TSTC graduate Chuck Hoekstra drew crows with a rebuilt and modified engine of his 1986 Ford LTD station wagon during a recent car show at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus.

Competition draws 83 cars from classic to modern

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – On a recent weekend at Texas State Technical College’s Fort Bend County campus, dozens of cars — both classic and cutting-edge — filled the parking lot. 

Their owners propped open hoods, trunks and doors, showcasing polished interiors or outer patinas. Many displayed rows of trophies earned in past competitions alongside ephemera collected over the years, like miniatures of their vehicle’s makes and models, or props used to tell a story.

One classic model featured a carhop tray loaded with plastic food. Another had a bag of play cash stashed inside of it, its owner dressed in an emerald zoot suit.

For community liaison Jalon Debbs of TSTC’s Student Recruitment department, the event was a great way to raise awareness of TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus in the community.

“I’m excited anytime we can do something like this to bring the community together,” he said while manning a tent, handing out bags of TSTC swag to attendees and fielding questions about the college. “I have a passion for this.”

Students from TSTC’s Welding Technology program crafted the trophies that were handed out to winners of the show.

Of the 83 participants in the competition, two were TSTC alumni.

Larry Bland, who graduated in 1974, earned his degree in Automotive Technology.

“I wanted to be an auto mechanic — that’s all I ever wanted to do,” he said. “And I did it for 40 years. I live for cars. My wife knew what she was getting into. Her dad was a mechanic.”

Bland now passes on his knowledge as a teacher. His students worked on the 1966 Ford F-100 he brought to campus, helping Bland rebuild the engine and redo the transmission.

He does not participate in many shows, but Bland knew he wanted to come to this one.

“It’s the main reason I came out here — because of the school,” he said.

Chuck Hoekstra, a 1991 TSTC graduate, drew crowds to the open hood of his 1986 Ford LTD station wagon.

“It’s an anomaly that shouldn’t exist,” he said, explaining that the motor is a rebuilt LS2 from a 2005 GTO with added twin turbochargers. “It’s still a good car for cruising.”

Hoekstra earned his degree in TSTC’s former Laser Electro-Optics Technology program in Waco and currently works in the information technology field, managing communications at a large software company in Houston.

He carries good memories about his time at TSTC.

“It’s a little nostalgic,” he said. “A lot of times, when I drive down I-35, I’ll drive past the (TSTC) campus (in Waco) and think about what the kids are doing nowadays.

“We don’t do a lot of official car shows, but being that it was TSTC, I thought I’d come support the cause.”

Learn more about TSTC at tstc.edu.

TSTC alum Larry Bland 300x216 - TSTC alumni attend recent Fort Bend County campus car show
TSTC graduate Larry Bland brought his 1966 Ford F-100 to a recent car show at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus.
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