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Wheelspin Wheelspin: McPherson College team drives the Mississippi

  • Published Saturday, June 29, 2013, at 6:31 a.m.

As you read this, three students and a staff member from the McPherson College Auto Restoration Program should be wrapping up a great adventure. They left St. Paul, Minn., last Saturday behind the wheel of a beautifully restored red and white ’57 Ford Fairlane as competitors in The Great Race.

Over the next nine days, they were scheduled to travel through 10 states, winding up the 2,100-mile trek known as “Rally Down the Mississippi” in Mobile, Ala. Drivers are Brian Martin, director of automotive restoration development and Tony DiValentin, a junior from Fort Myers, Fla. Their navigators for the course are Nik Montagna, a sophomore from Narberth, Pa., and Joel Stocksdale, a junior from Richmond, Ind.

We’ll let you know how they fared in the overall competition.

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I was saddened to learn of the loss of Arlene Root, the remarkable woman who died at the wheel of her beloved 1950 Plymouth in an accident earlier this week. I had hoped to do a feature story on her and her car, but had not been able to schedule it prior to this tragedy. Condolences to everyone who knew and loved her.

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Another reader has supplied some updated identification information on the photos we ran of the 1958 premier of the movie “Hot Rod Gang.” Joan Snodgrass called and identified the man who owned the ’34 Ford 5-window coupe as Wayne Chesney, not “Wayne Chesapeake.” She said she knew him well back in the days when he was racing the car.

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