Self-improved Nissan, Kawasaki win Polytechnic campus car show

Hit car tunes such as “Low Rider,” “Slow Ride” and “Take a Little Ride” played in the background as car enthusiasts arrived at Sun Devil Mall at the Third Annual Polytechnic Car Show on Thursday to check out a huge range of cars and cast their vote for the Best in Show awards.

The car show featured classic cars such as a 1959 Triumph TR3 and new cars like a 2013 Mustang GT, as well as modified cars, motorcycles and trucks. The Red Bull Mini Cooper and a student-made quadracycle made a special appearance, too.

Megan Workmon, a student engagement specialist for the College of Technology and Innovation at the Polytechnic campus, said the 40 entries began to arrive at 3 p.m. for the event the school had been planning since January.

Parking and Transit Services and the engineering automotive class helped to set up the two-hour event, she said.

Rick Rogers, who works for a collector car company, spectated the event in previous years, but he and his son entered two cars, a blue 1982 Corvette and a red 1986 Chevrolet, into the competition for the first time this year.

It’s a 32,000-mile original and it’s 28 years old," Rogers said, “So we always wax them, clean them all up and detail them.”

Lecturer James Contes, who does the automotive concentration on the mechanical engineering major, spoke about a motorized bike that a rider drove around the car show.

“The quadracycle is a four-wheel bike that was initially designed and built by my son who graduated from (the) ASU Tempe campus,” he said. “He built it as a BMX racing bike, so he could do a racetrack and jump it over hills. It’s the only flying quadracycle in the world."

Contes said that his son designed other bikes similar to the quadracycle as pleasure bikes, but Contes used the BMX model for his senior capstone class to motorize it. Last semester, his class turned it into a hybrid: powered by pedal or motor. It averages 30 to 50 miles per charge.

Guests were encouraged to vote for their favorite car and motorcycle. At approximately 6:10 p.m., the winners of the car and motorcycle category were announced.

Mechanical engineering technology major Abdulaziz Al-Tamimi took first place in the car division with his 2006 Nissan 350Z and engineering major Adam Ruz-Rosenberg won the motorcycle division with his 1980 Kawasaki KZ-440A LTD.

Both winners put a great deal of work into their vehicles.

“I got her three years ago from this guy who had really abused her,” Ruz-Rosenberg said. “He took her all apart, I assume to try and fix her but he couldn’t put her back together so he just left her in boxes. I bought her for 400 bucks, which ends up about a buck per cubic centimeter."

He explained that once he purchased the pieces to his motorcycle, he built it from scratch. The parts were hard to find because there were very few of that model made.

Al-Tamimi completely customized the look of his Nissan 350Z. His car wears body kits from VeilSide and Amuse, he said. His TSW 20-inch wheels are very lightweight. Fast Intentions, a car shop that specializes in welding and repair, even gave him a full exhaust with a carbon fiber exhaust and hood.

“I got a full wrap on it, because I thought it needed a better touch than just white and black," he said.

The 350Z, which sports an ASU pitchfork on the roof, only required a wash to prepare for the show because the wrap is matte and helps to keep it clean.

The Polytechnic Car Show is a growing event that had twice as many entries as last year.

Contact the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @chelseyballarte.

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