Lewiston Adult Ed Class Sparks New Life In Clown Car

Patrick Penley crouches next to his repaired clown car that he brought back to life thanks to the help of a Lewiston Adult Education class

Submitted by Mike Reagan, Education and Marketing Coordinator, Lewiston Adult Education.

Small Engine & Power Equipment Repair students at Lewiston Adult Education bring in chainsaws and snowblowers with seasonal regularity.

When the weather gets warm again, instructor Richard Hussey will see the return of lawnmowers. But this fall, he had a student bring in a repair job that would not fit in with the others, though it did have a small engine.

Patrick Penley is a member of the Kora Temple Shrine, a Kora clown and the owner of a multicolored jalopy that had several owners before him.

“My goal was to get that running,” he said.

The clown car had a three-horsepower engine and during the semester, it was removed and replaced by a power washer engine.

“We had to modify the engine. We had to modify the framework. We had to modify the drive system. And this was done primarily by the student. I just gave the guidance,” Hussey said.

He said that students can bring in gasoline engines at the start of the semester but are responsible for bringing them in and taking them home at the end of class. Penley brought the clown car in the back of his pickup truck.

“It has to come and go. That’s your size reference,” Hussey said.

The Small Engine class is finishing up for the fall semester but is scheduled to return for Winter-Spring 2020. The class listing will appear in the combined Lewiston Adult Education-Auburn Adult & Community Education brochure, which is set to come out in early January.

In addition to the clown car, Penley worked on a leaf blower and chainsaw in the class.

He hopes to have the car off and running in a 2020 parade. For those interested in seeing it run a little sooner, here is a link to a video of a test run on Tuesday night at Lewiston High School’s main entrance.