Saskatoon, Saskatchewan -- January 11, 2016 -- Appearing on the BASF calendar is a rare honour, and it’s even rarer that student work makes the cut. Nevertheless, anyone opening the 2016 BASF calendar to October will be treated to a view of the work completed by Saskatchwan Polytechnic students. The October page is a beautifully restored 1955 Mercury M100 antique truck that was just one of many vehicles students in the Auto Body Technician and Automotive Service Technician (AST) certificate programs laboured on over the last year.
“A training institution having their vehicle showcased in the calendar is quite an accomplishment for students who have very little experience in the trade,” says Scott Kucharyshen, Program Head of the Auto Body Technician program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. “It's not only a first for the program, it's a first for me and my staff. It's a very proud moment to showcase the level and quality of training we do for the students.”
Auto Body Technician students rust repaired the truck’s cab; dent repaired the roof, doors and hood; and subsequently repaired and refinished the entire truck, inside and out. A new box and front fenders were installed, the tailgate was extensively repaired and the powertrain was refinished. AST students and apprentices installed the engine and transmission, connected everything and established it was running properly.
Vehicles refinished with the BASF paint line (such as the 1955 Mercury) can be entered into the competition for publication in the calendar. Entries are judged based on quality finish on the vehicle, technical difficulty of the finish and the artistry and uniqueness of the finish. The twelve vehicles selected for the 2016 calendar come from all over North America. Other Canadian selections this year include a 1935 Ford Coupe from Nova Scotia to a 1972 Buick Riviera from Ontario.
The calendar feature isn’t the only claim to fame for this rare, robin’s egg blue truck. It also placed third in the restored truck category at the 2015 Draggins Rod and Custom Car Show. Students and apprentices in the Auto Body Technician and AST certificate programs work on a variety of vehicles during the academic year. Many of them are late-model vehicles with the latest technologies. Projects like the 1955 Mercury restoration provide them with a well-rounded education. Kucharyshen says placing at Draggins and the calendar feature are achievements his students can share with potential employers when they begin applying for jobs.
“It’s about building their confidence and taking them where they didn’t think they could be six months earlier,” he says.
For more information on Saskatchewan Polytechnic, please visit saskpolytech.ca.