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Students help restore tribute car of legendary racer

A tribute race car restored by students in the auto collision program at Ozarks Technical Community College will be the centerpiece of this year’s OTC Car and Motorcycle Show.

The finished 1969 Chevy Chevelle, a replica of the car driven by local racer Dave Goldsberry, will be on display April 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the College’s Community Day event.

In addition to the public viewing, the vehicle’s 550-horsepower engine will be started for the first time

“This is a very exciting time for the program and the students who have been working for a long time on the car. They got to see what the old cars were like. We can’t wait for the public to come see the car and hear that engine turn over,” said Kerry Wrinkle, department chair of the transportation program.

Goldsberry, who died of natural causes about 10 years ago, drove the original car in 1972 and 1973. It was destroyed in a wreck shortly after that.

The car that became the current tribute car was originally built and raced by the Bates Brothers in Fair Grove in the late 1980s and was retired until Randy Bowman, now with Transport Graphics, found the car behind a body shop in Nixa.

It was Bowman who decided to make the Bates car a tribute car to Goldsberry. He contacted Wrinkle last summer and brought the OTC collision program into the mix to help with initial bodywork and painting

“Kerry thought the kids would enjoy the car and would like the experience of working on a real race car,” Bowman said.

Many manufacturers and companies donated parts and time to restoration of the car, including Reliable Chevrolet, which donated the engine.

Students who worked on the car appreciated the chance to put their hands on a classic racing machine.

“It was beautiful. It was amazing,” said Jake Ely from Springfield. “I think about being able to touch the car and say I’ve been around a car like that. I’ve been able to pick up knowledge to know what I’m talking about.”

Visit to see a video about the tribute car.

Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at


College Director of Communications

Phone: 417.447.2655


Steve Koehler

Coordinator of Publications

Phone: (417) 447-2666


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