Thursday, July 24 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:46:21 GMT
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night.More >>
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night. More >>
February 5, 2003
Valdosta - Sgt. Michael Wiggins loves his job of army recruiting so much that he transformed an average Ford Thunderbird into a NASCAR racer look-alike.
"I knew NASCAR, trucks, and cars were a big thing down here in South Georgia and I wanted to use a recruiting tool that people from the area were really interested in," said Wiggins.
Wiggins calls the creation his "Army of One" racecar. He designed the car, paid for it, and included all the extra NASCAR additions.
"I chose the number 79 because no one in NASCAR has it and it's the Army's official recruiting number," said Wiggins. "Instead of using the sponsor stickers, I took all the stickers advertising various areas of the Army and placed them on the car."
But unlike most NASCAR racers, Wiggins chooses to drive his car a little slower. "I've noticed that the slower I drive, the more people stop and stare," said Wiggins. "I usually keep it about 10 to 15 miles below the speed limit, so people can pass me and look at the car."
And here in South Georgia, the car seems to be an ideal recruitment tool. "Kids always ride by me, give me the thumbs up, and some even stop and ask me about the army," said Wiggins.
Wiggins plans to design a complete NASCAR race suit and helmet next, to attract hundreds of people to what he calls the best organization in the world.