Bowling Green, Ky. For the last year, students in the Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College s (SKYCTC) Automotive and Collision Repair programs (with help from the Welding and Machine Tool programs) have worked tirelessly rebuilding a 1980-vintage Camaro piece-by-piece as part of an On-Track education program that focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. About 500 high school and community college students are participating in the program. Each team had a budget of $25,000 to rebuild the car.
The students involved with this project have titled the process as the Jekyll to Hyde transformation. The students began with a car they called Jekyll. Broken windows, rusted floor pans, wavy doors, dented quarters - at first glance, the 1981 Camaro was more problematic than nostalgic. As it was rolled into the shop, there were lots of comments about what to do with it. With LS Fest over a year away, anything seemed possible.
Most of the students who would be working on the car came to LS Fest last year. They were all given the assignment to find out as much as they could about the cars competing in the grand champion category and to get ideas for our build.It seemed, within just a couple of hours, we started to get texts about the green Car, said Chris Cumens, Vice President of Finance and Administration at SKYCTC. Before the end of the day, nearly every student was pouring over the Ringbrother s Grinch, a stunning 1970 Camaro. We had our doubts that a $25,000 budget, a donated car, and a team of college students could build our own monster from this unassuming 1981 Camaro. Was it a lofty goal? Absolutely, but it is exactly what On-Track is about. On-Track is designed to inspire students to see careers they have never seen before and achieve things they never thought possible. (In case you didn t know, the Grinch sold at Barrett-Jackson this year at Scottsdale for an incredible $192,500).
The car (HYDE) will be revealed Sept. 7, before the Holley Performance Products LS Fest in which it will compete in time trials that begin Sept. 9th. SKYCTC will be competing with the Warren County Area Technology Center who were also involved in the rebuilding of a vintage Camaro.The project is sponsored by the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, the school districts and local companies. Most recently, the chamber partnered with Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, a Detroit-based, public-private partnership exploring lightweight metal technologies. LIFT is one of the founding institutes in the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation