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State Journalism - Brianna Womack


(Left) Junior James Martin reaches into the underside of a Nissan Versa, his current shop project at Washburn Tech. (Right) Martin tightens some bolts under the hood during shop time. (Photos by Brianna Womack)


Aspiring student takes cars further than transportation

(By Brianna Womack)

The purpose of student cars can range from transportation or a place to hang out to a sacred sanctuary of memories. For Junior James Martin, though, cars and the automotive field mean so much more.

As a child, Martin was introduced to the joy of cars by a close family member.

“My grandpa had a big impact for automotives in my life. When I was 11 or 12, every weekend we would work on a ‘69 Chevelle. The first part of a car I ever worked on was the brakes,” Martin said.

At the age of 16, with the help of his grandpa’s inspiration, Martin made a decision about his future and career. He now attends the Washburn Institute of Technology to study Automotive Services. Here, Martin spends time in the classroom studying all aspects of automobiles. When not in the classroom, Martin puts his knowledge to the test by working on projects in the shop.

“I’m working on the Nissan Versa. It’s my project for right now. Just yesterday we stabbed the transmission, which is just putting it in and tweaking everything down,” Martin said.

Specifically, Martin said he favors working with engines and transmissions.

“I like engines and transmissions because it’s a good time, and it’s pretty self explanatory,” Martin said. “My least favorite thing to do will be electronics. I’m not going to like that too much because it’s a new thing that I’ve never learned or dealt with before.”

In just four semesters, Martin will graduate from Washburn Tech having knowledge of engines, transmissions, steering and suspension, brakes, A/C, and electricity. He said he aspires to use his current education in auto services to make cars play a life-long role in his life.

This summer Martin plans to take no time off from his work with vehicles.

“Over the summer, I will be working on my own project. I’m going to fix up a New Yorker.  I’ll change the tires, work on the brakes and brake lines, and probably work on suspension,” Martin said.

Despite the variety of benefits acquired from being an auto technician, Martin shared the real reason he’s chosen to pursue a career with cars.

“What do cars mean to me? It’s just a fun time,” Martin said.


The Washburn Tech motto hangs as an everyday reminder above James

Martin’s current Washburn Tech Project. (Photo by Brianna Womack)