By Israel Acosta 

For the return of cars corner this year, I decided the best way to kick it off is with something of a hometown story here in McPherson. This 1926 Model T belongs to Matt Mahan, a senior in the Automotive Restoration program, and it is the very car that introduced him to restoration about five years ago. 

    Like most restoration students, Mahan learned most of his mechanics simply maintaining daily driven vehicles and sometimes tinkering with them with friends back in high school in Topeka, Kansas. One weekend during his Junior year, he and his dad came down to McPherson to work on a Model T that his grandmother had driven around town occasionally in the 1980s and 1990s. In just one weekend Mahan learned the basic working of the car, including the ignition, fuel delivery, and steering, well enough to get the car up and running, granting his first drive in a vintage automobile. 

    After a quick test drive to learn the car, Mahan’s grandmother mentioned that there was a restoration program at the college up the road, so he and his dad took the Model T to the campus to check it out. While driving through the Templeton parking lot they spotted another 1926 Ford Model T, so naturally they parked and went inside. During this short tour of Templeton Hall, they came across Mike Dudley, the trim professor, who chatted with them for a while and told them the Model T they saw outside was owned by another staff member, Brain Martin.  The moment he saw another Model T of the exact same year parked outside of Templeton, he was more than convinced that the Automotive Restoration program was the place to be.  

    Fast-forward to present day, Mahan has been maintaining and driving over the past three years while attending McPherson College. You’re more than likely to catch him cruising around town or in between classes, so be sure you give him a wave if you see him. 

Picture by Matt Mahan