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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

KDHS Tech Zone “Dragula” wins two awards at Detroit Autorama

by Sylene Argent & photos submitted

Students from Kingsville District High School’s Tech Zone participated in the three-day Autorama show, which was held at the Detroit Cobo Center over the weekend.

  Their car, called “Dragula,” is a custom, student-built dragster. It was created as a replica of a car used on the “Munsters” TV series from the 1960s.

  The unique, head-turning vehicle won two first place awards during the Autorama show, including the “Best of All High School Entries” award and the “Special Build, Special Design” award, which has teacher, Gord Osborne, thrilled.

  Osborne, who could not believe the car did so well at the show, could not be prouder of his students.

  When the awards were being announced, Osborne said he was one of around 900 individuals in a huge auditorium. Two projectors were overhead, showing photos of the cars that won certain awards.

  When it came time to announce the “Special Build, Special Design” winner, the fourth-place car was shown first, and Osbourne thought it would be hard to defeat a car of that magnitude. So, he figured his students’ car was out of the running. When Dragula was announced as the first-place winner, Osborne thought, ‘No way, we just beat professionals.’

  “It was an amazing moment,” he said.

  Osborne said Dragula received a lot of attention over the weekend, with having attracted many visitors who wanted to learn more.

  Around 80 KDHS students, under the age of 17, worked on the car in some capacity. Those students were from Osborne’s auto shop, in addition to students from other classes, including Machine Shop and woodshop. It took around a year-and-a-half to build the car. No one over the age of 17 fabricated the car, he noted.      

  “It was pretty collaborative,” Osborne said of creating the car. “And, the support from [the school’s] administration was unbelievable.

  “This will really give kids pride, to really be proud of going to school,” Osborne said of the win.

  Osborne said he has always been a motorhead and enjoys teaching, where he brings students into his world of working on vehicles.

  Dragula is now on display at the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village (CTMHV), where area residents and automotive enthusiasts can revel in the workmanship the students put into this unique project.

  Osborne said the vehicle is located right inside the Museum’s lobby, with its awards.

  “It’s a beautiful place. It is great for the community to see what students around the area can do,” he said.

  Those who would like to see Dragula can visit this Museum, located just outside Essex Centre on the Arner Townline, until March 22. The CTMHV is open Wednesday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.    


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