Auto Tech Center Shows Cars, Students – Times-Herald


Car enthusiasts talk about the chromed-out engine compartment of a 1960 Ford truck at the Solano Community College Auto Tech car show in Vallejo Saturday. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)

The thriving auto tech industry in Vallejo was on full display Saturday at Solano Community College’s Auto Tech Center.

The college held a car show to showcase vintage and classic cars as well as the progress made by students in the classroom.

Professor and program director Andrew Magee was on hand to help and “watch the community experience the latest technology.”

“The auto industry has changed a lot and we’re seeing that unique environment and students starting out as well as students moving on to bigger and better things,” McGee said. “I enjoyed seeing the students today and I’m proud of what they did.”

In the year In 2013, McGee helped develop the program with Rich Marshall, Paul Heidi, and Dane Suriben to name a few. Students have the option of earning an associate of science degree or certificate in Powertrain, Electronics, Emissions, Undercar, and Hybrid and Alternative Fuels.

The program was launched with funding from the California Energy Commission. SCC has developed a state-of-the-art alternative and renewable fuel and vehicle technology program. The college has developed a curriculum, trained other teachers, purchased hybrid, electric and clean diesel training vehicles and training equipment. This SCC program is the leader in hybrid/alternative fuel auto technician training.

In the year The SCC Auto Tech Center, which opened in 2017, is a 30,000-square-foot facility that includes 10 teaching pools, three alignment bays, two dyno bays and smokehouses, special rooms for engine and transmission dynos, two large classrooms, and more. Learning space.

According to Marshall, there are currently 234 students enrolled in the class and class sizes average 24 people.

The education continued with several seminars and demonstrations at the event – on engines, airbags and how to control a car from a laptop joystick.

“There were about 100 people who watched the airbag demonstration seminar,” Marshall said. “Generally, you see a lot of panic during the show. Even in an accident, a person usually doesn’t feel it because they are under stress.”

People look at a 2005 Morgan Roadster at the Solano Community College Auto Tech car show Saturday in Vallejo. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)

While the course was great, many people came to see the classic cars and show off their own amazing and antique vehicles.

Jim Hilderbrand was on hand from Benicia to show off the 1961 Corvette he owned for 10 years. He has previously worked on other cars such as the 1957 Chevy and the 1965 GTO.

“I started getting into cars when I was a kid because that’s where I grew up,” Hilderbrand said. “In my day, there were many men who owned cars. I looked for something I could work on that didn’t involve computers.

Hilderbrand continued, “I like this event because it’s closer to me than the events I’ve attended in Concord. “I haven’t been here long enough to explore, but today I like the food here and the music is wonderful.”

Rachel Kia – a volunteer with the Solano Auto Tech Center – was one of the judges for the car competition. There were several categories such as Muscle, Exotic, Late Model Classic (cars from 1980 onwards), Classic (before 1979), Low Rider, Truck/SUV, Off Road, Asian Import and European Import.

The Lotus was one of several cars on display at the Solano Community College Auto Tech Car Show in Vallejo on Saturday. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)

“I’m a little partial to cars like the Rolls Royce and the 2005 Morgan Aero 8,” Kia said, pointing to the cars.

Kia said about 100 cars were registered for the race, about a third of which came from students and the Solano Car Club.

“Most of their cars are a bit recent and in the Asian import category,” Kia said. Many cars made since 1990.

Marshall said he was excited to be at the event Saturday and can’t wait to see what’s next for the students.

“Today, I feel a sense of pride in helping the community better,” Marshall said. I love to see the students get not just jobs, but jobs. Anyone can get a job.


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