Photo by Heather Johnson
Instructors Bryan Herrick and Don Wilson pull the cover off the 1965 Chevrolet Impala on Monday at North Platte Buick GMC.
The 2017 Mid-Plains Community College raffle car is a 1965 Chevrolet Impala, unveiled Monday at North Platte Buick GMC on East Fourth.The Impala will remain on display at the dealership until noon Thursday, giving the public an opportunity to see it and buy raffle tickets.
The vehicle will make its next appearance Friday during the Nebraskaland Days antique car display at 9 a.m. in Memorial Park, followed by the antique car parade at noon in downtown North Platte.
About the car
The Impala is the 13th vehicle restored and modified by students in MPCC’s Classic Car Restoration, Automotive Technology and Auto Body Technology programs.
Every year, students disassemble, modify and reassemble a classic car. They begin by reducing the vehicle to a shell, then sandblasting the body and frame down to bare metal.
From there, they embark on transforming the vehicle. The project requires them to study and merge traditional as well as modern engineering and technology.
“They learn about everything from chassis, electrical systems, drive trains, engines and the replacement and refinishing of sheet metal to plastic, fiberglass and upholstery,” said Don Wilson, Auto Body instructor and supervisor of the CCR Program. “When you have to merge analog systems with digital technology, it can get complicated. There isn’t a book or instructions about merging them, and our students must know both before they can make the various systems work properly and look amazing.”
This year’s raffle car is a true SS-meaning a Super Sport model. The drive train consists of a stock 8.1 liter late-model fuel-injected GM engine. It uses the latest in computerized technology and incorporates a modified computer chip. The power plant is coupled to a 700R4 automatic transmission and a stock GM rear end.
“One of our goals is to build a car that the general public can drive,” said Bryan Herrick, the Automotive Technology instructor connected to the CCR program. His students were responsible for the drive train on the Impala.
The car’s finish, “Golden Globe,” has an added gold flake effect and was chosen from the 2014 General Motors Cadillac base coat/clear coat paint system.
Other features include a vintage air conditioning system, a tubular front suspension and front wheel power disc brakes.
The Impala received a boost from a number of local businesses who donated cash, parts or discounts toward its restoration. Those include Dave Smith Signs, JM Parts & Equipment, E.J.’s Outdoor Sports, Cohagen Battery and LKQ Corporation-Keystone Automotive.
The car will tour the state over the summer. A total of 10,000 raffle tickets are up for grabs at a price of $10 each.
The drawing for the Impala will be at 3 p.m. Sept. 9 during the Colonel Cody’s Cruise Show and Shine in downtown North Platte.