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A.W. Beattie students win World of Wheel competition | TribLIVE.com
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A.W. Beattie students win World of Wheel competition

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Taylor Solomon, from North Hills High School, did airbrush work on this peddle car that helped A.W. Beattie Career Center students win the World of Wheels Peddle Car Challenge for the second consecutive year.
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Beattie students placed first in the Peddle Car Challenge at the World of Wheels competition at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
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Beattie students placed first in the Peddle Car Challenge at the World of Wheels competition at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

A.W. Beattie Career Center students have won the World of Wheels Peddle Car Challenge for the second consecutive year.

The career center is a three-time champion in the competition, having also won in 2015.

The most recent victory, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, was in A.W. Beattie’s Automotive Collision Technology program as 20 students collaborated on the project and beat out 14 regional schools.

“I’m really proud of this,” North Hills junior Taylor Solomon said. “I feel like we were the best.”

Students worked on the peddle car for nearly three weeks and got inventive by turning it into a United States Air Force Thunderbird replica.

“I’m absolutely excited for them,” Automotive Collision Technology instructor Joe Pelesky said. “It’s a lot of fun, and these kids loved it. I think at first it was challenging, but it really came together quick.”

Innovation was key in making the Thunderbird a functional peddle car with all the bells and whistles that you would see on the aircraft.

“We used a bicycle and everything under the sun for it,” Automotive Collision Technology instructor Pat Ciccone said. “We have a paint gun for the shifter, parts from a Culinary Arts oven. They just developed it from there. We used a lawnmower transmission for the propeller to spin. We used car parts and various things throughout the shop and got really creative.”

Hampton sophomore Ronnie Misenicik was one of several students to work on the grill and propeller of the Thunderbird.

“I would say my main part was the propeller,” Misencik said. “Each fan was rectangular, and I bounced ideas off Mr. Ciccone and once we got plans confirmed it wasn’t too difficult. I had to get each of those to match perfectly, and it all came down to the final polishing and getting all the edges smooth and uniform.”

Pine-Richland senior Jesse Gonzalez, Shaler Area senior Kaylee Chechak and Fox Chapel Area senior Logan McKaveney were involved in the painting and air brushing of the peddle car.

They said detailing the peddle car presented a challenge with so many people working on it at different times.

“The hard part with everyone working on it is just getting it all to be consistent,” McKaveney said. “That was huge for the peddle car whether it was the painting, the airbrushing, the metal work and more. We had to work together and build off of each other to make our work look as close as possible.”