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Bradley’s car show races back to campus

Photo via Payton Egnew

Car enthusiasts and Bradley students gathered at Founder’s Circle to attend the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Car Show, on Sept. 17. A wide variety of unique vehicles filled the circle, ranging from a 1956 Desoto Fireflite Sportsman and a 1985 Buick Riviera.

“The idea of this car show is to get the community involved in project cars that we build and get the community together here on Bradley’s campus so they know what we’re working on and we get to see some of their cars,” Holly Olson, senior automotive engineering major and vice president of SAE, said.

SAE made the event inviting, ranging from the many volunteers walking around to the music that filled Founder’s Circle. Along with the volunteers, car owners lined up on the sidewalk, enthusiastic to answer any questions that a student or parent might have about their car.

As well as cars that the community brought to the car show, SAE also presented its project cars that members built to show the community what they create and to get people interested and involved in the automotive field.

“The majority of our time is spent building these cars,” Olson said. “We design, build and test these cars, and then we take them to race over the summer against other schools, so this event is raising money for that.” 

The car show is the main event that SAE organizes during the fall semester, but it also hosts speakers from different engineering companies and plans on making the car show an annual event. The show had been held for 10 years, but stopped when the COVID-19 pandemic spiked.

“If people are ever curious, we’re in the corner of BECC on Main St. and we are always happy to have people come by the lab, come say hi and to come see what we are working on,” Olson said. “Even if you’re not an engineer, we’re happy to have you. We’ll be hosting this event next year, so come out next year.”

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