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I am Iron Man!


OHS seniors turn auto parts into auto art



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Oxford High School seniors Connor Novack (left) and Zack Lutey pose with the sculpture they created out of old auto parts for art class. The two are also students in the advanced auto technology class. For the story, please see Page 8. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
February 20, 2013 - eader Editor

An 8-foot tall iron man now stands watch over the auto shop at Oxford High School.

But it's not the Marvel Comics superhero.

It's a unique sculpture created by seniors Zack Lutey and Connor Novack, who are enrolled in Auto Technology 3, the advanced class.

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"We had to make a sculpture for art (class) and clay is not my thing," Lutey said.

"We prefer metal over clay," Novack added.

Unlike Marvel's Iron Man, which was created from state-of-the-art technology, the OHS iron man is made of old car parts.

"They raided my scrap metal bin," said Auto Technology Instructor Dan Balsley.

His body consists of an old leaf spring from a rear suspension. The rib cage is a coil spring from a front suspension. Bolts were used for the fingers, while an old brake rotor became the head. Lug nuts were used for the eyes.

"We saw what we had (available) in scrap metal and kind of envisioned it," Lutey said. "Then we just started bending, cutting and welding."

It took Lutey and Novack about three to four days to shape the iron man into his finished form, which weighs between 150 and 200 pounds.

"I was impressed," Balsley said. "It came out much better than I imagined. Their interest and dedication to the project was really impressive."

Obviously, their art teacher agreed because they scored 100 percent on the project.

Balsley indicated he's thinking about having the sculpture placed in the high school's courtyard.

"Maybe have them autograph it or put some kind of a name plate by it," he said.

After they graduate in May, both Lutey and Novack plan to pursue careers as mechanics.

Lutey will attend the University of Northwestern Ohio, where he'll work toward a degree in auto/diesel technology.

He hopes to one day get a job with the Road Commission for Oakland County, repairing and maintaining their vehicles.

"They've got a lot of trucks," Lutey said.

As for Novack, he'll be enlisting in the United States Coast Guard. "I want to work on helicopters," he said.

Novack noted he loves working on engines and vehicles because "you get down and dirty."

"You don't have to be clean," he said.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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