Idaho State University students help restore classic car

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  1. paola

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    Mar 17, 2017
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    Idaho State University students help restore classic car
    Car to be exhibited at Chrom in the vault


    ISU students restore classic car
    POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI / KIDK) - The 11th annual Chrome in the Dome event kicks off in Pocatello on Fridays and Saturdays.

    There is a car on display that Idaho State University is excited for people to check out.

    It's a story of "rags to riches" - ISU's car class restored an old classic Ford.

    Two years ago, in the summer of 2015, an ISU alum named Bill Eames approached the university's automotive program about restoring and remodeling an old car. He agreed to buy the car, pay for materials and scholarships for students to work in the car. The car class agreed.

    "It had a couple of requirements," said Russell Butler, one of the instructors in the ISU automotive program. "It had to be before 1960 and it had to be red when it was made and wanted it to be a convertible so it could be a parade car."

    A car was found locally. It was a 1951 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner. ISU started a special restoration course. He opened the course to community and workforce training programs. Butler said they had retired aviation professionals, eye doctors and more aid in the project.

    "We did a frame-off restoration, so the body was removed from the frame," Butler said. "Sand blasting frame and painted, replacement parts suspension, and then all parts of the body reformulated and put back together."

    A local store, Terry & Sons in Idaho Falls, redid the upholstery. Then there was the requirement to be a functional convertible. So they designed the retractable hardtop to raise and lower and fold in.

    "That was certainly one of the most difficult parts of the project," Butler said. "It works on about 20 different switches that have to work together, we find that it's a bit thin, it has to be in a very flat terrain and the battery has to be fully charged. Difficult, but that was a whole process."

    Butler said finding the right parts for the car was also a big challenge.

    He said restoring the car was a rare learning opportunity for students.

    "It was incredible," he said. "They have to see things they normally could not see in a regular class."

    About 20 to 21 people worked in the car and completed it in eight weeks. Eames picked it up again and took it back to California.

    He brought him back and drove him to the ISU homecoming parade. Then last year, in 2016, Eames donated the car to college. Now it belongs to the automotive program.

    Those who want to see the car can see it in the homecoming parade or catch it in Chrome in the Dome. Chrome in the Dome is one of the largest and most popular events in Pocatello. Doors open on Friday at 2 pm at Holt Arena. Tickets cost $ 5 for adults. Children under 12 are free. The event will be held from Friday from 2 pm to 9 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm This year will also feature a Hall of Fame to honor members of the community who have had a major impact on the car industry
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