The Wilson Cup

The Wilson Cup is the American Solar Challenge’s original traveling trophy. The cup is named after Howard Wilson (1922 – 2016). Wilson was the Project Manager for the GM Sunraycer which was General Motors’ winning entry into the 1987 World Solar Solar Challenge. Following their win, Wilson and GM decided to start a collegiate solar car competition in the United States instead of continuing to build solar cars. In 1990 they started the GM Sunrayce, the precursor to the American Solar Challenge. Wilson continued to be involved in the Sunrayce while also working on GM’s first electric car, the EV-1.

The Wilson Cup commemorates the Winners of all 5 Sunrayce events on its top tier (1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, & 1999). The lower tier commemorates the winners of 10 American Solar Challenges (2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, & 2021). The trophy has traveled home with the winning team(s) for them to display until the next competition. In doing so, the Wilson Cup has traveled across the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Following the 2021 competition, all the plates on the trophy were filled and the Wilson Cup was retired and replaced with today’s American Solar Challenge Trophies.

Below is a digital recreation of the plates on the Wilson Cup.

The Wilson Cup

Sunrayce Logo
June 11-15, 1990
Orlando, Florida
Detroit, Michigan
1st Place
University of Michigan
2nd Place
Western Washington University
3rd Place
University of Maryland

Sunrayce Logo
June 20-26, 1993
Arlington, Texas
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1st Place
University of Michigan
2nd Place
California State Polytechnic University
Pomona
3rd Place
California State University
Los Angeles

Sunrayce Logo
June 20-29, 1995
Indianapolis, Indiana
Golden, Colorado
1st Place
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2nd Place
University of Minnesota
3rd Place
California State Polytechnic University
Pomona

Sunrayce Logo
June 19-28, 1997
Indianapolis, Indiana
Colorado Springs, Colorado
1st Place
California State University
Los Angeles
2nd Place
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3rd Place
Stanford University &
Univeristy of California Berkeley

Sunrayce Logo
June 20-29, 1999
Washington, D.C.
Orlando, Florida
1st Place
University of Missouri Rolla
2nd Place
Queen’s University
3rd Place
Rose Hulman Institute of Technology


Sunrayce Logo
July 15-25, 2001
Chicago, Illinois
Claremont, California
Stock Class 1st Place
University of Arizona
Stock Class 2nd Place
Stanford University
Stock Class 3rd Place
Minnesota State University Mankato
& Winona State University
Open Class 1st Place
University of Michigan
Open Class 2nd Place
University of Missouri Rolla
Open Class 3rd Place
University of Waterloo

Sunrayce Logo
July 13-23, 2003
Chicago, Illinois
Claremont, California
Stock Class 1st Place
North Dakota State University
Stock Class 2nd Place
University of California Berkeley
Stock Class 3rd Place
California Polytechnic State
University-San Luis Obispo
Open Class 1st Place
University of Missouri Rolla
Open Class 2nd Place
University of Minnesota
Open Class 3rd Place
University of Waterloo

Sunrayce Logo
July 20-26, 2005
Austin, Texas
Calgary, Alberta
Stock Class 1st Place
Stanford University
Stock Class 2nd Place
CalSol
Stock Class 3rd Place
Iowa State University
Open Class 1st Place
University of Michigan
Open Class 2nd Place
University of Minnesota
Open Class 3rd Place
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sunrayce Logo
July 13-22, 2008
Austin, Texas, U.S.A.  Calgary, Alberta, Canada
First Place
University of Michigan
Second Place
Principia College
Third Place
Hochschule Bochum
Bochum University of Applied Sciences

2008 & 2010 appear on the same row of the trophy

June 20-26, 2010
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma  Normal, Illinois
First Place
University of Michigan
Second Place
University of Minnesota
Third Place
Hochschule Bochum
Bochum University of Applied Sciences

Sunrayce Logo
July 14-21, 2012
Rochester, New York
St. Paul, Minnesota
First Place
University of Michigan
Second Place
Iowa State University
Third Place
Principia College

2012 & 2014 appear on the same row of the trophy

July 21-28, 2014
Austin, Texas
Minneapolis, Minnesota
First Place
University of Michigan
Second Place
University of Minnesota
Third Place
Iowa State University

Sunrayce Logo
July 30 – August 6, 2016
Brecksville, Ohio
Hotsprings, South Dakota
1st Place
University of Michigan
2nd Place
Dunwoody College of Technology
3rd Place
University of Toronto
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Wind Cave National Park
 
 
National Park Service
Centennial

Sunrayce Logo
July 14-22, 2018
Omaha, Nebraska
Bend, Oregon
50th Anniversary
of the National Trails System
Single-Occupant Class 1st Place
Western Sydney University
Single-Occupant Class 2nd Place
University of Michigan
Single-Occupant Class 3rd Place
Ecole de technologie superieure ETS
Multi-Occupant Class 1st Place
University of Bologna
Multi-Occupant Class 2nd Place
University of Minnesota
Appalachian State University
Multi-Occupant Class 3rd Place
University of Waterloo

Sunrayce Logo
August 3-7, 2021
Independence, Missouri
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Single-Occupant Class 1st Place
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Single-Occupant Class 2nd Place
University of Kentucky
Single-Occupant Class 3rd Place
Principia College
Multi-Occupant Class 1st Place
Appalachian State University
Multi-Occupant Class 2nd Place
University of Minnesota
Bicentennial of the
Santa Fe Trail