Beat the Heat

One teenager dies in a car crash every hour of every weekend in the U.S.


Officer Brent Muller of the Brillion, Wisconsin Police Department was looking far beyond a quarter mile when the idea appeared right before his eyes. “I saw a cop drag race on TV in Las Vegas,” as he recalls that evening back in 1994, “I contacted Mac Sibley from the Dallas Police Department from the Beat the Heat program and that’s how it all began.” With support from his Chief of Police, Officer Muller had the Beat the Heat drag racing program at full throttle in no time. His goal was simple, “I saw that there was a need for a relationship between police and kids in the community.” Now retired from the force, Muller proudly remembers, “The kids we pinpointed weren’t in athletics. They were teens who needed to stay on the right track.” The right track turned out to be the drag strip at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna.

The race ready 1991 Chevy Caprice on display at The Automobile Gallery was originally built by Detective Adam Streubel from the Neenah, Wisconsin Police Department. Beneath its “sleeper” appearance there is more than enough snort in these nostrils. The powerplant is wired with nitrous pushing this old cruiser across a quarter mile in 12.91 seconds. Though many of his law enforcement colleagues have since retired and left the program over the past 24 years, Brent Muller still can be seen beneath the starting tree at WIR in his 1979 Chevy Malibu ready to take on the next group of fresh competitors looking to out run a local cop.

At its peak 100 -150 teens could be found at WIR on a given Friday night drag racing side by side against local police from nearly 20 police departments across northeastern Wisconsin. Over the past quarter century, thousands of area teens have been educated on the perils of illegal street racing and alcohol while enjoying life a quarter mile at a time. The impact has been felt here at home and across the world. The Beat the Heat program, founded by the Jacksonville, FL Sheriff’s department in 1984, eventually expanded into more than 30 countries engaging more than 1 million teenagers. The Automobile Gallery is thankful for all the lives saved and those yet to be saved by this outstanding program.

Throws Open the Doors to a New Art Form

De Pere High School

“Windows open out onto the universe around you, but doors will take you to where your imagination lies.”  – Anthony T. Hincks | Author


From the beginning, The Automobile Gallery has been dedicated to promoting The Automobile as Art and sometimes we find that art in the strangest places. In the case of Executive Vice President Mike Borlee, it was a local junkyard. Seeing jewels in the junk Mike had a unique idea, “The automobile is art and we wanted to engage art students.” He was soon back with car doors and windows from the local scrapyard. Finding the art students proved more elusive. It took a full year and countless conversations but Jennifer Beyers, head of the Art Department at De Pere High School and her fellow art teacher Ashley Koehler were up to the challenge and, dare we say, the doors were soon open to new possibilities.

Without precedent, the students were shocked at first according to Ms. Koehler but then, “We let the students have a discussion about how we would approach the project. They worked in the storage room and used a projector to place objects on the doors to help them visualize the painting.” Travel or journey was the chosen theme and following 3 to 4 weeks of planning the students set out on a personal journey using abstract art and expressionism as the style.

Car doors as a canvas tested the abilities and patience of the eight students who worked on this project versus the traditional class mural. “The biggest difference was having to take longer to get the base coats painted” remembers Emily V. “I couldn‘t do the entirety of one chunk in a day. The paint wouldn‘t stick if I did more than 2 layers if the paint was even a little wet.” Fellow artist Seth O. encountered other issues by taking his project a different direction, “Since the door looked like an older model I decided to scuff the paint with sandpaper to almost give the door a rustic look, contrasting from my futuristic style.“ When the paintings were completed, the artists were graded on concept, composition and technical aspects.

The Automobile Gallery is honored to display these one-of-a-kind student masterpieces in conjunction with Art Street in Green Bay August 24th-26th where these artists’ creations will be featured among the artwork of 200 artists from across the country. We at The Automobile Gallery congratulate the art students of De Pere High School and we can’t wait to see what comes through “the door” next!



De Pere Art Students


  • Hannah McDonald
  • Maya Steele


  • Kaitlyn Borseth
  • Seth Owens
  • Hope Carter
  • Summer Roe
  • Elizabeth Schimpf
  • Emily VonDerRuhr

Ashwaubenon High School Stalker Bantam Project

This prototype of a Stalker Bantam is proof that Ashwaubenon High School’s Formula Student USA Team is literally on the educational “fast track”. The project was years in development as the team set out to improve on the Brunton Stalker which is based on legendary designer Colin Chapman’s original Lotus 7 produced between 1957 and 1972. The team’s vision was to develop a lightweight, track-only training model featuring multiple advancements to enhance performance and handling.

As a freshman Project Leader Marisa Marohl began by reverse engineering a Brunton Stalker chassis donated by Jim Woodsmall from Dallas Center, Iowa. Marisa used computer program Autodesk Inventor to engineer changes in 3-D before creating the parts. The front suspension remains the same, but the independent rear suspension was totally designed and built by the students with major enhancements. A modified 35 Horsepower V-twin Briggs & Stratton engine will provide the muscle with a continuously variable transmission utilizing a planetary reverse system. Since the Stalker Bantam will be a track trainer, the team will be adding full dual controls on both sides of the car allowing a driving instructor full control to help students understand how to properly pilot the vehicle around the track.

Regardless of how the Stalker Bantam performs May 14th and 15th, 2018 at the CTech Motorplex at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, The Automobile Gallery is proud to support the Formula Student USA students who are clearly on the right track in life!

In addition to the Stalker Bantam on display, Ashwaubenon High School’s Formula Student USA Team is building two new Formula Student USA vehicles. Typically, the Formula Stock Class chassis is designed with a rigid suspension with no adjustment. The team has designed an adjustable, rigid suspension system allowing the team to adjust how the chassis distributes the weight on all four tires. The new design also allows the driver more room for the pedals in the cockpit. The second vehicle in production is the sixth-generation Formula Prototype. The team designed and manufactured a replica of Dennis Palatov’s DP-1 prototype track car built in 2011 which is currently on display at The Automobile Gallery. Our thanks to Red Lewis for his support and sponsorship of this great project.

The sixth-generation chassis, called the P-6, is engineered to be lighter, faster and better balanced than its predecessors. A fully adjustable pedal system designed by the students developed for last year’s P-5 chassis will carry over to the P-6. The P-5 was a lighter, faster and more maneuverable vehicle than the original prototype manufactured by students in 2001. Sixteen years removed from the original, the P-6 prototype is the culmination of seven years of design changes and hundreds of hours working during lunch hours, after school and at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College using NWTC’s water jet to create parts. The team hopes to eclipse previous performance levels by engineering an electric „push to pass“ system that utilizes a permanent magnet motor to provide short bursts of power on straightaways. All vehicles will be making their track debut May 14-15, 2018 at the CTech Motorplex at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Jeremie Meyer, Coordinator for Formula Student USA and instructor



Ashwaubenon High School’s Stalker Bantam Team

  • Marisa Marohl – Project Lead
  • Payton Voss
  • Nathan Lemere
  • Russle Coble
  • Alex Luekens
  • Tyler Rynish


Ashwaubenon Formula Student USA Team

  • Baeten, William
  • Coble, Russell – Formula Stock – Project Lead
  • Cochrane, Noah
  • Goedken, Connor
  • Grimaldo, Michael
  • Kostreva, Donovan
  • Kratochvill, Henry
  • Lisse, Theodore
  • McVane, Benjamin
  • Metz, Gabriel
  • Olbrantz, Collin
  • Petty, Lyle
  • Pollock, Stefen
  • Price, Elise
  • Rynish, Tyler – Formula Prototype – Project Lead
  • Schmieder, Ean
  • Schmit, Bryan
  • Wood, Evan

Shawano High School “Drifts” Into The Automobile Gallery

Shawano High School is one place where students are actually encouraged to let their minds drift in class, at least in the Automotive class! The result is currently on display for a limited time at The Automobile Gallery in Green Bay. The Shawano High School Drift Club project took shape in 2016 when Shawano Speedway Track Manager Patrick Polk approached Shawano High School Automotive Instructor Jeremy Hodkiewicz with the concept of forming a drift club. To jump-start the program, Mr. Polk supplied a modified Legends Race Car and, by its second year, the club quickly expanded to fifteen members and continues to grow.

Drifting is now one of the most popular forms of racing in the world. Drifting is an “on the edge” style of racing that traces its roots back to 1970s Japan. Drivers force the car into a controlled slide through corners with a combination of speed, style, and showmanship. Judges dictate the complexity of the course, such as clipping zones, clipping points, and touch and go areas.

Shawano Club members and their parents purchased a used 5/8ths scale 1930s style Legends race car and spent months completely stripping down the car currently on display, inspecting every part and making minor repairs to the chassis and body. Refinements included widening the front end by 3 inches, adding 1 inch of wheel spacing and switching to a 15-inch wheel. Additional modifications were made to the steering and suspension and a handbrake was added for controlled sliding. A 1200cc Yamaha FJ motorcycle engine completes the package helping to transform a Legends Car into a Legendary Performer.

With financial support from local businesses, the Shawano High School Drift Club has graduated to the intermediate track and now is sanctioned for the national INEX racing series. The Automobile Gallery salutes the students of Shawano High School who truly Get the Drift!



Freedom High School’s SEMA Sensation

The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show in Las Vegas is widely considered the “top of the mountain” in the automotive world. To reach that summit the students at Freedom High School responded by building a mountain climbing monster for SEMA 2017 now on display for a limited time at The Automobile Gallery.

“Project Front Runner” began life as a 1985 Toyota 4Runner donated by Rick Paulick, the promoter of the NEW Motorama car show in Green Bay. It was Mr. Paulick’s way of rewarding FHS’ automotive students for volunteering at SEMA in past years. Led by Brian Vanderheiden, Timmy Vanveghel, Trevor Hintz, and Alex Garvey, the team went to work on the 4Runner with help from Automotive Instructor Jay Abitz and Mr. Paulick who secured $20,000 in support from local businesses and manufacturers.

As FHS’ students prepared to debut their rock crawler extraordinaire on the world stage, student Brian Vanderheiden reflected on the monumental moment, “My first complete paint job is going to SEMA! That’s pretty cool!”. Cool quickly turned to red hot when FHS students caught the attention of world-renowned builders and artists at SEMA and soon they were working side by side with Rob Churchill and Ryan Evans from The History Channel’s Counting Cars along with Cristy Lee from Velocity’s All Girls Garage.

To fund future projects, Project Front Runner will be raffled off March 25th at The Resch Center in Green Bay with 100% of the raffle proceeds going to the Freedom High School automotive program. The Automobile Gallery is proud to support the students of Freedom High School and Project Front Runner.



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