Automotive Program Earns Awards for Second Cobra

cobraawards910Piedmont Technical College’s automotive technology program is continuing its winning ways with its student-built 1965 Cobra Replica, taking Best Race Car in the recent McCormick Car Show and earning recognition at the Saluda Classic Truck and Auto Show.

Like its 2007 predecessor that won 11 trophies, the 2009 project is a Factory Five kit, but with its own personality. The ’79 Lamborghini-red version has twin roll bars, a different rear-end and a different composition on the engine. But it’s getting similar reactions at car shows

“Those who liked the yellow Cobra are loving the red one,” said Mike Rodgers, program coordinator and instructor. “The color is very eye-catching.”

Rodgers also said the car is gaining attention for what it is – a student project.

“I hear a lot of people who say ‘Wow, students built that?’ just like with the first Cobra,” Rodgers said. “It shows the students not only have pride in what they are doing; they are learning valuable skills they can use when they enter the work force.”

The project is a joint effort between the first and second year students in Piedmont Tech’s automotive technology class. The students had to attain a certain grade average and be in the top 20 percent of the class to be given the chance to work on this creation.

“We learned a lot from the first project,” said Grayson Jefferies, instructor. “Each car will have different issues, but the experience makes it a little easier.”

“This is an excellent motivational tool,” Rodgers said. “I think it is one of the reasons test scores have improved in the program. And the awards are an excellent way for the students to see how their hard work is being recognized.”

Rodgers said the red Cobra will continue to appear in area car shows. The next stop is the Edgefield Jubilee on October 2.

Piedmont Tech offers an associate in applied science degree with a major in automotive technology. For more information about the automotive technology program, contact Rodgers at (864) 941-8468 or or Jefferies at