September 20, 2022

Recipient Spotlight: Mercedes Thompson

Name: Mercedes Thompson

School: McPherson College

Location: McPherson, Kansas

Areas of interest :
Her passion for cars started the moment she was able to walk. She remembers being a toddler and joining her father in the garage whenever possible. Mercedes developed a special interest in Interior & Trim, Hot Rods, Body & Paint, Engine & Mechanical, Historic Vehicle Preservation, and Original (Stock) Restoration.

Era of interest:
Pre-War (1900-1939), 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s

What sparked your interest in collector vehicles?
What first sparked my interest in cars was my dad. My dad always took me to car shows, I loved looking at all the old cars, and he would teach me how to spot the difference between a 1956 Bel Air and a 1957. He also loved to work on cars, and I have always loved helping him in the garage since I was little.

Favorite vehicle-related experience
My favorite car-related experience would be when my boyfriend taught me how to drive a 1926 Model T. I had never driven one, let alone a manual car. He talked me through how to fully start the car and how each pedal and lever worked. He also taught me how to use the aftermarket two-speed rear end. It was definitely one of my best experiences, and it was so much fun learning how to drive a Model T.

What are your short-term/long-term career goals?
My short-term goal is to earn my degree and work for a shop doing trim. My long-term career goal is to open my own restoration shop that specializes in auto upholstery.

How has the RPM Foundation impacted your education/career path?
RPM Foundation has impacted my education and my career path by providing me with the opportunity to accept an internship this past summer doing trim for Kip Motor Company. Without the help from RPM Foundation, I would not have been able to afford to go to my internship.

Recipient Spotlight