Northwest People & Places - January 2019
Technician Dan Nelson of Larry Miller Subaru in Boise was recently honored at the ASE Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He received the Subaru/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year award based on top scores on his ASE tests, as well as job excellence and community service. Nelson was the only Northwest technician to receive one of the 52 nationwide awards presented to techs in Auto, Truck, Collision, and Parts & Service categories, as well as automotive instructors. In total, 41 companies from OEM and aftermarket segments presented awards at the ASE Annual Meeting, the 40th year ASE has recognized outstanding technicians and instructors.
The Portland International Auto Show is set for Jan. 24-27, at the Oregon Convention Center. The 2019 show will feature ride n’ drives of numerous models, Electric Avenue showcasing electric mobility, a Tech Center with a glimpse at the future of autos, a Kids Center, a motorcycle pavilion, The Garage (a new feature) with live car rebuilds, a Great Outdoors venue featuring outdoor lifestyle vehicle products, and more. In total, there is 480,000 square feet of exhibit space and 600 vehicles on display. For details, visit www.portlandautoshow.com.
The first 2019 Petersen Collector Car Auction will be Feb. 2, at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. Petersen is the original Oregon auction and only Oregon-owned event of its kind. The event draws hundreds of collector vehicles from the West Coast to its Salem auction each year. For details, visit www.petersencollectorcars.com.
Mike Melting, automotive instructor at McNary High School in Keizer, has received a 2018 Crystal Apple Award from Salem-Keizer School District. A teacher for more than a decade at the school, he was one of 12 staff members in the district to receive the prestigious award that includes anonymous nominations by students, peers, and administration. It recognizes involvement in cutting edge before-and-after school programs, as well as outstanding in-class performance. Melting spends several hours each week assisting with the McNary band.
The eCOPO Camaro Concept, built by Hancock & Lane Racing in North Bend, was a hit at the 2018 SEMA Show. Fifty years after the original COPO was introduced, Chevrolet’s eCOPO Camaro Concept was shown at SEMA to showcase a fully electric drag racer. Chevrolet partnered with Hancock & Lane due to their overwhelming success in HHRA drag racing, as well as their capabilities at building top-rated racers. Also involved in the project was Patrick McCue, the driving force behind the record-holding “Shock and Awe” electric drag racer and the automotive technology instructor at Bothell High School. More than a dozen of his students were involved with the development and assembly of the eCOPO. This project exemplifies General Motors’ commitment to engaging students in STEM education," said Russ O’Blenes, director of Performance Variants, Parts, and Motorsports for GM.
The original “Bullitt” Mustang is on display at LeMay-America’s Car Museum (ACM) in Tacoma through April 26. The 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback was driven by Actor Steve McQueen in the Warner Brothers blockbuster film “Bullitt” that featured some of the most dynamic movie chase scenes of all-time. The display at ACM also features the complete backstory of the car and its myths.
The Automotive Service Association Northwest (ASA-NW) will stage its Semi-Annual Retreat & Management Conference Jan. 24-27, in Leavenworth. The event will feature general business sessions, roundtables, an AMI-approved seminar by Jeremy O’ Neal with Advisorfix.com, outdoor winter activities, a Fun Arcade event, hospitality suites, and a Saturday evening awards banquet. For details, visit www.asanorthwest.com, or call 253-473-6970.
The 70th anniversary edition of the Vehicle Maintenance Management Conference (VMMC) will be held March 26-28, at South Seattle College (SCC). The new venue at SCC will take place in the automotive and heavy-duty technology training centers and features dozens of classroom and hands-on training sessions for fleet management professionals. For complete details, visit www.vmmc.us.
The 43rd annual NWDRA High-Performance Swap Meet is Jan. 27, at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Vancouver. The swap meet is one of the oldest and longest running meets in the region and the first meet of the year. For details, visit www.evensi.us, or call 503-644-5707.
Michael Lenci, of Bellevue, 77, died Nov. 20 after fighting a long battle with Multiple Myeloma. Born in Virginia, Minn., he graduated from the automotive technology program at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis and moved to Bellevue in 1968 with his wife, Kaye. In 1973, he founded Bellevue Auto Electric that he operated until January 2017 when he sold it to longtime friend and associate Glenn MacMillan, who owned Eastside Auto Repair. Known for his prowess with electrical issues, Lenci helped dozens of shops with unusual electrical issues on classic cars, as well as newer vehicles, plus his shop rebuilt starters and alternators for their use, as well as other Seattle/Bellevue area shops, until the mid-1990s. Trained as a GM technician, he rebuilt and owned a number of Chevrolets, including a classic 1957 Chevy that won him numerous awards. He befriended noted designer and rebuilder Chip Foose who once visited Lenci’s Bellevue shop to see his operation and the projects Lenci had rebuilt. Long involved in ASA-WA (now ASA-NW), he was active in the former East King County Chapter (now Sno-King Chapter) for many years, and served in various officer positions, including president in the early 1990s. He was also involved in the automotive technology program at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. A member of one of R.L. O’Connor’s early Bottom Line groups, he was a respected participant with other shop owners for his knowledge and desire to assist others with issues relating to business and repair. Memorial services were held Dec. 15, at St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Bellevue. Memorials may be made to the Multiple Myeloma Foundation (www.themmrf.org).