After a six-month car restoration project, Kilgore College students in the Auto Body Repair Technology program presented the Gladewater Police Department April 7 with a restored 1951 Chevy Deluxe police car.
Eighteen KC students worked since October on the exterior of the car under the direction of instructor Joel Laws.
“The inside of the car was already completed, but the outside needed a lot of work,” Laws said. “Our students performed the majority of the work and learned a lot about car body restoration along the way.”
Gladewater Police Chief Robert Vine said he plans to utilize the antique police car around town for parades, community events and various outreach programs.
“One of my main goals is to have a uniformed officer operating this vehicle in Gladewater’s Antique District one Saturday out of each month,” Vine said. “Having an officer and a marked patrol vehicle in the downtown area, even one that is vintage like this one, will help to promote a safer environment for our shop owners and visitors to our city.”
Vine said he is extremely grateful for the way the administration at KC has supported the project to make it a reality.
“I am especially grateful to Joel Laws and his students who, through their labors, have created something that is not only unique to our department, but will undoubtedly become an integral part of our community,” Vine said.
“Since this vehicle is fully operational and will be used often, the students who worked on this project, some of which are from Gladewater, will have the opportunity to see their handiwork for years to come. We have been given something our community can be extremely proud of and we have Kilgore College to thank for being such a big part of this project.”
The Auto Body Repair Technology program at KC is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and covers all aspects of auto body repair and reconstruction.
For more information on the program visit www.kilgore.edu/auto-body.
PHOTO ABOVE: Some Auto Body Repair Technology students stand next to the antique police car they've spent six months restoring. Photo by Jamie Maldonado/KC