When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down non-essential activities across the country a wide variety of events were put on hold, postponed or outright cancelled.
Some of the faculty advisors and instructors at Milwaukee Area Technical College didn’t want to just miss an opportunity to talk about their program and their annual car show so they sprang into action.
As Wisconsin’s largest technical college automotive technicians program the school turned its attention online, joining over 1,600 online class offerings, by launching the inaugural MATC virtual car show.
Hosted at MATCcarshow.com the online event runs through May 30 with daily drawings and celebrity videos posted to generate interest and attention to the school’s highly successful automotive technician programs.
With long-time supporter PEAK antifreeze and motor oil providing input and social media promotion the event will give car enthusiasts the chance to show off their prized cars, trucks or motorcycles.
"The annual MATC PEAK Hot Rod Crew car show was a huge hit every year and we didn’t want to miss the chance to promote that event," said Steve Herro, MATC associate dean.
"It’s been a great way to engage our students and to interact with car enthusiasts from all over to highlight our programs. We are taking that same idea and just moving it online and letting anyone from across the country participate. I have to thank PEAK, Old World Industries and Brian Bohlander for really stepping up to support this unique event."
All car, truck and motorcycle makes, models and years welcome to enter and throughout the process categories have been filling up with entries. People have uploaded pictures or videos in over 20 categories and prizes will be awarded by mail.
The virtual car show will feature cars by "celebrities" each day of the show in a personalized video including NASCAR standout Clint Bowyer, NHRA world champions John Force, Ron Capps and Steve Torrence and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal.
Car collectors have also shown off some of their cool rides including John Kraman from Mecum Auctions and NHRA Top Fuel racer TJ Zizzo who also runs a high end body shop outside of Chicago showing off a $3 million Ferrari.
"When we learned we had to cancel our show just a month ago, we quickly worked to develop the web site and made some lemonade out of lemons. Our students were initially disappointed, but they remain optimistic as they prepare for their careers and we invite everyone to attend and ‘stroll’ through the show," added Herro.
Entries have collected likes all throughout the show, but on May 30 the public and MATC students will vote in each category to determine the category winners. This event will have portions live streamed with special guests from MATC.
Wisconsin’s largest technical college and the most diverse two-year institution in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. Approximately 37,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online.
MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers 200 academic programs; transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 35 four-year colleges and universities.
Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern
Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the national standard for academics and student services.