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Graham Long

Graham Long

Program: Mechanical Engineering Technology
Class of: 2004

Engineer, Mechanic, Vintage Race Car Driver and World Sailor Define Alumnus

By Mary Ann Kiczek

Graham Long’s passion for vintage race cars and vintage street cars dates back to 2000, when he accepted an apprenticeship at a vintage race-car shop in Califon. While attending County College of Morris (CCM), where he earned his AAS in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) in 2004, and later New Jersey Institute of Technology from which he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree, he continued to work at the shop, honing his skills on the GTP (grand touring prototype), Formula Ford, Formula Junior and Indy cars the shop maintained. Long’s work at the time was focused on preparing the cars for racing, on the rebuilding and restoration of cars, and on the fabrication of new parts.
 
In 2008, Long ventured into self-employment, and he was given the opportunity to maintain a collection of eight vintage formula and sports cars. This group included several of his favorites, namely two Lotus 18s (circa 1960), two Lotus 22’s (1965-66), and a Cooper T-67 (1965) formula car. Around the same time, he completed driving school, earned his racing license, and using a friend’s car, set out to race alongside his customers.
 
Long now runs his business GLEAM (Graham Long Engineering and Mechanical), out of a new facility built for him in Clifton, where he maintains vintage formula race cars. Graham’s highly specialized equipment allows him to fabricate, machine, weld, restore and repair anything found on these cars.
 
While Long’s primary passion may be cars, he’s an avid sailor as well, an interest he developed as a teen attending Boy Scout camp in the Adirondacks. In 2000, after listening with great interest to the tales of his uncle and cousin who circumnavigated the world, Long got hooked on the idea of experiencing the open seas. In addition to building his business, Long has his sights set on an ultimate goal of circumnavigating the globe.
 
Long began his schooling at a four-year university, but following his first year there, he elected to take a summer course at CCM, and met a student who introduced him to the MET program and gave him a tour of some of the facilities. “One of the stops was the machine shop, and that’s when I decided that CCM was where I wanted to continue my education,” he said.
 
During his first semester in the program, two of his courses were taught by Professor Nial McCabe, who Long described as being motivated and clearly interested in the material he was teaching. Long and McCabe began sharing stories and discussing mutual interests. “I told him that I was apprenticing at a vintage race shop, and he shared that he was a vintage racer. Because of this common link, we regularly updated one another on our projects and where we were racing. I knew it was only a matter of time until we ran into each other at a race,” Long said.
 
The eventual rendezvous took place at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, PA.
 
“Nial had joined one of the race clubs that my customers and I belong to,” Long said. “Now I thoroughly enjoy seeing Nial multiple times a year at race events, where we catch up on what’s new in our lives. Our adventures at the track are about to begin again this year, and I look forward to seeing Nial there.”