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Auto Museum & New Restoration Degree

Hemmings Motor News, the go-to source for all topics (and passions) auto-related, is celebrating the Academy’s Automobile Museum in a recent special feature titled “The Art of Restoration. And Vice-Versa.” Tracing the genesis of the Academy’s collection to Chairman Emeritus Richard A. Stephens, the article profiles the people and magnificent machines that make up one of the largest collections on the West Coast…with the spotlight on one of the university’s latest degree programs: an Associate of Arts in Automotive Restoration.

Author Dan Stoner says the new degree program of Academy of Art University, one of the leading industrial design schools in the country, originated in 2015 in discussions between School of Industrial Design Executive Director Tom Matano and Lloyd Buck, the Academy auto collection’s mechanic. “Tom and Lloyd put their heads together to sketch out a two-year introduction to the restoration industry,” writes Stoner. “Woodwork, metalshaping, paint, mechanical restoration, sure. But also fabrication, CAD/CAM design, research and historical survey, tag-n-bag documentation and 3D modeling. The goal, as it began to materialize in those first talks, was to expose the kids to the full spectrum of automotive restoration, provide a foundation, and then let them decide what they’d like to specialize in.”

But as the article makes plain, none of this would be possible without a world-class car collection that’s long served as a resource for the Industrial Design School’s Transportation Design program. And the original passion behind the collection begins with Richard A. Stephens, who the author says can relate the Academy’s history through the lens of a “true gearhead”—every important milestone “is punctuated by the cars he owned, rode in, worked on, pushed or lusted after. Never met a car he didn’t like, thank you very much.”

The spectacular examples of auto design represented in the collection are shown in stunning photographs. See the cars and meet the cast of characters in the full article in Hemmings Motor News.

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