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CAL Doubles as ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’ During Pre-Show Tour


Jay Leno, whose flair for comedy is matched by a passion for collectible automobiles, visited Penn College on Sunday prior to his evening performance at the Community Arts Center. Meeting with students, faculty and administrators in College Avenue Labs, Leno toured the automotive restoration and collision repair facilities, and took a quartet of vintage vehicles for a road test: a 1916 Scripps-Booth Model D, a 1953 Verrill Wolf Wagon, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport and a 1965 Ford Mustang.

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor

President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes Jay Leno to campus. He arrived in a 1937 Packard convertible sedan with a custom Dietrich body, driven by its owner, Claude Williams. Herb Seltzer (right) served as the doorman. Williams and Seltzer are members of the Susquehannock Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, closely aligned with the college's restoration major.
President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes Jay Leno to campus. He arrived in a 1937 Packard convertible sedan with a custom Dietrich body, driven by its owner, Claude Williams. Herb Seltzer (right) served as the doorman. Williams and Seltzer are members of the Susquehannock Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, closely aligned with the college’s restoration major.

Entering College Avenue Labs, under the distant watchful eyes of the college Baja SAE team
Entering College Avenue Labs, under the distant watchful eyes of the college Baja SAE team

Leno first toured the restoration and collision repair labs. Here, he inspects the Verrill Wolf Wagon with student guides (from left) Andrew B. Switch, of Lancaster; Joseph M. Kretz, of Plymouth, N.H.; and Sean M. Hunter, of Livingston, N.J.
Leno first toured the restoration and collision repair labs. Here, he inspects the Verrill Wolf Wagon with student guides (from left) Andrew B. Switch, of Lancaster; Joseph M. Kretz, of Plymouth, N.H.; and Sean M. Hunter, of Livingston, N.J.

Sharing a laugh in the lab
Sharing a laugh in the lab

With the wind in his hair, Leno tools around campus driving the Scripps-Booth Model D with Robert J. Hiller, of Hawley, as his student passenger.
With the wind in his hair, Leno tools around campus driving the Scripps-Booth Model D with Robert J. Hiller, of Hawley, as his student passenger.

Collision repair instructor Roy H. Klinger provides some last-minute instructions before Leno takes a spin in the Wolf Wagon with Switch.
Collision repair instructor Roy H. Klinger provides some last-minute instructions before Leno takes a spin in the Wolf Wagon with Switch.

Leno chats over the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS with Vanessa Mathurin, of Philadelphia.
Leno chats over the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS with Vanessa Mathurin, of Philadelphia.

Leno's phenomenal familiarity with automobiles impressed students, as he shared a lot of information (and successfully picked his hosts' brains for more) in a knowledge exchange by the Mustang convertible.
Leno’s phenomenal familiarity with automobiles impressed students, as he shared a lot of information (and successfully picked his hosts’ brains for more) in a knowledge exchange by the Mustang convertible.

A group photo, with the guest of honor in a Bugatti, includes college President Davie Jane Gilmour (right) and Brett A. Reasner, dean of transportation and natural resources technologies (left).
A group photo, with the guest of honor in a Bugatti, includes college President Davie Jane Gilmour (right) and Brett A. Reasner, dean of transportation and natural resources technologies (left).

It's the Jay & Jay Show, as Leno dons a Penn College restoration hat presented to him by Jay M. Rhoads, of South Williamsport.
It’s the Jay & Jay Show, as Leno dons a Penn College restoration hat presented to him by Jay M. Rhoads, of South Williamsport.

Leno takes particular interest in the Scripps-Booth Model D, eyeing up the classic car ...
Leno takes particular interest in the Scripps-Booth Model D, eyeing up the classic car …

... before sliding in behind the wheel.
… before sliding in behind the wheel.

Like thousands of campus visitors before him, the day's VIP discovers a major selling point of Penn College: spacious, clean and well-equipped instructional space.
Like thousands of campus visitors before him, the day’s VIP discovers a major selling point of Penn College: spacious, clean and well-equipped instructional space.

Reviewing works-in-progress with the students
Reviewing works-in-progress with the students

An old-school Sunday drive on a high-tech college campus
An old-school Sunday drive on a high-tech college campus

Leno flashes a peace sign, apropos a vehicle from the 1970s.
Leno flashes a peace sign, apropos a vehicle from the 1970s.

For a renowned car collector, a profile in contentment
For a renowned car collector, a profile in contentment

With a wave to Penn College Police Chief Chris Miller (at left), Leno leaves in the Verrill Wolf Wagon with Switch at his side.
With a wave to Penn College Police Chief Chris Miller (at left), Leno leaves in the Verrill Wolf Wagon with Switch at his side.

Leno and Kretz prepare to take the Mustang out for a spin …
Leno and Kretz prepare to take the Mustang out for a spin …

... on the open campus highway.
… on the open campus highway.

Combining "vintage" with "viral," this photo was a well-liked Facebook sensation.
Combining “vintage” with “viral,” this photo was a well-liked Facebook sensation.

Mathurin takes a selife with a readily agreeable celebrity ...
Mathurin takes a selife with a readily agreeable celebrity …

... while backseat driver Hunter captures "the need for speed" on cell-phone video.
… while backseat driver Hunter captures “the need for speed” on cell-phone video.

Talking shop
Talking shop

Hunter shows Leno some of the metallurgy research the students have conducted on the Rolls Royce.
Hunter shows Leno some of the metallurgy research the students have conducted on the Rolls Royce.

Touring the CAL paint lab ...
Touring the CAL paint lab …

... before returning, in action-hero fashion, to the restoration area.
… before returning, in action-hero fashion, to the restoration area.

Clearly in his element, Leno signals his satisfaction.
Clearly in his element, Leno signals his satisfaction.

Student tour leaders Kretz (left) and Hunter review a 1932 Buick with their special guest.
Student tour leaders Kretz (left) and Hunter review a 1932 Buick with their special guest.

Signing the Bugatti, Leno transitions from hands-on ...
Signing the Bugatti, Leno transitions from hands-on …

... to thumbs-up!
… to thumbs-up!

Leno parks one vehicle, so as to make room for more.
Leno parks one vehicle, so as to make room for more.

The president gets in on the fun.
The president gets in on the fun.

A modern-day Bonnie and Clyde? No, it's just Mathurin and Jeffrey P. Darocha, of Ardley, N.Y., hanging out in the Scripps-Booth.
A modern-day Bonnie and Clyde? No, it’s just Mathurin and Jeffrey P. Darocha, of Ardley, N.Y., hanging out in the Scripps-Booth.

The students present Leno with a custom-made Bugatti mailbox in Wildcat blue. From left are Patrick O. Stephens, of White Mills; Mathurin; and Jonathan M. Eldred, of Greenwich, N.Y.
The students present Leno with a custom-made Bugatti mailbox in Wildcat blue. From left are Patrick O. Stephens, of White Mills; Mathurin; and Jonathan M. Eldred, of Greenwich, N.Y.

The group solidifies the donation with a commemorative photo.
The group solidifies the donation with a commemorative photo.

Inspecting the "signature" work of Penn College students
Inspecting the “signature” work of Penn College students

During car-exchange activity, Kretz and Mathurin oblige a photographer's request.
During car-exchange activity, Kretz and Mathurin oblige a photographer’s request.

A lasting reminder of a memorable visit
A lasting reminder of a memorable visit

The students, Klinger and Reasner strike a final pose with the four vintage vehicles that Leno test drove, their Bugatti and mini-Bugatti mailbox.
The students, Klinger and Reasner strike a final pose with the four vintage vehicles that Leno test drove, their Bugatti and mini-Bugatti mailbox.

 

Comments

Lisa Bock,

How fun is that! What a great opportunity!

Erin Shultz,

Simply awesome! I know our students had been trying to reach out to Leno and it’s very cool he responded with a visit!

Heather Allison,

This is so cool! What a great opportunity!

Bill Bailey,

What a great day for PCT! He doesn’t have time to waste, it must be a first-class facility. Congratulations, all.

Larry Michael,

Fantastic opportunity for the students and the college! Great to have a celebrity like Jay Leno here. Congratulations to all involved!

Marlin R. Cromley,

Jay Leno taking time out of his schedule to accept the offer to visit our campus speaks volumes for the programs and especially the skills of our faculty and students. Congratulations on making memories that will last a lifetime.

Larry Leavitt,

Penn College restoration program is no laughing matter, but Jay Leno seemed to get a kick out of it and a lot of smiles followed. Really nice to let people know what quality technical programs are going on at PCT.

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