Four team members standing in front of their vintage car in a crowded parking area near two buildings.
Team DeSoto poses for a picture in Fairport, N.Y. All four members of the GNTC student team are residents of Cedartown. Team DeSoto is (from left to right) John Valle, Zayne Waits, Adam Grogan, and Nicholas Barber.

 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Team DeSoto received a $1,000 grant for The Great Race, a rally-style race with vintage vehicles that began on June 23 in Buffalo, N.Y., and ends in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on July 1.

 

The Great Race is an endurance race with classic cars and all participants drive vintage vehicles. Each vehicle must be model year 1972 or older. Team DeSoto is driving a 1955 DeSoto Fireflite that was restored by GNTC’s Automotive Technology program.

 

Four GNTC Automotive Technology students are participating in The Great Race. Two students, Adam Grogan and Nicholas Barber, are alternating as drivers and two students, Zayne Waits and John Valle, are alternating as navigators. All four students are residents of Cedartown.

 

The grant was presented to Team DeSoto by the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) in a special ceremony before the race began in Buffalo. The grant is a gift card that can be used by the team during the race for expenses.

 

Team DeSoto is competing in the X-Cup division of the Great Race, a special class that was created to encourage younger generations to take an interest in vintage vehicles. A grant was presented to each X-Cup team that is participating in The Great Race during the ceremony.

 

“The founder of this event said let’s get these cars out of the museum and put them back on the road where they belong,” said Jeff Plump, announcer for the ceremony. “That is what we do and to keep that going we have to get these young people involved.”

 

Team DeSoto has traveled to three cities in N.Y. and completed stage 3 of the race in Burlington, Vermont. There are three stops in Maine and three stops in Canada left in the race before the championship run in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 

GNTC’s participation in The Great Race was made possible by Patricia and Wayne Vick, who donated the DeSoto to GNTC’s Foundation and also donated all the parts that were needed for the restoration. The Vicks also are covering all hotel expenses for GNTC students and personnel involved in the race and their company Southern Bracing Systems is the primary sponsor of Team DeSoto.

 

Additional sponsors of Team DeSoto include: BullSnot! Tire Mounting and Rubber Lubricant; Heritage First Bank; OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc.; and Snap-On Incorporated.

 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at

www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.