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 named 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 advisers. "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 is able to carry one adult-sized person and a suitcase. The ultra-fuel-efficient car is 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," said 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 also recognized 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:
Second place Matthew Theriot; customized 1974 Volkswagen Beetle (Marrero, La.)
Finalist Mark Fulsom; restored 1969 Camaro (Houston, Texas)
Finalist Michael 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 AutoZone’s Facebook page.