DEARBORN (WWJ) – Veterans from 25 years worth of solar car programs gathered at the Henry Ford Museum to see the unveiling of the University of Michigan’s latest solar-powered vehicle, The Aurum.

“I think it’s a very competitive vehicle,” said Freshman Clayton Daley, a member of the 75 person team. “It’s been performing how we expected. Hopefully it keeps doing what we expect it to.”

READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Will You Get A Fourth Relief Payment?

The vehicle will be raced at an October event in Australia.

The University of Michigan has a history of building successful solar-powered vehicles. It’s original 1990 model is on display at the Henry Ford Museum.

The driver of that vehicle, Paula Finnegan-Jones was on hand for today’s ceremony.

“Looking back 25 years it seems like we really started something,” she said.

READ MORE: Unemployment In Michigan: 30,816 New Jobless Claims Filed Last Week

Finnegan-Jones, who’s an electrical engineer, says she didn’t fully comprehend the ground they were breaking at the time. But, there’s a lot she was able to take away from the experience.

“The spirit of optimism,” she said. “The spirit of doing things that weren’t done before. Kind of a ‘you can do anything if you put your mind to it’ kind of attitude.”

Many of those involved in the Solar Car program say–for engineering students–it’s like being on a sports team.

Undergraduate Ian Larsen has stuck around six years, mostly to be a part of this program.

“I keep delaying graduation so I can keep racing solar cars. Everyone ends up working in a job at some point. Not too many people can say they’ve raced solar cars multiple times through Australia.”

MORE NEWS: If Kids Are Able To Get COVID Vaccine, Health Department May Re-Evaluate Michigan’s Re-Opening Plan

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Email: jdgilbert@cbs.com
Facebook: facebook.com/carchronicles
Twitter: @jefferygilbert