British Auto Touring Society visits CCCC Auto Restoration
SANFORD - Members of the British Auto Touring Society felt right at home visiting Central Carolina Community College's Automotive Restoration Technology program March 13.
Society members, most of whom are Moore County residents, are enthusiastic about British-made vintage and classic automobiles and enjoy restoring and showing them. They came to CCCC, in Lee County, to learn about the restoration training done there. Central Carolina has the only Automotive Restoration Technology program in the North Carolina Community College System.
CCCC offers both diploma and certificate programs in Automotive Restoration. Students from the local high schools can also enroll for these courses. All students get hands-on with the vehicles, learning wiring, engine repair, drive train, welding, wood and metal restoration, painting, refinishing, upholstering, and all the other skills essential to restore a fine automobile to its pristine condition. Currently, the restoration projects include a 1951 Packard, 1986 Ford Mustang, and 1958 Ford Thunderbird.
Though they've had many queries, the program does not accept outside restoration projects, according to instructor Chuck Mann. All the vehicles are donated to the program and kept for use by the college. For example, the students are removing identifying decals and signs from four donated Harnett County police vehicles. When they are ready, they will be used in the college's Basic Law Enforcement Training Program.
The British Auto Touring Society was started about 15 years ago in Pinehurst by Bill "Smoke" Wood and the late Fred Renner. It currently has about 50 members, all excited about buying, restoring and showing their British-made MGs, Triumphs, Lotuses, Singers, Jaguars, Morgans, and more.
"We're from all walks of life, doctors, bankers, mechanics, etc.," said member Jack Sadler, of Pinehurst. "We have a common interest in British cars. We could talk forever about that interest. There's a nostalgia, a uniqueness to them."
The visitors found people after their own hearts in Mann and fellow auto restoration instructor Billy Eubanks. Mann was serving as the college's Transportation Department chair in 2001 when he and then-President Marvin R. Joyner established the Automotive Restoration program. Eubanks started restoring cars as a teenager. He now has a large collection, including Jaguars and Rolls Royces.
Following their visit, society members expressed their appreciation for being able to come and see the program.
"The B.A.T.S. certainly enjoyed the informative outing we had today," Sadler said. "None of us knew about the great program you render to both high school students and adults. You must be proud when the young students can learn a great and needed skill."
The members of the British Auto Touring Society who visited CCCC were: David and Eleanor Zolov, Jack and Pat Zimmerman, Roger and Noreen Casavant, Jack and Nancy Sadler, and Mike Carroll, all of Pinehurst; Jay Farfalla, of Whispering Pines; Jack and Ruthann Norton, of Seven Lakes West; and Owen Gallagher, of Aberdeen.
For more information about the British Auto Touring Society, contact the Sadlers at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about CCCC's Automotive Restoration Technology program, visit www.cccc.edu and click on "Programs of Study."
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