Returned to Running Order, Historic Vehicle Earns Youth Judges' Favor

Published 06.16.2015

Collision Repair & Restoration
Student News
School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies News

Bill Rothermel (right), master of ceremonies, gets acquainted with students and faculty - including co-advisers Shaun D. Hack (center) and Roy H. Klinger, second from right.Bollinger talks with young judges from the Hagerty Education Program (under the guidance of Tabitha Hammer, youth supervisor), who awarded third prize to the Scripps-Booth.The vehicle is reviewed by the official Elegance judging team.Vehicle owner Patricia B. Swigart gives a detailed talk to the youth judges about the vehicle, while portraying its significant owner, Eleonora Randolph Sears. Penn College students, in period garb, enjoyed acting as her driver and mechanics.The crowd enjoys seeing the vintage automobile and watching a bit of 1916-era playacting.Penn College students' work on a 1916 Scripps-Booth Model D, a one-of-a-kind vehicle that had not been roadworthy for many years, was awarded third-place by a group of young judges at last weekend's Elegance at Hershey concours event. Owned by the William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum in Huntingdon, the car was originally built to the specifications of Eleonora Randolph Sears, the great-granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson and a popular tennis star of the 1910s. Sears paid $17,500 for the privilege of a vehicle with the elegance, quality and ride of a Rolls-Royce; the smallness of a Model T and the grille of a Mercedes Benz. Four students in the college's automotive restoration technology major – Ryan J. Bollinger, of Mount Joy; Ian M. Bachleda, of Schaefferstown; Ryan J. Haslett, of Warren; and Eugene J. Toner, of Quakertown – restored the car to driveability. Their painstaking process included electrical diagnosis and repair, a thorough cleaning of the oilpan, inspection of the engine for corrosion, creation of new gaskets and laborious hand-greasing before its ultimately successful road test.