Shell Eco-marathon 2013 Americas
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When you build a car that can go from San Francisco to Seattle on a single gallon of gas with a few drops to spare, you're going to get some attention, even if you're from a high school in Indiana.

Mater Dei High School in the town of Evansville won AutoZone's "Show It Off" contest for building a fuel burner that gets 849 miles per gallon, Hybrid Cars says. And, no, we didn't drop a decimal point. The single-person car has an aluminum frame and is powered by a 50-cc engine. Mater Dei won the AutoZone prize about five months after taking home the "urban concept gasoline" award in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013. The high school managed to about triple its miles per gallon rating from a year earlier after entering a car that took about 10 months to build. While it is mighty impressive, that 849 mpg figure pales in comparison to Quebec's Université Laval, which entered its car in the Eco-marathon's "gasoline prototype" division and got a stunning 3,587 miles per gallon.
Show full PR text
Built-From-Scratch Eco-Car Wins AutoZone's "Show It Off, America" Contest
Car enthusiasts from across the nation recognized for best DIY projects


MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- AutoZone has announced the winners of its Show It Off, America social media contest, which recognized the best do-it-yourself (DIY) automotive projects in the country. A group of students from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind., led by parent volunteers, were deemed the grand prize winner for their "eco-car" creation. The group received a Duralast® 392-piece tool cabinet, valued at $2,500, and will participate in activities this year that showcase the winning vehicle. To enter, participants were asked to upload an image of their most impressive DIY automotive project and submit a brief description of their efforts. Entries were judged on the basis of project difficulty, creativity, outcome and fan votes.

The one-person eco-car was built entirely from scratch. It features an aluminum tube frame, carbon fiber body and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, and is powered by a 50cc fuel-injected gasoline engine. It took the team of students 10 months to complete their project, often getting parts and advice from their local AutoZone store.

"We're honored to be recognized by AutoZone for the eco-car our students built," said Robert Neisen, one of the project advisors. "Up until now the team depended on community supporters to lend or donate many of the tools needed for projects. Now, thanks to AutoZone, our students can better tackle projects and pursue their automotive passions."

The small vehicle, able to carry one adult-sized person and a suitcase, is quite a showstopper. In fact, the ultra-fuel-efficient car, able to get 849 miles per gallon and set a new record in this year's Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition, surpasses last year's efficiency record of 238 miles per gallon.

"There are growing numbers of Americans taking auto repairs, maintenance and even rebuilds into their own hands," says Tom Newbern, senior vice president, store operations and store development customer satisfaction, at AutoZone. "Show It Off, America celebrates DIY car enthusiasts from across the country that came out from 'under the hood' to share their projects with others."

AutoZone is also proud to recognize this year's contest runner-up, and winner of $1,000 cash prize, as well as the remaining finalists, each of whom received an AutoZone gift card that can be used for future DIY projects. Finalists include:

-- 2nd place--Matthew Theriot; customized 1974 Volkswagen Beetle (Marrero, La.)
-- Finalist--Mark Fulsom; restored 1969 Camaro (Houston, Texas)
-- Finalist--Micheal Doscher; transformed 1990 300ZX (Boca Raton, Fla.)
-- Finalist--Jim Kious; reconstructed 1921 Model T Ford Speedster (Columbia, Mo.)
-- Finalist--Darren Simmons; upgraded 1969 GTO Pontiac (Tacoma, Wash.)
-- Finalist--Joseph Maslonka; 1969 GMC SWB\nLT1 350 rebuild (Junction City, Kan.)
-- Finalist--Dion Chaney; reconditioned 1990 Silverado

Photographs of the winning car, finalists and other submissions can be found on Facebook. For more information on DIY car care tips, maintenance how-to videos and exclusive deals, visit www.autozone.com, and join MyZone--a community for DIY auto enthusiasts.

About AutoZone

As of May 4, 2013, AutoZone sells auto and light truck parts, chemicals and accessories through 4,767 AutoZone stores in 49 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 341 stores in Mexico and one store in Brazil for a total store count of 5,109. AutoZone is the leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. Each store carries an extensive product line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. Many stores also have a commercial sales program that provides commercial credit and prompt delivery of parts and other products to local, regional and national repair garages, dealers, service stations, and public sector accounts. AutoZone also sells the ALLDATA brand diagnostic and repair software through www.alldata.com. Additionally, we sell automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, non-automotive products and subscriptions to the ALLDATAdiy product through www.autozone.com, accessories through www.autoanything.com and our commercial customers can make purchases through www.autozonepro.com. AutoZone does not derive revenue from automotive repair or installation.

About Shell Eco-marathonShell Eco-marathon is a global program that challenges high school and college student teams to design, build and test the most energy-efficient vehicles. With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, this innovation competition pushes future scientists and engineers to travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy. Visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon/americas to learn more about this program.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      Mallthus
      • 7 Months Ago
      Looks like a Saab...
        DarylMc
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Mallthus
        Yeah I can see a bit of that too from the side view. Maybe it is the colour.
      Joeviocoe
      • 7 Months Ago
      "can go from San Francisco to Seattle on a single gallon of gas" This is what is wrong with Hack Journalism (Danny). You take a VERY RAW number, and take it WAY BEYOND the scope of reality. First, build a perfectly straight, zero incline, tunnel from San Francisco to Seattle. Because no vehicle would get those results with real world factors such as hills, traffic, wind, or even turns.
      chanonissan
      • 7 Months Ago
      this is where automakers are going, engine downsizing and turbo charging, but 50cc is a bit weak it think.
        BraveLil'Toaster
        • 7 Months Ago
        @chanonissan
        Gee, really? So this is a concession to the fact that there's no way in hell you're getting 800 mpg if you want to keep up with traffic? Nice to see you understand.
      Neil Blanchard
      • 7 Months Ago
      This is a "pure" aerodynamic shape, and it is built by high school students. They did a great job! If it was a velomobile with electric assist and solar PV cells - I'd buy one in a second. Oh, it needs a real door, but that is easy. Neil
      karlInSanDiego
      • 7 Months Ago
      Yeah, it'd serve us all better to add a little reality to these ultramileage tests. Start and stop them once a mile. Drive them up some mild hills. Operate them for 10 hours at 55 mph, not 26 minutes for 6 miles at 15 mph. All this fun competition and those crazy high numbers don't appear to be helping real car mileages. How about getting a reality check to Shell, that car's can't do even 100 mpg when you introduce real world forces. I hope the EV competitors are creating some innovation that applies to the real world.
        BraveLil'Toaster
        • 7 Months Ago
        @karlInSanDiego
        "All this fun competition and those crazy high numbers don't appear to be helping real car mileages." I think you need to honestly ask yourself: "Would I drive this car to work? Would I own this as my only or even second car?" Keep in mind that these cars don't have any trunk space, safety features beyond a seat belt, air conditioning, or any expectation of winter driving. Or comfort. Also, you can forget keeping up with traffic, since the acceleration that these competition cars get is abysmal. The fact is, that we've all known for the past 60+ years how to build a car that can exceed 100 mpg. And every engineer with that knowledge knows full well why they can't sell them to people who have 3 kids plus groceries to take home. So you can have it only one way: either a car that gets astounding gas mileage, or a car that's useful and safe. Now stop complaining.
      Actionable Mango
      • 7 Months Ago
      Where is Dan F to say that this isn't green?
        DarylMc
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Yet it seems there is still others quick to criticize a high school project for a DIY contest. Unbelievable.
        Marco Polo
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        @ Actionable Mango Yeah, DF/Giza seems to MIA ! (or perhaps just adopted a new nom-de-troll ). Also missing is GoodoldGorr, a real favourite of mine among the eccentrics.
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          I was banned again for not approving of homosexuality. Some idiot readers report me for not applauding homos and some nitwit admin on the ignorant side of autoblog must have a hardon for the LGBT thing and in his infinite wisdom decided it's not allowed to not approve of homos. Now I have to use a wireless account to comment and probably wont be commenting much in the future. Sigh I hate stupidity and wickedness and you pathetic sheep who let the wicked rule. Fooled in the name of nicety to applaud depravity. It's a decent mileage except that it would be much better as electric. It's also not a vehicle that could work commercially so it's not a useful design which is no doubt how Shell prefers it. As for the shape, it's decent but the wing profile in the side is actually quite wrong. The most ideal aero shape is a 3D droplet, not a 2D profile. Odd that they did that. There is a huge difference between the aerodrag of the ideal extruded profile and the ideal droplet shape. What you want is to let the air close in from all sides rather than just from above. Particularly important for a car since the air can't well close in from below.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Shell is not happy with this invention, and why I see their logo there?
      Jay Temkar
      • 7 Months Ago
      In India my 150 cc (15 BHP) Motorcycle goes 60 Km in 1 Liter of Petrol (In real world) . So I think in Miles and Gallons it becomes 141 mpg. We also have many 100 cc Bikes in India which gives mileage of 80 KmPL (188 mpg) in real world. So if anybody wants to save fuel many options are available. You just have to look around.
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