College Communications Home
Contact: Mike Hill, Professor, Technical and
Industrial Division - 208/792-2220
Auto Mechanics Prof,
Students Build a Winner
a black and shiny prizewinner that draws college-age men like flowers draw
Can you name it?
You’re right if you said LCSC auto mechanics professor Mike Hill’s new
Hill, a 1972 graduate of LCSC and professor of auto mechanics at the college
for 15 years, beams when he talks about the car and the students who helped
him build it.
And he should: the project has been on a winning streak since its
inception.Over the course of 4 years, working for 4 hours on one night a
week, he and approximately 50 members of the college’s auto mechanics club
have rebuilt a 1967 Mercury Cougar street car into a high performance
automobile, one that won the first race it was entered in.
And why was the project initiated? For a couple of reasons:
At the time, LCSC’s auto mechanics program was losing potential students to
Wyoming Technical Institute, an automotive training center in Laramie with
attractive commercials that show its students working on high performance
automobiles. Professor Hill’s starting the project and advertising it played
a major part in upping the enrollment in what is now a waiting-list auto
mechanics program of study at LCSC.
Hill also knew that building the car would provide students in LCSC’s
automobile club with a fun, interesting and meaningful extra-curricular
activity related to their field of study.
Because of liability concerns and the expense of building such a car,
Professor Hill owns it, drives it, and put over $14,000 of his money into
building it. It’s important to him that everyone understands that state
money is not being spent on this car.
May 4 of this year, the day after the car was completed, Hill raced it in an
elapsed-time bracket race at Spokane’s Raceway Park, took it to 107 miles
per hour and won the race–gratifying
results for all that helped build it.
This popular car will be visible around the Inland Northwest in the months
to come. It will be shown in area car shows including the Spokane Auto, Boat
and Speed Show, Hot Augusts Nights and Lewiston World of Wheels. A plaque on
it listing the names of all the students who worked on it and where they
came from (includes Japan and Hawaii) will help to make it recognizable to
The racecar will even make money for students at LCSC because some local
businesses want to pay to have their names on it. Hill said that money
collected for that privilege will go toward scholarships.