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Piston Scholar Lindzie Archer is Discovering her Automotive Career

At 14 years old, Lindzie Archer discovered she loved performing oil changes and working on her dad’s Toyota 4 Runner and 2008 Ford Escape. She realized this was what she wanted for a career. Conveniently, she and her family lived in McPherson, Kansas, just a hop, skip, and a jump from McPherson College, famous for its car restoration programs. It was inevitable she would end up at McPherson, taking chassis restoration, machining technology, automotive trim and drawing classes in her Junior year.

By Judy Stropus

February 28, 2024

Setting the Stage with a ’67 Mustang

“I was born in Pierre, South Dakota,” said the now 21-year-old, who was awarded a Piston Scholarship in 2023. “The day after I was born, we moved to Kansas and my parents took us to Topeka, then to Manhattan (Kansas) and then we came to McPherson, which is where I’ve been since I was 2 years old.”

Her fascination for all things automotive came from her dad Brian’s encouragement for her to learn the “simple things that a young girl just needs to know because sometimes you’re just going to have to know this.”

“He’s always been, like, ‘if you want to do something, go for it,’” she said. “And I was, like OK, Dad, let’s just go do it. And ever since, [I thought], ‘you know what? This is kind of fun.’ But I never thought it was something I would want to do for a career path. My love just really, really grew in high school and I realized this is something that I absolutely love and enjoy, so why not shoot for the stars and go for a career path to something that I love?”

“It’s such a blessing to have this opportunity and be able to know there are people who are willing to support me and help me financially to get through college. They’ve helped me follow my dreams.”

~ Lindzie Archer, 2023 Piston Scholar

Casting a Wide Net

Working as a technician on old cars is not Lindzie’s only dream. She has aspirations to be part of the Formula 1 racing circuit, on the marketing and photography side of the sport.

Lindzie’s creative side emerged early. “I’m a very creative and artistic person. I’ve taken a few courses and am into photography right now. I love taking pictures of people’s cars. I’ve taken one graphic design class and hope to take a few more,” she said.

“Writing had always come a little bit more naturally to me. I do really love to write. So, doing some magazine work and photography could be a possibility.

“McLaren F1 (in the U.K.) has two internships and I’m going to apply for both. One is engineering and the other is marketing. I’ll just go for both of them.

“It’s been something that I’ve really been interested in more this last year. I’ve been wanting to see that side of the automotive industry. It’s drawn my attention. I’ve seen a lot of their social media and it looks like a big family, and I love that aspect of the car world. That’s what I want for my future, to be part of a tight-knit group and have fun while I’m working.

“Everything is just so interesting to me and I love doing it all. I eventually need to figure out what I’ll pursue. So far, I’m just going for all of it,” she said. “I like marketing and photography, but there’s always the side of me that wants to get my hands dirty and be digging into something. So, working at a restoration shop is always on the back burner.”

In fact, she is so eager to learn every aspect of the automotive trade at McPherson College, she thinks she “wants to stay another semester so that I could take more advanced courses,” she added.

“Nothing will tear me down”

Lindzie’s energy, enthusiasm and drive to reach her goals are evident in her excitement to venture out in the car and racing worlds. Even so, she knows there will be challenges, in whichever arena she chooses to enter.

“I’ve had a few challenges,” she offered. “I have to prove myself every day when I go into our Templeton automotive building and just say, ‘I’m here to be just like you guys. I’ll work just as hard as you guys, if not harder.’ I tell myself to prove myself through my grades. I think if I just work hard, I’ll be able to prove to them through my work and my resume that this girl means business. Nothing will tear me down.”

Her advice to other young people coming into the trade? “Don’t let anything scare you,” she said. “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it. Stay positive and go for your dreams.”

As for how parents should support their kids who dream of working on cars? “I think my mom always thought I’d do something a little bit more girly,” she said. “I’ve been super blessed with my parents. They just want me to be happy and just follow what God’s plans are for my life. So, my advice is just be supportive of your kids and love them.

“There’s a lot of us who are very hardworking and respectable young kids,” Lindzie said of her generation. “We will work hard if asked to. I will work hard, no matter what.”

Making Dreams Come True with a Piston Scholarship

Earning a scholarship last year from The Piston Foundation was a highlight of her energetic life. “I can’t tell you how ecstatic and blessed I felt when I found out that I got the scholarship,” she said. “I was screaming and jumping up and down to my parents, and it really meant everything to me.

“It’s such a blessing to have this opportunity and be able to know there are people who are willing to support me and help me financially to get through college. They’ve helped me follow my dreams.”

The Greater Purpose

Lindzie has visited a number of Concours d’Elegances with her father, where she fell in love with the Duesenberg Model J and the Cord 812 (both from the 1930s). “I got to the point where I could touch them with my finger, but it was, like, I do not deserve even to be around these cars,” she said.

These are the cars she’d love to drive on the street every day. “Just because it’s a classic old car doesn’t mean it [shouldn’t] be out and about where people can see it. I just think these cars need to live the purpose of their lives and be driven. I really do,” she said.

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