AutoZone Rewards DIY Student-Built Eco-Car

A do-it-yourself eco-car was recognized as winner of an automotive project contest.

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 one-person eco-car was built entirely from scratch. It features an aluminum tube frame, carbon fiber body and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. It is powered by a 50cc fuel-injected gasoline engine.

AutoZone said it took the team of students 10 months to complete their project, often getting parts and advice from their local AutoZone store.

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.

“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.”

Per AutoZone, the small vehicle, able to carry one adult-sized person and a suitcase, is quite a showstopper. In fact, the ultra-fuel-efficient car is said by AutoZone to be able to get 849 miles per gallon and set a new record in this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition, surpassing 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.”