LAS VEGAS (Nov. 2, 2005) — A shop foreman and service technician from Allendale, Mich., is BP Amoco's “Ultimate Golden Mechanic,” after outperforming two other finalists in the oil company's inaugural competition held during the 2005 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas.
Ryan Kooiman, a drivability tech and shop foreman at Tolman's Auto Tech Group Inc. in Allendale, took home the grand prize of $25,000 and up to $1,200 in gasoline. He also will be a spokesperson this year for Amoco Ultimate motor oil.
Mr. Kooiman participated initially in a nationwide competition among hundreds of qualified mechanics, BP Amoco said. That initial round was pared to 25 and then to three for the finals, held live Nov. 1 at the SEMA Show. The two runners-up in the contest are Greg Damon from St. Charles, Mo., and Michael Bacon from Monroe, Ga.
The final round consisted of an open-ended question-and-answer session covering technical and environmental knowledge and experience, a “Truth and Repair” session that tested the finalists' industry knowledge and auto repair abilities, and a “Performance Challenge” through a physical obstacle course.
The national competition was hosted by Monster Garage's Brett Wagner, and finalists were rated by an expert panel of judges from Hot Rod magazine, the Automotive Service Association and the co-authors of the recently released book, ”Dare to Repair Your Car.”