Raffle tickets go on sale June 11 for the 2018 Mid-Plains Community College student-built car.
A ticket launch is planned for noon that day at North Platte Buick GMC, 2302 East Fourth St. in North Platte, NE. The event is open to the public.
This year’s car is a 1932 Ford Roadster. It was built by students in MPCC’s classic car restoration, automotive technology and auto body technology programs and is the result of a partnership with Lincoln-based Speedway Motors.
“The partnership with Speedway has been a wonderful experience,” said Bryan Herrick, MPCC’s first-year automotive technology instructor. “We built the car from scratch using mainly Speedway parts. Ninety-five percent of the project came straight from the Speedway catalog. The remaining 5 percent involved our construction of the interior.”
It’s the first time MPCC has undertaken such a project. The past 13 years, the students restored and modified classic cars. Many of the lessons they learned through that process still applied to building a new car.
For the roadster, automotive tech students were charged with building a new chassis, creating electrical systems and designing and building a new drivetrain.
Auto body students were tasked with fitting the various body components together, painting the exterior and interior surfaces and designing and constructing the seats and upholstery.
“There wasn’t a book of step-by-step instructions,” said Don Wilson, MPCC auto body instructor. “Our students had to learn each process before they could make the various systems work properly and look amazing.”
The goal was to create a car anyone could drive.
The roadster’s drivetrain consists of a 327 GM small block engine with three two-barrel carburetors coupled to a Turbo 350 automatic transmission and a Ford 9” rear end. Four-wheel disc brakes with Rocket racing wheels were also added. The entire car is either painted, chromed, stainless or fabric.
“It turned out amazing,” said Brandon McElwee, auto body student. “To see it come together from start to finish was unbelievable.”
The car will tour the state over the summer, making appearances at car shows, parades and cruise night events.