Piscataway Vo-Tech Students Prepare Car To Be Crushed At Monster Jam

PISCATAWAY — Getting cars back on the road usually is the goal of students of auto collision repair technology at the Piscataway campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools.

They had never before prepared a car for destruction.

But that is exactly what the students are doing as they get a Dodge Stratus of indeterminate age ready to be crushed during the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam “Path of Destruction” event, which is coming up June 16 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

About two dozen MCVTS students are participating in a project under the direction of collision repair technology teacher Henry Meklune to ready the car to be destroyed during the monster truck spectacle.

As part of their preparation for careers in collision repair, the students often work on police cars for area law enforcement agencies. As some students were working on the crush car one recent morning, classmates were in the spray booth putting the finishing touches on the paint job of an undercover car for the Edison Police Department.

It was hot and getting hotter as students applied filler on some serious dents and others sanded the body smooth on the crush car.

“They’re working under actual shop conditions,” Meklune said. “It is hot and getting hotter.”

The producers of Monster Jam supplied the car, which was “in bad shape,” according to Dr. Todd Bonsall, MCVTS director of career and technical education.

“They had to chain the engine up just so they could move it,” Bonsall said.

“We took the door panels off and pulled some dents out,” said sophomore Frank Rapetti of Hopelawn, who said he would be sad to see the car crushed after having worked on it.

Senior Jahshaun Freeman of Carteret, on the other hand, said he was “anxious to see it get crushed.”
Meklune said the car would be painted pink in honor of female Monster Jam driver Madusa. The students also will apply the Monster Jam logo and their school’s name.

Piscataway Vo-Tech also received a visit from three Monster Jam drivers, George Balhan, who drives “Mohawk Warrior,” Bari Musawwir, driver of “Spider-Man,” and Lupe Soza, driver of “Advance Auto Parts Grinder.”

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