Professor Muthanna, president of AUE, and student Ali Lootah Dubai - Arabstoday The car park of the American University in the Emirates (AUE) was transformed into something resembling the set of popular television programme Top Gear last week for its second annual car show. With a display of over 60 cars showing a visual documentation of the motor industry, students stood tall by their prized possessions. Ali Ebrahim Lootah garnered the most interest for his entry called The Spaceship, which is a futuristic hybrid car built in the UAE at the Lootah Technical Centre. \"The research and development on this car cost around Dh500,000,\" he said. \"It\'s got a hybrid engine [petrol and electrical] and work on it took up to a year.\" However, as proud of the car as he was, it is in fact owned by his cousin, Yahya Lootah, who loaned him the one-off creation for the show. The car show, organised by AUE students, was a chance for them to indulge in their hobbies on campus and to inject some fun into their learning environment. \"This university strongly believes nothing is impossible. So, we try to distinguish ourselves from other institutions to make teaching and learning fun,\" Dr Muthanna Abdul Razzaq, President of AUE, said. \"Our students have talents and hobbies they want to showcase and we try to encourage it as much as possible.\" The participant to wow a panel of judges with their motor stood the chance of walking away with a top cash prize of Dh15,000 while the runners-up would win cash prizes of Dh10,000 and Dh7,000. Hamad Bin Thani spent $150,000 on the purchase and shipping costs of his 1969 Chevy Nova straight from the US specifically for the car show. \"It\'s a drag race car with a 700 horsepower engine and I got it from America especially to participate in this event,\" the Student Council president said. Bin Thani was also one of the organisers of the annual campus event and is a self-professed petrolhead. ‘Classics\' \"I love cars and always have since I was a child,\" the owner of six cars — two of which are classics — said. \"I hope to be a rare sports and classic car collector one day.\" The AUE student car show comes after a recent student underwater fashion show held at Atlantis Hotel.