Our Cars

2017 | 2016 | [OVERHAUL]
2015 | 2014 | 2013 | [OVERHAUL]
2012 | [OVERHAUL]
2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | [OVERHAUL]
2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | [OVERHAUL]
2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | [OVERHAUL]
1997 | 1996 | [BEGIN]

Lauren (2017) [back to top]

About Lauren

After finding out just how fast Ashley was, we have decided to continue being aggressive with our next car. Starting the design season earlier to allow for more test time in the car, Lauren aims to be driving in 2016, four months earlier than her predecessor! With suspension improvements focused on reliability, chassis changes to make Tech a breeze, and a drive train that aims to be at the top of the pack, Lauren is ready to make a big splash at the 2017 competitions.

Laurens's Team

Andy Kopplin (Brakes)
Dustin Schrieber (Chief Engineer)
Jenna Leane (Suspension)
Joe Kraemer (Chassis)
Joe Schaefer (Uprights)
Tyler Ditman (President)


Baja California 2017 - 56/87
Baja Kansas 2017 - 48/107
Baja Illinois 2017 - 58/99

Ashley (2016) [back to top]

About Ashley

Our 2016 car, Ashley, was all about change. With the goal to drop 50 pounds, Ashley weighed in at 354 pounds at Tennessee Tech nearly meeting our goal. Ashley had a lot of changes from previous seasons. By removing neutral and reverse from the gearbox, we were able to drop more weight off the car. On top of that, more testing was done to find design issues and correct them before competition. From Tennessee Tech to California, Ashley's suspension was redesigned to increase steering and maneuverability.

Check out pictures of Ashley in action!

Ashley's Team

Michael Bardell (Captain)
Aisha Benidettino (Suspension)
Tyler Ditman (Drivetrain)
Joe Schaefer (Public Relations)
Dustin Schrieber (Electronics/Data Acquision)
Justin Sindewald (Engineering Council Rep)
Pat Sullivan (Chassis)
Andrew Vahling (Captain)


Baja Tennessee 2016 - 74/96
Baja California 2016 - 65/94
Baja New York 2016 - 70/98

. . . D E S I G N . O V E R H A U L . . .

Lindsey (2015) [back to top]

About Lindsey

We are excited about our 2015 car: Lindsey. The 2015 season involved reorganizing our leadership and making a lot of big design changes. The focus was on reliability and design validation. Part of Lindsey's goal was to carry the most electronics of any UIUC Baja vehicle to date. In order to do this, we looked to firmly establish data acquisition and extensive design validation within the team. Lindsey's rear suspension was full redesigned to incorporate a semi-trailing arm setup instead of double-H arms.

Lindsey's Team

Michael Bardell (Chassis)
Mason Blake (Suspension)
R. Davis Born (Electronics/Data Acquisition)
Gail Butler (Captain)
Matt Nilles (Drivetrain)
Chris Nobre (Public Relations)
Andrew Vahling (Captain)


Baja Auburn 2015 - 53/90
Baja Maryland 2015 - 54/89
Baja Oregon 2015 - 45/87

Polly (2014) [back to top]

About Polly

Polly is the second in the line of orange cars, and she's faster and lighter than her older sister. She has better shocks and much nicer packaging in the rear. She was designed to save weight and to make internal access for repairs easier.

Polly's Team

Steve Baskerville (Suspension)
Bob Donahue (Drivetrain)
Jon Hutchings (Chassis)


Baja Kansas 2014 - 30/119
Baja Illinois 2014 - 40/122

Lily (2013) [back to top]

About Lily

Lily is the first of what is shaping up to be a long line of orange cars. She was designed with maneuverability in mind and is a much smoother ride than her predecessors. She is a complete overhaul from Americar.

Lily's Team

Paul Hummon
Katie Birkel
Chris Herrera


Baja Washington 2013 - 21/87
Baja Tennessee 2013 - 42/101

. . . D E S I G N . O V E R H A U L . . .

Americar (2012) [back to top]

About Americar

Americar was a substantial departure from previous designs and was an ambitious challenge to design and build. Americar was the team's first car with an independent rear suspension and manual transmission. Americar was styled in an excessively patriotic scheme that can only be described as 'Murica.

Americar's Team

Brad Thompson
Roger Yang


Baja Wisconsin 2012 - 81/117
Baja Oregon 2012 - 45/96

. . . D E S I G N . O V E R H A U L . . .

Blue Car "The Feather" (2011) [back to top]

About Blue Car

Blue Car was the last in a series of cars with a similar rear suspension setup. Blue car was designed for weight savings and design optimization, focusing on several overbuilt or troublesome components from previous years, including the rear axle, chassis, and UV joints.

Blue Car's Team

Kat Svoboda (Chassis/Front Suspension/Steering)
Kyle Nagy (Powertrain/Rear Suspension/Brakes)


Baja Illinois 2011 - 57/122
Baja Kansas 2011 - 44/106

"Blaze" Orange Car (2010) [back to top]

About Orange Car

Orange Car was the third iteration of cars with a similarly setup rear suspension and packaging design. The design focused on improving structural integrity of frequently damaged components such as the front uprights, rear axle, and chassis. Orange Car was one of the first Baja cars at the University of Illinois to include on-board data acquisition instrumentation during competition.

Orange Car's Team

Ty Schurr (Powertrain/Machining)
Matt Weiland (Chassis/Suspension)


Baja Rochester 2010 - 18/94
Baja Washington 2010 - 14/104

The Princess (2009) [back to top]

About The Princess

The Princess's design refined the unique four-bar design and packaging on MIG Killer II and included substantial modifications to the chassis. The Princess was quite petite with a short wheel base and narrow cockpit. It was styled after a 1973 Camaro hot rod called the "F-Bomb."

The Princess's Team

Alex Krejcie


Baja Oregon 2009 - 18/65
Baja Wisconsin 2009 - 20/100

MIG Killer II (2008) [back to top]

About MIG Killer II

MIG Killer II was a substantial design overhaul from previous years and the first design iteration of the four-bar linkage rear suspension. This added substantial maneuverability advantages. From Eric's background in racing, he brought in APT shocks and Dzus tabs as design features.

MIG Killer II's Team

Eric Johnson
Artur "Duddy" Dudzik


Baja Tennessee 2008 - 53/73

. . . D E S I G N . O V E R H A U L . . .

Jessica (2007) [back to top]

About Jessica

Jessica was the final swing-arm car based on the 2003 design. It was optimized for weight at 350lbs and featured fantastic handling and maneuverability. This was the final car built in ASEB before the team moved to the newly-build Engineering Student Project Lab (ESPL).

Jessica's Team

Farhan Devani


Baja South Dakota School of Mines (2007) - 16/91
Baja Rochester Institute of Technology (2007) - 23/126

MIG 15 Killer (2006) [back to top]

About MIG 15 Killer

This car featured numerous design refinements such as an integrated rear drive sprocket/brake rotor and a simplified and redesigned rear axle. This car features one of the most generously sized driver compartments of a UIUC car thus far.

MIG 15 Killer's Team

Ian Peterson


Mini-Baja West (2006) - 43/140
Mini-Baja Midwest (2006) - 47/76

Shaft (2005) [back to top]

About Shaft

Building off of the design from the previous year, this car’s design saw a return to the previously used Comet CVT, but with better tuning capabilities, which were learned using the Polaris CVT. The angle of the front suspension was increased further, as the increased angle continued to positively impact landings. This car was the only car to complete the rock crawl challenge at the West completion, which was an especially impressive feat for a low clearance swing-arm car.

Shaft's Team

Nick Shute


Mini-Baja West (2005) - 48/119
Mini-Baja Midwest (2005) - 42/116

Grey Ghost (2004) [back to top]

About Grey Ghost

Grey Ghost’s design was an evolution of the previous year, with improvements made for weight savings, improved front suspension geometry to help with shock loading when landing jumps, and a Polaris P90 CVT instead of the previously used Comet 780.

Grey Ghost's Team

Dylan Hayden


Mini-Baja West (2004) - 16/99
Mini-Baja Midwest (2004) - 16/137

Caddy (2003) [back to top]

About Caddy

A major redesign occurred for the 2003 car to improve comfort, reliability, and capability of the car design from previous years. This car design included a lightweight frame, low solid swing-arm rear suspension, and a CVT and chain drivetrain. The frame of this car is currently on display at Plymouth Tubing Co.

Caddy's Team

Nate Kincaid


Mini-Baja Midwest (2003) - 23/122

. . . D E S I G N . O V E R H A U L . . .

Whitey (2002) [back to top]

About Whitey

The fifth and final iteration of the 1998 design. The car had a greatly simplified driveline, improving serviceability and allowing the transition away from inboard rear shocks.

Whitey's Team

Justin Adcock


Mini-Baja West (2002) - 50/95
Mini-Baja Midwest (2002) - 18/119

Silver Bullet (2001) [back to top]

About Silver Bullet

This car had the second version of inboard rear shocks. While the team struggled at the West event, significant CVT tuning was done between events, and the team found a secret recipe that captured a top 10 in acceleration and in top speed. The year-to-year weight shaving was a major contributor to this. While this car survived many beatings, it could not survive mother nature. The car was destroyed in 2013 when a tornado hit the building it was being stored in.

Silver Bullet's Team

Shawn Harnish


Mini-Baja West (2001) - 37/101
Mini-Baja Midwest (2001) - 19/96

Chief (2000) [back to top]

About Chief

This was the third iteration of the 1998 design. This was the team’s first attempt at inboard rear shocks to free up space around the engine.

Chief's Team

Aaron Berberich


Mini-Baja West (2000) - 49/83
Mini-Baja Midwest (2000) - 21/101

Digger (1999) [back to top]

About Digger

This car leaned heavily on the successes and lessons from the previous car. The rear engine and CVT remained, but the team used thicker wall chromoly tubing. This was the first car to be completely TIG-welded.

Digger's Team

Andy Dochterman


Mini-Baja West (1999) - unknown :O
Mini-Baja Midwest (1999) - 6/77

Nightmare (1998) [back to top]

About Nightmare

The team revamped their design with the goal of making the car as light as possible. The engine was moved to the rear to allow for a narrower track. It was recognized that hydrostatic transmissions were too inefficient, so a Comet CVT transmission was selected. The independent rear suspension was changed in favor of a swing-arm which greatly improved maneuverability. In an effort to keep the weight down, the team used thin wall (0.035”) tubing, which was prone to denting and fatigue cracking. This car did very well in maneuverability.

Nightmare's Team

John Frana


Mini-Baja Midwest (1998) - 37/97

. . . D E S I G N . O V E R H A U L . . .

Fatty (1997) [back to top]

About Fatty

While not a popular configuration, the team chose to build an iteration of the side engine hydrostatic transmission car. Emphasis was on weight loss and driveline efficiency; however, gains were minimal. The track was widened a bit, which lead to the name for the car. After its life as a competition machine, the powertrain was converted to include a CVT transmission for future development.

Fatty's Team

Mike Spielman


Mini-Baja Midwest (1997) - 37/80

Leper (1996) [back to top]

About Leper

The inaugural year for the UIUC Mini Baja team which was based in the Ag Engineering building under the guidance of Dr. Carroll Goering. Starting with no experience, the team selected a hydrostatic transmission with a high and low range gear reduction for power transmission. Notably, this was a side-engine car, although it was more common for teams to design side engine cars before 2000. The engine was side mounted to allow the CG to be as rearward and low as possible. The car had front and rear independent suspension. The car was heavy and slow, but did well in the tractor pull event.

Leper's Team

Ian Mann