From My Archives – Shell Canada Fuelathon

invitation to a challenge title card

As the price of oil skyrocketed in the 1970s and 80s, there was an increased demand for more fuel efficient vehicles. For a number of years, Shell Canada sponsored an annual competition for university and college engineering departments across Canada to build highly fuel-efficient vehicles.

university crew works on car
close up of crew working on car

To promote this competition, the company I was working for was commissioned to produce a short film in 1986. Shot and completed in 16mm film, we spent the weekend gathering footage and interviews with the contestants at Shell Canada’s Oakville Research facility and test track in Oakville, Ontario.

close up of car and driver
close up of driver

David O’Keefe was camera-person, Peter Bradley was executive producer along with Phyllis Newman, a former Shell executive with their media department. My principal role was post-production supervisor and film editor.

The winner of the competition managed fuel efficiency of over 5600 miles per gallon. Unfortunately, I didn’t save a 16mm print of the finished program.

crew works wheels
driver into car