By Jake Gourwitz Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Onondaga Community College is set to host its inaugural “OCC Classic Cruise & Views Car Show” on Saturday, September 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Students in the Automotive Technology program along with students across campus will be the main beneficiaries of the proceeds.
The “Auto Tech” program has created a bit of a blast from the past with its project of restoring a Chevy truck. While the program is only two-years-old and in its early stages, this 1957 Chevy truck is quite the opposite. 64-years-old to be exact. Coordinator of the Auto Tech program Ryan Beckley has been leading students through the restoration process since the truck’s arrival on campus last February. Ever since, the group has been bringing the truck back to life.
Although this is largely a project for Auto Tech students, Beckley is partnering with the OCC Foundation which provides student scholarships, programs, and projects. He said the impact of the show will extend beyond his program.
“The OCC Foundation does a lot of work campus wide for students, so this isn’t going to just positively impact students in the automotive program,” Beckley said. “It will impact students across the campus.”
Restoring this Chevy is hardly your average oil change. The plan for the group on the day of publication was to install the new engine and transmission. First-year student Patrick Emdee had the long-term goal and end product in mind when describing a few recent tasks.
“Basically, just refurbishing, take the calipers, took them off, sandblasted them, painted them red,” Emdee said. “Same with the hubcaps. We took them off, sandblasted them, painted them. So, it’s basically a really long process but in the end, it’s going to be worth it.”
Emdee is looking forward to the Car Show not only to showcase the work of he and his peers, but he also sees the event as an opportunity to raise awareness to the program as a whole.
“It’s going to help bring light to our program,” Emdee said. “It’s going to show people that we actually do have an automotive program. Especially, for people who want to fix cars, but are worried that they don’t have the knowledge or they’re nervous to get into the field.”
After the event was postponed in June due to Covid, the forecast is looking clear and safety protocols are in place for Saturday. Beckley expects a good turnout with the anticipation growing for just over three months.
“We’re kind of late in the show season, so there’s not a lot of events like this happening anymore,” Beckley said. “This is a brand new location, so people have never brought their car up here, so it’ll be like a brand new experience.”
The 1957 Chevy won’t be ready to find a new home by Saturday, but the Auto Tech program believes it will be by 2022. It is being restored with the intent of raffling it off, raising funds for the group’s next restoration project.