Mechanic Hits the Jackpot as "Golden Mechanic"- Wins Spokesperson Contract, $25,000 and Gas For a YearLAS VEGAS--Nov. 1, 2005--Ryan Kooiman hit the jackpot in Las Vegas today when he competed against top mechanics from across the country to take top prize in the BP search for the Amoco Ultimate "Golden Mechanic." Kooiman, from Allendale, MI, who serves as the drivability tech and shop foreman at Tolman's Auto Tech Group, Inc., won based on his superior auto skills, charisma and dedication to customers. Kooiman took home the grand prize of $25,000, gas for a year (valued at $1200) and the title of Amoco Ultimate spokesperson.
The national competition was hosted by Monster Garage's Brett the "Big Schwag" Wagner, and finalists were rated by an expert panel of judges from Hot Rod magazine, the Automotive Service Association and the co-authors of the recently released, Dare to Repair Your Car.
Kooiman will travel the country providing advice, tips and ideas that he has learned through formal training and certifications in addition to serving 12 years as an auto technician, including:
-- Tips for car care, maintenance and safety
-- How to choose the proper fuel and maximize gas mileage
-- What to look for in a mechanic
-- How to recognize the signs of a 'lemon'
"I am honored and thrilled to have had the chance to participate in the Amoco Ultimate Golden Mechanic contest and I am looking forward to serving as the spokesperson in the coming months," said Ryan Kooiman, the Amoco Ultimate Golden Mechanic winner. "It will be a great opportunity to get to work with mechanics all over the country and to help educate them about Amoco Ultimate at BP."
The national event featured multiple competitions testing each of the contestants in various areas. Contestants were asked open-ended questions by the judges and were evaluated on their technical and environmental knowledge and experience. A "Truth and Repair" session tested the finalists' industry knowledge and auto repair abilities through topical questions and diagnostic related tasks. The "Performance Challenge" ran the finalists through a physical obstacle course. Lastly, the contestants answered an open-ended question, "Why do you want to be the Amoco Ultimate Golden Mechanic?" The finalist who tallied the most points took top honors, collected the grand prize and accepted the "Golden Mechanic" award - a giant wrench.
"We are thrilled that Ryan won our inaugural Amoco Ultimate "Golden Mechanic" contest," said Gary Brinkworth, Vice President of Fuels Management Group at BP. "Mechanics are the unsung heroes in the auto industry and we salute mechanics across the country that work hard to keep cars running smoothly and safely."
BP began its search for the Amoco Ultimate "Golden Mechanic" on August 1, 2005 with the intent to find a mechanic who has premium auto repair abilities, is trustworthy, has a charismatic personality, is active in the community and is environmentally conscious. The initial stage of the contest, which ran through September 15, 2005, drew hundreds of qualified applications from all over the country. However, only twenty-five were selected to advance to the semi-finalist round where they submitted videos detailing why they should claim the title of Amoco Ultimate "Golden Mechanic." Three contestants were selected to compete in the finalist event in Las Vegas. The two runners-up in the contest, included Greg Damon from St. Charles, MO and Michael Bacon from Monroe, GA.
BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through 14,000 retail outlets and supplies more than four billion gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck manufacturers, railroads and utilities.
BP is the single, global brand formed by the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco Corporation, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol. BP is a global producer, manufacturer and marketer of oil, gas, chemicals and renewable energy sources.