For two McPherson College students, auto restoration got a touch of elegance.

Jason Peters and Austin Loomis attended the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance March 13 through 15 in Amelia Island, Florida. French for “a competition of elegance,” a Concours d'Elegance is like a beauty pageant for rare and elegant cars, in which the vehicles are rated for authenticity, function, history, style and quality of restoration by a team of judges that includes specialists for each car type.

The Amelia Island event included other activities, such as a silent auction, test drives, tours and expert panels.

Peters has received a scholarship from the Hagerty Education Program at America's Car Museum, and Loomis is a Mercedes-Benz scholarship recipient. They participated in shadow judging, attended auction previews and presented an award at the concours on Sunday, among other activities.

“This is part of our commitment to expand learning opportunities for students outside of the classroom,” said Amanda Gutierrez, vice president for auto restoration at the college. “Students learn to network, present themselves to prospective employers and other constituents, understand the larger collector car endeavor beyond what they may have previously known, and represent the college.”

One of the things they did was place the cars of Sir Stirling Moss for display. Moss raced Formula 1 cars from 1948 to 1962 and won 212 of the 529 races he ran. He held the most victories out of all English drivers until 1991.

“This was a phenomenal opportunity to network and experience a world class Concours show that's one of the best in the country while best representing the Automotive Restoration program and McPherson College,” Peters said.

Peters said he particularly enjoyed seeing cars that were new for their time, either in style or technology.

“One of my personal favorite experiences was to ride onto the field in a 1954 Mercury XM-800 concept car, a vehicle that's captivated me for years,” he said. “To not only see it in person, but to ride in it was a truly awesome experience for me.”

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