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Recipient of Largest Automotive Restoration Scholarship at McPherson College Sees Recognition as Group Honor

Adam MashiachWhile his name is on the recognition letter for the Jay Leno/Autoweek Scholarship, Adam Mashiach sees the other names that lie just out of sight.

He sees the names of those who supported him and worked by his side as he drove himself and achieved receiving the largest automotive restoration scholarship available at McPherson College – the only institution that offers a bachelor’s degree in the craft.

“I’m still taking it in,” Mashiach said. “I just look at it as an affirmation. While I got the scholarship, I see it as more of a group effort.”

The first name the Encino, Calif., senior sees is that of his grandfather, who restored and repaired Cadillacs in California for celebrities such as singer Nancy Sinatra and actress Angie Dickinson.

Mashiach spent a lot of time in his grandfather’s shop. He was fascinated by seeing the underside of a car on the lift. He’d play with his grandfather’s tools and invent new ones for him – some that even got regular usage. He came to love the smell of oil, grease and rubber.

“It’s what’s always been there,” he said. “I can rely on for my passion and for fun.”

The next name is “Petersen” as in “Petersen Museum.” He was a regular visitor to the museum in his childhood, and it was where he saw his first Bugatti. But he never imagined he’d have the opportunity to work there. But last summer, he got to do just that as an intern at Petersen.

The experience strengthened his long interest in French Art Deco vehicles from 1920 to 1940 – the stylized swoops and curves, the unique colors, the blend of industry and artistry.

“They just created these works of art that were like mechanical sculptures,” he said.

The final names are the friends he made at McPherson College in the automotive restoration department and who partnered with him on two unique projects – creating from scratch a classic Model T speedster (nicknamed the “Nayslayer”) and a board track racer modeled after historical plans. The projects will be used by the program to demonstrate what MC students in the program can achieve.

Ed Barr, assistant professor of technology, praised Mashiach and those who worked on the special project.

“Adam is a critical thinker who takes directions well and who applies everything he has learned to new situations,” Barr said. “I see him working in the lab outside of class more than anyone else. Seeing his evolution as a thinker and craftsman has been a true joy.”