|Sol of Auburn, a solar-powered car, drew a crowd between
the eagle's cage and the stadium in 1991. Students built the nearly
20-foot long, 768-pound, electric vehicle at a cost of about $150,000 in
donated parts, and more than 40,000 student hours, said faculty adviser
Dr. Sushil Bhavnani of mechanical engineering. Sol has a maximum
speed of 63 mph and a cruising speed of 30 to 35, but it averaged 44.29
in finishing fourth among sixteen cars in a 50-mile race at Indianapolis
in 1993. It operated on "less energy than most hand-held dryers use."
It finished third in a 760-mile Sacramento-to-Los Angeles race, "ahead
of all of the California teams, and was judged the safest vehicle in the
competition." Sol's body was rebuilt for the second time in 1995-96.
-- Photo: AU Archives