An old junker of a Highway Patrol chase car got a second lease on life when trade school students got the chance to restore the 1978 Camaro.
The vintage Z28 Camaro was transformed from a inoperable heap of steel by Sacramento Universal Technical Institute auto technician students into a gleaming piece of California Highway Patrol history Wednesday when students and staff presented the rebuilt classic car to the CHP Museum at an event at the school in Natomas.
The overhaul included two years of work by the trade school students and their seasoned instructors, during which many classes got to apply newly acquired skills and likely some elbow grease to the vintage car’s rebuild to help restore the CHP’s previous pursuit car of choice to its former glory.
“I remember coming here last year in August,” said UTI student Cameron Caskey, “this thing was a mess.”
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“There were parts everywhere,” Caskey remembered as he looked around under the hood.
While instructors took charge of restoring the engine, students had a hand in just about everything else, said Caskey, who worked on the steering pump and alternator as part of class projects over the last year.
The collaboration came about when CHP reached out to UTI proposing the restoration as a project for students, said Harold Clark, a UTI instructor.
The CHP Museum presented UTI leadership, students and staff with a plaque recognizing the two-years of hard work on the project at UTI on Wednesday.