Plum grad wins Pitt car design contest
Tom Zacher has varied interests.
The 2011 Plum High School graduate is studying industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
Zacher, 20, a sophomore, also is a musician and plays tenor saxophone in the Pitt band.
And Zacher enjoys dabbling in graphic design using Photoshop.
Zacher entered a contest for Pitt students to design a custom Chevrolet Sonic with a Pitt-related theme.
He had only a couple of weeks of design and Photoshop work under his belt, along with a wealth of research on the heritage of the University of Pittsburgh.
Zacher found out Jan. 18 that his design was the Chevy Sonic 2013 contest winner when officials pulled a cover off the winning car and announced Zacher's name.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Zacher said about the time prior to the announcement, which took place at the Petersen Events Center.
“When they pulled the cover off, it was the best feeling.”
The unveiling was played on the Jumbotron screen at the Pitt-University of Connecticut basketball game Jan. 19.
Zacher said when he sat down to work on his design, he set out to show the University of Pittsburgh's history and the “iconic features of the last 225 years.”
Last year was the 225th anniversary of Pitt's founding.
Zacher said he incorporated gold and white racing stripes, indicative of Pitt football uniforms from about 30 years ago.
The Cathedral of Learning design is on the back of the car, and the Panther head design is on the sides.
Also, ‘H2P' for “Hail to Pitt” is on the top of the car.
“I spent a lot of time working on it,” Zacher said. “It gave me an appreciation for Pitt's heritage.”
The Plum graduate's entry was one of four. The winner was determined by both voting on the Pitt Panthers Road Warriors Facebook page and a panel of judges, Zacher said.
The Pitt Road Warriors, a group of students who attend sporting events, have been taking the car to various sporting events throughout the semester.
“It has been at the Fitzgerald Field House, the Petersen Event Center and Heinz Field for a recruiting day for football,” Zacher said.
Zacher received a $1,000 check from Chevrolet as well as a Pitt and Chevrolet prize package that contained T-shirts and other merchandise.
Zacher said he also considered attending Penn State and Ohio State, but Pitt won out.
“I love Pitt sports and Oakland,” Zacher said.
“Pitt stood out to me for its engineering program, and the Pitt band was a big factor.”
Zacher's father, Thomas Zacher, is proud of his son's showing in the contest.
“It's a big check mark on his resume,” said Thomas Zacher of Plum.
“Most of his time and effort has been put forth toward music. But I'm not shocked because he has the ability and the computer skills.”
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.