Kit Cars

Don Sherridan Kit Cars are an introductory devision in the Model Solar Vehicle Challenge. They compete on the same type of track as the Designed Cars do, with a few key differences. They are kits, as the name suggests, and so all the cars have the same resources; they are belt driven by a small solar panel; and they enter in a "pursuit"-style race. This means that two cars start at opposing sides of a loop of track, and the first car to catch up to the other is declared the victor.


The cars come in a kit, with all the electronics, wheels, and bodywork provided. You need to assemble the body and other components, and optimise the car for the least rolling resistance, to have the best chance of competing against what should be identical cars. The quality of construction really can make the difference, in how well aligned the axles are, how well lubricated, whether a tire is fastest or not, where the guide rollers are positioned, make large impacts on how well your car can compete.

The Kit Car competition is a good match for a classroom science project, because every student has all the resources they need to build a complete car. Through construction, students can learn about how solar power and electric motors work, and how small improvements in reducing wasted energy (for example in friction or misalignment) can make large impacts in the speed of the final car.


Students are encouraged to decorate the plastic body of their car to give it some individuality and creative spirit. There is a prize for the best decorated car!