Students transform cars

Auto body collision and repair instructor, Bree Downs, has earned skills through her painting and doing work on automobiles.

Monica Gonzalez, Reporter

Students studying auto body collision and repair at Seward County Community Colleges Tech School never get bored. They always have a project on hand, like painting, fixing frames, body lines, adding new body fenders and much more.

Auto body collision and repair is program offered at the Seward County Community College Tech. In this program, students learn auto body repair, how to detail cars properly on the outside, how to do mechanical work and more. 

Rubi Gallegos
In auto body collision repair, students are able to learn and create new designs for automobiles. There are also several clients that take their automobiles for students to practice their skills of painting, repairing, washing cars.

SCCC students who are enrolled in this program bring in their own vehicles to work on and get more experience while doing it and also have customer vehicles to work on. Auto body collision and repair freshman from Morgan, Texas, Grady Allen, likes to work on customer vehicles. He has learned to fix wrecked cars and how to restore them.

“It’s a great experience to learn how to fix cars and you get to know everyone and work with them. That is actually the funnest part,” Allen said.

Auto body is not an easy job and it takes time and patience. It is a job you need to really focus on but it’s always worth it in the end for Miguel Rafael from Garden City.  

“You work real hard to get something done and when you get it done you feel accomplished,” Rafael added.

Students also get to work on their own cars inside the shop. Auto body major Rogelio Dillon, who’s from Ulysses, has been working on his 2008 Chevy Silverado, fixing the bumper, grill and the hood. Dillon likes to use a side to side technique when he’s painting.

“You have to have a lot of patience because you will not get it on the first try doing it,” Dillon said.

Rubi Gallegos
There are several clients from outside the county that bring their cars to get to them detailed from the inside and outside. It helps students to practice their abilities in the automobile industry.

Most auto body students joined for all similar reasons. They get to work on their own cars and have fun while doing it.

“We have a really cool teacher and we like messing with each other and actually working and getting along with one another,” Dillon said while the group agreed.

Working in auto body has also earned the students multiple accomplishments. Rafael has transformed the whole front end of his truck from being a 2002 Chevy Silverado to appear as a 2006 higher definition, which just means everything looks better and newer. Rafael has also put new rocker panels, and painted it purple.

The hardest part for Rafael was getting body work straight because it takes a lot of time and patience.

Some advice Rafael gives to others in order to succeed in auto body repair is to “Learn the most you can in order to succeed and do not slack if you want to be a part of auto body.”