Automotive Restoration Program

To be the center of excellence for students serious about automotive restoration.

About the Program

Throughout our liberal arts approach students are encouraged to explore their ideas, to learn through doing and to make a difference in the world.

The Automotive Restoration Technology Program at McPherson College was established in 1976 through the generosity and foresight of local entrepreneur Gaines H. “Smokey” Billue. His gift of over 125 classic and antique cars provided initial funds for the program. Mr. Billue, the Templeton family and others contributed toward the construction of Templeton Hall, which continues to serve as the home to the world-renowned program.

In 1997 this unique automotive restoration program attracted the attention of classic car enthusiast Jay Leno who established the Fred S. Duesenberg Scholarship and the Jay Leno Popular Mechanics scholarship. Both scholarships continue to provide financial assistance to students interested in studying classic automotive restoration. His involvement raised awareness of the program in the car collector community.

Today, with industry connections spanning the country and internship opportunities in a broad range of automotive settings, McPherson College stands alone as the only school to provide a bachelor’s degree in Restoration Technology.

Our Vision: By 2023 MC will compete to win at Pebble Beach.

A bold vision.

Restoring a vehicle to compete to win at Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance is a bold undertaking, especially when the work will be done by a group of apprentice restoration students. Yet that is exactly what the Automotive Restoration program has set out to do with a 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet.

300 S

Learn more about the concours project vehicle and follow our student’s progress as they prepare to compete at Pebble Beach in 2023.

MB300 S body

Support the students

Dano Davis $1 million challenge gift

Dano Davis
“I got a chance to visit the campus and I liked what I saw. It made it clear to me that I wanted to help these young people. The end result is not just helping the students but also helping the collector car industry.”
– Dano Davis

Industry leaders like Dano Davis recognize the importance of educating the next generation of automotive leaders by supporting MC students with a $1 million challenge gift. He hopes his gift will motivate others to give to the auto restoration program to support various areas like scholarships, tools and equipment, and student experiences.

Make a gift to the Auto Restoration program

About the Program

Whether you’re a student, business owner or an individual with an interest in the car world, McPherson has a way for you to plug into our nationally recognized auto restoration program and benefit from the program’s events and initiatives.

Wheels of Changes webinars

  • "Wheels of Change"

    Webinars Series , with professor Ken Yohn

    McPherson College, the only college in America offering a four-year bachelor’s degree program in automotive restoration technology, announces the launch of a webinar series called “Wheels of Change: How the Car Automobile Shaped Our Lives.” This six-week summer series focuses on the people, innovations, and the art that helped shape the automotive industry and will feature car-world insiders from around the country. The first webinar is June 25, 2020 at 12 p.m. CDT


Phone: (620) 242-0486
Email: [email protected]

Admissions Counselor

Meghan Iglehart
Phone: (800) 365-7402
Email: [email protected]