In 1972, 64 teams of university students competed to design the greenest vehicle in the Urban Vehicle Design Challenge. This was the cream of the crop — a 1972 mustard yellow Gremlin that runs on nothing more than hydrogen. The car won the competition because of its clean emissions and now could be yours — it’s for sale on eBay. The Gremlin has been showcased in several museums and is one of the first hydrogen-run vehicles ever made.
The car was designed by students from UCLA using a vehicle body donated from American Motors and a custom made Boss 351 engine that the students re-designed to run on hydrogen. The tanks that fuel the car were provided by Impco and gave the car a 68 mile range, which is about what most electric vehicles are getting today. The students were also assisted by Kar King George Barris while assembling the vehicle — he’s the “King of Kustomizers”. The UCLA team was chosen from the 64 finalists because their car’s emissions were the cleanest — after all it’s just steam.
Considering that it was made about 40 years ago, it’s safe to say this little clean energy machine was a little before it’s time. As of right now, hydrogen cars are on the road, but aren’t widely being produced. We’re sad to say it’s taken us 40 years to inch along this far — if these students could create a working hydrogen vehicle in the early 1970s one would think we’d have them all over the place by 2010. If you want a hydrogen car now, it’s probably easier to bid for this one on eBay than to look for a shiny new one.
Via Green Auto Blog