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Auto Restoration | About the Program


Jay LenoThe Automotive Restoration Technology Program at McPherson College was established in 1976 through the generosity and foresight of local entrepreneur Gaines H. “Smokey” Billue, who provided funds for the construction of Templeton Hall along with additional operating capital through the donation of a portion of his classic and antique car collection – an initial investment of over $2.5 million.

This unique automotive restoration program attracted the attention of classic car enthusiast Jay Leno. In 1997, Leno established the Fred J. Duesenberg Scholarship at McPherson College to provide financial assistance for automotive restoration students. One year later, Leno combined forces with Popular Mechanics magazine to provide a full scholarship each year for a sophomore restoration student.

In 1998 the college appointed the first National Advisory Board for the program which comprises business leaders and collector car enthusiasts from around the country. Board members lend their expertise and insight to the program to ensure that it reaches its full potential.

In 2006 the program celebrated its 30th anniversary with a renewed vitality and sense of direction.


National Advisory Board
Current Board Members:

Charlie Johnson, CHAIR
Franktown, CO
Retired, CEO – Cessna Corporation

Steve Bahm
Wichita, KS
Senior Vice President, Wealth Management - Smith Barney

Adam Banks '04
Kansas City, MO
Hot Rod Fabricator - Rad Rides by Troy

Thomas Flagge
Fort Dodge, IA
Retired, Division Coordination of Community Education, Industrial Programs - Fort Dodge Community College

Scott George
Naples, FL
President & CEO - CH Motorcars

Bryan F. Gunning
West Hartford, CT
Fiscal Administrative Officer – Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection

McKeel Hagerty
Traverse City, MI
President – Hagerty Classic Insurance

Derek Hill
Santa Monica, CA
Race driver, auto entusiast

Craig H. Jackson
Phoenix, AZ
President – Barrett-Jackson Auction Company

Bob Knechel
Traverse City, MI
Executive Director – The Collectors Foundation

Mike Kunz
Irvine, CA
Manager, Mercedes-Benz Classic Center USA

David Muir '02
Santa Rosa, CA
Project Mgmt. & Metal Fabrication - Terry Scarborough Racing

Paul Russell
Essex, MA
Owner – Paul Russell and Company

Myron Stine '94
Dallas Center, IA
VP of Sales & Marketing - Stine Seed Company

Burbank, CA
Comedian and Host of NBC’s The Tonight Show

Past Board Members:

Bob Bethell
Alden, KS
Kansas State Representative

John H. Caperton, II
Louisville, KY
Retired, Engineer and Restorer

Loren Furnas
Hot Springs, AR
Retired, Co-Owner – Chem-Fab Corporation

Dennis Gage
Evansville, IN
Co-owner - Bradley David Productions
Host, Hemmings “My Classic Car”

Dwight Hill
McPherson, KS
Retired, Bank Trust Officer

John Hollansworth
Hot Springs Village, AR
Owner – Holly Classics
Retired, Corporate Executive and Race Driver

Roger Morrison
Salina, KS
Business Manager – Morrison Ventures

Larry Ranard
Woodward, IA
Retired, Engineer

DeWayne“Woody” Richey III '79
St. Petersburg, FL
President - Proper Motor Cars, Inc.

Mike Tomforde
Fredericksburg, TX
Vice President - Insurance Alliance

Friends of the Program:

Hunter Engineering Company Logo

Mercedes-Benz USA 

Cross Hüller

Franklin Club

Pebble Beach Concours

Glenmoor Gathering

Horseless Carriage Club

American Bugatti Club

Crown Victoria Association

MAC area cruisers

Amelia Island Concours

B.S. Levy & Think Fast, Inc.


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