Join McPherson College “Wheels of Change: How the Automobile Shaped Our Lives,” a six-week summer experience that explores the people, innovations, and art of the automotive industry. Next week’s session on Thursday, July 16 at noon CDT is titled “The Road to Perdition – How the automobile liberated women and captivated teenagers,” with special guests Abbey Paulsen, high school junior restoring (and driving) a Model T, and Tabetha Hammer, a 2009 graduate of McPherson College and director of the Greenwich Concours.
Paulsen’s interest in antique automobiles began at an early age. She had her first ride in one when she was only a few months old. Currently, she is restoring her own 1914 Model T with her father and grandfather. She is particularly interested in pre-1916 automobiles and logs about 2,000 each year with her family in their brass-era cars. Her favorite trips have been to Massachusetts, Colorado, Rhode Island, Canada, and Michigan. She learned to drive her first Model T when she was 10 years old.
Hammer was captivated by vehicles as a teenager. Her passion for collector vehicles and restoration started with antique tractors when she participated in the Chevron Delo Tractor Restoration Competition. She won the 2003 National Grand Championship, making her the first female to win, with a consecutive win in 2004. In her ten years working at Hagerty, she has held various job titles and responsibilities including efforts on youth, education, and heritage. Most recently, she was appointed the director of both the prestigious Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, and the Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving and Chowder Society, a club of automotive media and industry professionals, originally established in 1957. In these dual roles, she is responsible for overseeing strategy, logistics, planning, staffing, and execution.
She is active in the car community and passionate about securing car culture for future generations. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for America’s Automotive Trust and RPM Foundation and previously held a three-year term with the Antique Automobile Club of America. She has judged at various Concours d’Elegance events including Cobble Beach, Elegance at Hershey, and the Edison Concours. In her spare time, she enjoys being behind the wheel of her 1973 Mini and working on her newest project, a 1974 BMW R60/6 motorcycle.
Professor Ken Yohn, chair of McPherson College’s Department of History and Politics, serves as host and instructor for the webinar. For more than 20 years, Professor Yohn has taught courses on the social history of the automobile at McPherson College and has led student study trips to Europe and South America.
Each week on Zoom, Wheels Change will focus on fascinating topics from the advent of the automobile to its impact on war, globalization, and design. There is no cost for the series but space is limited and registration is required for each session. For more details about the series or to register go to https://www.mcpherson.edu/autorestoration/wheelsofchange.