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. Click on the virtual plates to visit the webpage about each event.

The Wilson Cup

2008 & 2010 appear on the same row of the trophy

2012 & 2014 appear on the same row of the trophy