Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
March 31, 2017
Photos By: Coyne PR on behalf of Quaker State

Quaker State’s Best in Class Challenge features a six-week hands-on education program for high school automotive shop classes. During this program 57 high schools from five different metropolitan markets were chosen and over the six week timeframe the competition was narrowed down via digital voting to just five schools, one from each market area (Chicago, Illinois, Atlanta, Georgia, Northern New Jersey, Charlotte, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida). Throughout the six weeks of competition, the five auto shop teams were tasked with a different challenge each week and were responsible for customizing, restoring, and fine-tuning a pre-owned Ford Mustang (valued at approximately $3,000) into a pristine, creative representation of their school.

The Red Jackets from Jordan Vocational High School in Columbus, GA placed first in the competition. They were awarded a $2,500 credit account at AutoZone, a customized tool kit ($500 value), a feature digital article on automotive websites and the opportunity to sell their vehicle at a Barrett-Jackson auction with proceeds being awarded back to their school. In addition, all finalists had the opportunity to receive mentorship from celebrity judges along the way. They auction their vehicle at the Barrett Jackson auction in West Palm Beach on Friday, April 7, 2017 at 3:30 PM. All of the proceeds from the auction will be rewarded directly back to Jordan Vocational High School.

The Jordan Vocational High School 1996 Mustang rolled in looking a little tired, but the students had a plan.
The final result of six weeks of hard work from the Jordan Vocational High School team. You can possibly bid and win this Mustang at the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction!

Each participating school was awarded ownership of their customized vehicle from the competition along with credit accounts at their local AutoZone stores in the following amounts:

-2nd Place: Charles B. Aycock High School–Pikeville, North Carolina - $2,000
-3rd Place: Satellite High School–Satellite Beach, Florida - $1,500
-4th Place: Kearny High School–Kearny, New Jersey - $1,000
-5th Place: New Trier High School–Winnetka, Illinois - $750

“Quaker State believes in empowering the next generation of automotive technicians, and the ‘Best in Class Challenge’ is our special way of reaching out on a personal level to achieve just that,” explained Laura Jaime, Quaker State North American Marketing Manager. “For the second year in a row, these students have been put through the gauntlet of hands-on automotive exercises to get their vehicles into auction block shape. The hard work and creativity the students displayed throughout the six-week challenge was an inspiring glimpse into the future of our industry.”

Competition judges and student mentors included Tommy Pike, owner of Tommy Pike Customs Greenville, South Carolina and Mike Spagnola, vice president of OEM & Product Development Programs of SEMA. In addition, actor and car enthusiast Sung Kang participated in the “Best In Class Challenge” as an automotive mentor to the students.

“The Quaker State ‘Best in Class Challenge’ has been a life changing experience for me and my students. This competition is just what was needed for my students to see their potential. They are ready for more now,” shared Robert Harris, automotive instructor, Jordan Vocational High School. “The life lessons and relationships built would not have been possible without this opportunity. All of my students in the entire program have a bigger interest in cars now, not just the team.”

Harris and his students will be on site for the auction of their Ford Mustang at the Barrett Jackson Palm Beach event. If you can’t be there in person to bid, follow this LINK to see the auction listing.

Quaker State’s YouTube channel has a playlist that has all the videos documenting the 2016 Best In Class Challenge and features an introduction to the schools and more: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBa3SPzLDAikvDmWZxPdsQtSABDjQ-dL9

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