Students in Ricky Young’s Automotive Technology Department have one more vehicle to train on this semester. Rusty Eck Ford of Wichita donated a 1994 Ford Crown Victoria to the college on Aug. 7.
Talks of an automobile donation began in July, Young said. “One of my graduates is a master technician here, and I had worked with Ken Haskett for the past eight years on a variety of things,” Young said. “About two weeks ago, he came up to me about the car.” Haskett is director of fixed operations for Rusty Eck Ford.
The automobile has 194,000 miles on it and is in excellent condition. It also has an on-board diagnostic two system, something Young said would be valuable to the students. “The car is still in good shape,” said John Muir, service manager at Rusty Eck. “We used it as a courtesy shuttle. It’s been sitting on the back lot for a little over a year now.” The car started on the first try.
Young said the donation of the car would be a “tremendous asset to the program, and the OBD2 will be an excellent training tool.” Both Haskett and Les Eck, president of the dealership, said donating used vehicles to college automotive programs isn’t something Rusty Eck Ford does on a regular basis. “But there’s no reason we can’t start doing more of this,” Les Eck said. Two of Young’s former students work at Rusty Eck Ford. Kyle Oestmann of Arkansas City, who graduated in May 2002, is a Ford technician. Wayne Paris, a 1995 graduate of Young’s when he taught at Wichita Technical College, is one of only a handful of master technicians in Wichita.