Saturday, 25 February 2012

Penn State mission affiliate Pennsylvania College of Technology is going to start a auto restoration major

The restoration of a 1965 Ford Mustang convertible for the Antique Automobile Club of American Museum in Hershey has led to plans for a new major at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport.
Students at the special mission affiliate of Penn State restored the car for the museum in 2010. Last year, it won a first-place junior award at the club’s America eastern regional meet.

Because of that success, the college plans in the fall to offer a two-year degree in automotive restoration technology, which pleases Michael Barrett, executive director of the museum that will be a major sponsor of the program.
“It will teach a skill that has been lost over the years,” he said.
It is difficult for young people to get into the restoration field, only three other public colleges in the country offer such a course.

It is almost a recession-proof industry to work on high-end classic cars, unlike work in a body shop that often takes only days, restoration can take a year or longer and cost upward of $80,000. There are no computers or replacing a damaged fender with a new one, students will learn how to pound out dents and restore the cars to their original condition.

Williamson expects the first class to have 18 to 20 students. They will have to take collision-repair courses the first year, he said. Only students with at least a B average can opt to take the restoration course the second year.
They also could decide to complete their collision-repair degree and return for a third year for the restoration degree, he said.

Only serious students will be selected for the restoration program because classic car owners are very particular about their vehicles, Williamson said.



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