The 2016 Mid-Plains Community College raffle car, a fully restored and modified 1968 Ford Mustang Coupe, will make its first off-campus public appearance this weekend.
It will be at the Tri-City Street Rods Exhibition in the Pinnacle Bank Expo Center, located at Fonner Park in Grand Island. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The Mustang is the 12th vehicle restored and modified by Classic Car Restoration Program, Automotive Tech and Auto Body Tech students, faculty and staff members in the Transportation Division at NPCC.
This year, the students decided to keep the car in a more “stock” condition than some of the previous raffle cars. The drivetrain consists of a stock 302 CID, 220-horsepower rated engine with a two-barrel naturally aspirated (carbureted) fuel system coupled to a C4 automatic transmission.
However, the students couldn’t resist a few modifications. The raffle car is sporting a tilt wheel, a completely new interior, an aftermarket sound system and a vinyl top. The finish is “Impact Blue” - selected from a 2014 Mustang color palette using PPG’s basecoat/clearcoat paint system.
The NPCC Foundation will begin selling $10 raffle tickets for the car in June. The drawing will be during the Colonel Cody’s Cruise Show and Shine in downtown North Platte in September.
The college will use the Mustang a number of ways. First, it counts toward a certificate in automotive restoration. The students who worked on the car had to study then apply current technology to 1968-level application. They had to understand both traditional and modern engineering and technology before merging the two.
The car will also be used to attract attention to the college and its programs and to recruit students interested in transportation-related training. The Mustang will tour the state, making appearances at car shows, parades and cruise night events.
In an Edmonds.com story regarding Mustang history, the 1968 model represents the second generation of Ford’s attempt at a “muscle car” to compete against Chevrolet’s Camaro and Pontiac’s Firebird.
In 1967, Ford released a slightly larger Mustang with an all-new body style. While the 108-inch wheelbase remained, the car grew in length by two inches to 183.6 inches. When the 1968 Mustang was introduced, it came with federally-mandated side marker lights and a grille that was far different than its predecessors.
More information about the car, its summer tour and the Classic Car Restoration, Automotive Tech and Auto Body Tech program offerings at MPCC is available by calling (308) 535-3601 or visiting www.mpcc.edu.