Old Solar Cars Still Look Too Futuristic To Be Real

Happy Earth Day 2021.

It’s not an alien checking out a potential project truck to buy, this is a picture from the 2018 Carrera Solar Atacama solar car race in Chile. Vehicles powered by the sun hauled from from Santiago through the north of Chile to Arica. The sunsoaked location is chosen for an obvious reason: Supposedly that particular desert has some of the highest levels of solar radiation on Earth.

Car(s): (1950 something?) Chevrolet SUV, Punch Powertrain Solar Team car
Location: Tocopilla, Chile
Photog: Geert Vanden Wijngaert for AP Images
Camera: Nikon D5, 24-70mm f/2.8

The spacey-looking car was run by Belgian team Punch Powertrain which is still solar racing. You can find stacks on stacks of pictures from them on Flickr and read all about what they’re up to on the organization’s website. All I know about solar car racing myself is what I remember from looking at the solar car parked at the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts: They’ve very, very aerodynamic. Mostly, this just seemed like a fun picture to share on Earth Day. Speaking of which, we’ll be running eco-themed posts all day, which you’ll be able to find under the Green Gearhead tag by the afternoon (and the front page of Car Bibles even sooner, of course).

I don’t recognize what that old Chevy truck is, but holy crap are those some sketchy tires. If you recognize the vehicle, please leave a comment!

Here’s the image full-sized:

Old Solar Cars Still Look Too Futuristic To Be Real
Image: AP/Geert Vanden Wijngaert
Andrew P. Collins

Andrew’s the Editor-In-Chief of Car Bibles and an experienced writer, amateur mechanic, and off-road expedition guide with just a little racing experience. He’s particularly fond of tuner cars and old trucks. Contact the author here.

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