Bradley Bolton and Aaron Clay, seniors at Paris High School in Paris, Texas, won first prize at the 2006 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition.
Held June 27 in Dearborn, the contest brought 50 two-person student teams-all winners of auto skills competitions in their states-to compete in a 100-question auto repair knowledge exam followed by a hands-on demonstration of their repair skills.
According to Ford Motor Co. and the American Automobile Association (AAA), Mr. Bolton and Mr. Clay took 29 minutes and 34 seconds for accurate diagnosis and skillful repair of the pre-set problems in the 2006 Ford Mustang convertible assigned to them. The teams were given a maximum of 90 minutes to complete the task.
For their expertise, the young men won thousands of dollars in prizes, as well as scholarships to several of the nation's top auto technology colleges.
Michael Schmidt, auto technology instructor at Paris High School, spent months training the two students in preparation for the contest, Ford and AAA said.
Second place in the 2006 competition went to Travis Bradfield and Ken Netcher of Vale High School, Vale, Ore. Under the direction of instructor Merle Saunders, Vale High School has sent a team to the national contest 17 out of the last 19 years. Two students from Vale, Matthew Whitaker and Oliver Dalman, won the 2005 competition.
Third through 10th places were won, respectively, by teams from Illinois, Ohio, Hawaii, Michigan, Nebraska, Maine, Tennessee and Alabama.