there."
Fifty percent of the cars at The Bowtie Shop get completely disassembled, according to Scafidi.
A typical restoration takes 700 to 800 hours, which consumes 9 months to one year because they're working on numerous Corvettes at the same time.
"We touch every last piece, so when they go back together, everything's new," he said. "There's not a nut or a bolt that's not touched."
Joseph Scafidi, owner of The Bowtie Shop in Billerica, talks about his shop and Shawsheen Tech student Maren Williams. (SUN LOWELL / JOHN LOVE)
In addition to Corvettes, the shop restores Chevys, Chryslers and others. But the shop's bread and butter is Corvettes -- taking up about 95 percent of its business.
Scafidi opened the location in 2005 and has been restoring Corvettes for 30 years. In college, he bought his first Corvette, a 1963 red convertible. Now he owns seven Corvettes -- 1953, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1996 and 2014.
"Once you buy your first, you're in," he said. "You never want to own anything else."
Williams, who drives a Ford Taurus everyday, doesn't have her eyes on a Corvette. She's hoping to own a 1987 Chevy K10 pickup truck. Williams loves the old box-style trucks, and is currently scouring Craigslist for a deal.
She's also focusing on college applications. Her goal is to attend Stanford University for chemical engineering. She's also applying to UMass Amherst, University of New Hampshire, Northeastern University and others. After college, she'd like to return to the Billerica shop.
"I've had such a great experience here," she said. "I never would have touched this in school."
In addition to her co-op, Williams recently finished sixth in the nation in Auto Collision repair at the SkillsUSA competition.
Dennis Reppucci, Shawsheen Tech's lead teacher for the auto body program, called Williams "incredibly driven" with a "great head on her shoulders."
"It's refreshing," he said. "It's almost to the point of amazing.
"If something doesn't go the way she wants it to go, she'll figure out how to correct it. She won't give up," Reppucci said. "It's hard to find a student with such a clear vision."
Shawsheen Tech Superintendent-Director Tim Broadrick said that Williams will be able to do anything she wants after graduation.
"She represents the best of modern career vocational technical education students," he said. "She excels both in academic studies and in her trade skills.
"Like so many of our students, Maren has found meaning in the strong connections between her work in the shop and her work in the classroom," he added.
We would like to thank the Lowell Sun for reprint permission.